This Southern State Has the Most Dangerous Roads in America

Our cars provide a false sense of security, for, in the cocooned shells, they seemingly shield us from the outside world. However, driving a car is potentially dangerous, as evidenced by over a million traffic fatalities that occur worldwide each year. While any street or road can be dangerous, there is one state in America that stands out the most. This southern state has the most dangerous roads in the U.S. 

Florida has the most dangerous roads in the US

Aerial view of beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the state with the most dangerous roads in America
Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Lance Asper via Unsplash

As detailed by AAA, a study showed that Florida has the most dangerous roads in America. For the study, 17 out of the 100 most dangerous roads in the country — measured by the number of car crash fatalities — are in Florida. This is followed by 15 roads in Texas and 11 in California. The deaths from these 100 most dangerous roads accounted for 10% of the total traffic fatalities in America from 2015 to 2019.

Furthermore, of the top 10 most dangerous roads, five of them are in Florida. This includes US-1 (2), I-95 (5), US-41 (7), I-75 (9), and US-27 (10). 

US Route 1 is the most deadly road in Florida

Aerial view of U.S. Route 1 Overseas Highway in Florida, the state with the most dangerous roads in America
U.S. Route 1 Overseas Highway, Florida Keys | Visions of America/Joseph Sohm/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Based on the study, U.S. Route 1 is the most deadly road in Florida. It’s also one of the most dangerous roads in the country — second only to I-5 in California. From 2015-2019, there were 570 traffic facilities on U.S. Route 1. The highway stretches most of the east coast of Florida. Key West is its southern terminus. It then heads north on the Overseas Highway to mainland Flordia, up the east coast, and crosses the St. Marys River into Georgia. 

The section of U.S. Route 1 on the east coast of mainland Florida is dangerous due to it being very straight. This results in people driving at dangerous speeds — as if they are going on a racetrack. Brevard County, halfway up the Florida coast, is the most dangerous section of Route 1, with 87 deaths. 

Another dangerous part of Route 1 is the Overseas Highway. The Overseas Highway is often cited as one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world. However, many people find the endless miles of bridge highways to be distracting.

Why are Florida roads so unsafe?

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Each road has its own set of dangers. However, there are aspects of Florida that contribute to its dangerous roads. For one, unlike half of the states in America, Florida doesn’t have a full ban on using handheld phones while driving. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, most commonly from using a phone while operating a vehicle. 

Another reason for unsafe roads in Florida is the high population density, as detailed by Justice Pays. Couple that with the millions of tourists that visit the Sunshine State each year, many of whom drive rental cars, and you have a recipe for disaster. Also, more of the traffic fatalities in Florida occur during the tourist season. 

Additionally, there are a limited number of driving routes in the state. Whether in the peninsula or the panhandle, most of Florida is narrow. While the immense size of states like Texas and California enables the construction of roads in nearly any direction, the route possibilities in Florida are more limited.

Furthermore, Florida has an older infrastructure. Many roads are badly in need of repair, and some stretches of highways lack dividers, leading to crossover accidents. Also, Central Florida earned the dubious title of the “most dangerous region for pedestrians” — because of its lack of crosswalks, medians, and lighting.

Do you have firsthand experience of driving on dangerous roads in Florida? Feel free to share in the comment section below.