While the final numbers for 2017’s Memorial Day weekend travel have yet to be tallied, AAA was projecting that close to 39.3 million people would be traveling 50-plus miles over the three-day weekend with an astounding 88 percent making their way by motor vehicle.
Those who made such roads trips here in Tennessee might have utilized back roads or shortcuts, but the vast majority undoubtedly jumped on the interstate, including, of course, I-40. However, those who did so — or who take this thoroughfare every day — might think twice about making this their preferred route thanks to a recent report.
Specifically, Geotab, a Canada-based fleet management company, recently released a rather fascinating report listing what it claims are the “most dangerous highways in America.”
Here, its researchers arrived at their conclusions by examining data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration from 2006 to 2015.
The stretch of road earning the dubious distinction as the most hazardous in the nation went to U.S. 1 in Florida, which saw 1011 crashes and 1079 fatalities. Coming in second, however, was I-40 here in Tennessee, which saw 437 crashes and 517 fatalities.
When presented with these findings, the Tennessee Highway Patrol didn’t actively dispute them, pointing out that this 450-mile stretch of road was indeed dangerous given its terrain, which is rife with hills and curves.
They did indicate, however, that this is one of the more heavily traveled stretches of road in the entire nation, such that the chances of an accident are higher owing to the sheer volume of traffic.
Indeed, the Geotab report lists the fatal crash rate for I-40, which is “adjusted for the average daily traffic counts,” as 0.7, which drops it well out of the top spots for this category.
As alarming as this report is, the THP indicated that there are four simple things motorists can do to greatly reduce their chances of being involved in an accident on I-40 or anywhere else:
- Don’t drive distracted
- Don’t drive impaired
- Don’t forget to wear your seatbelt
- Don’t speed
If you been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by the recklessness of another, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional.