Driving is a dangerous activity – arguably the most dangerous thing we’ll do on a daily basis.
There are a lot of factors that go into why driving is dangerous. One of these factors is the road itself. Many injuries and fatalities occur on Alabama’s highways, from the big interstates that crisscross our state to state highways.
What, then, is the most dangerous highway in Alabama that has resulted in a disproportionately high number of motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and deaths?
That would be the “Highway to Hell,” or US Highway 431.
US 431 was dubbed one of America’s most dangerous roads in 2000 by Reader’s Digest. Since then, the highway perennially makes lists of the most dangerous roadways not just in the U.S., but across the globe. Statistics from state and federal agencies back up that assertion.
What makes US 431 so dangerous? There are a few reasons:
Visibility is poor throughout much of the road.
The highway is mostly a two-lane road that suddenly switches to a four-lane road – and back to two lanes – at several critical stretches. (There’s even a one-lane stretch in Eufala.)
431 cuts through many towns and cities, unlike interstates which often are elevated or otherwise separate from local traffic.
US 431 can be very curvy as it goes through hill country in central and northern Alabama.
The highway is lengthy, stretching for 556 miles from Kentucky to Dothan.
Throw in the fact that speeding is more dangerous on these types of highways (due to fewer straight stretches, more stop signs and traffic lights, and more intersections and merges) and you have a recipe for tragedy.
AVOIDING DANGER ON THE HIGHWAY
Accidents happen not just on US 431 but on roads and interstates all throughout Alabama. Most Alabama motor vehicle accidents are avoidable and are caused by negligence, recklessness, or inattentiveness.
You can help keep you and your family safe by:
Obeying all posted speed limits
Slowing down on curvy roads
Assuming the worst from the other drivers and driving defensively
Slowing down in rain and inclement weather
Keeping your vehicle well maintained in and good condition
Staying constantly aware of your surroundings
Avoiding using technology that can be distracting
For more information on staying safe on Alabama’s roads, check out the 2017 Alabama Driver’s Safety Guide.
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