Particularly when flying down the highways of North America, truck driving and the transportation industry can be a risky business. And it isn’t just North American highways in particular; all highways carry the potential danger of being involved in high-speed crashes. Here we are going to take a look at some particularly risky stretches of road that have taken the lives of many and injured even more.
California’s Route 138
This stretch of highway didn’t get the nickname “Death Road” for being one of the safer roads in California. Much to the contrary, the high fatality rate on Route 138, particularly before the year 2000, earned it its nickname. Post-2000, however, while still a risky part of the California road system, improvements have been made to the road itself and, therefore, its safety record as well.
South Carolina’s Highway 17
An adventurous ride to say the least. With its valley and peak shape, it is hardly surprising that danger awaits. Frequent animal crossings, blind curves and narrow lanes, sharp turns, and the fact that is situated in a foresty area all contribute to its treacherous reputation. And thanks to its exceedingly narrow characteristics, it is a particularly precarious drive for trucks. Even the most experienced truckers can have difficulty navigating along South Carolina’s Highway 17.
Alaska’s James Dalton Highway
Any trucker’s skill level is going to be put to the test on this highway. Average drivers would be well advised to steer clear of this route where plummeting temperatures can drop to -62°C, stray rocks drop right along with the temperatures, and road conditions are best described as ‘poor’ a lot of time. If you don’t have to take this route to your next stop, don’t. If you must, however, be sure that you have everything you’re going to need if your truck should break down or if you end up going off the road.
Colorado’s Highway 550
There are no guard rails to offer protection while passing through the San Juan Mountains on Colorado’s Highway 550. And so any falling debris or large chunks of snow and ice have nothing to stop them from traveling down and across the road. What’s more, this road has no shoulders. If you veer off to the side, accidentally, the steep slopes offer nothing more than fatal consequences.
Montana’s Highway 2
The nasty reputation of this highway can be largely attributed to its location. This road seems to stretch on forever and offers a temptation far too great for far too many drivers. Accidents occur, not surprisingly, when motorists decide to see just how fast their vehicle can go. And when these high-speed crashes do occur, thanks to the remote location, help may well be on the way… but it is going to take an excruciating amount of time to actually get there. The delay in much-needed medical care could be a large contributing factor to the high rate of fatalities along Montana’s Highway 2.
What’s a Driver To Do?
Is there a way to minimize the risk of being involved in one of these high-speed crashes? Is there something that truck drivers, in particular, can do to lessen their chances of becoming just another statistic? The answer is yes. Common sense would go a long way toward helping all motorists protect themselves along these highways and others. Sadly, it seems to be missing in many instances.
There are some things that, as a trucker, you can do to help keep not only you but those around you safe on these and all other highways:
- Be overly prepared for bad weather
- Always carry a well stocked first aid kit
- Keep a good eye on your blind spots at all times
Another way that you and the merchandise you carry can all stay safe on the roads is to get the most reliable maintenance and repair parts from Mickey. We also carry a full line of safety equipment specifically made for the trucking/transportation industry. Stay safe out there.