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Worst highways for trucks
The 10 worst highways for truckers according to USDOT crash data compiled from 2013-16. Note: I-80 does not go through Colorado and that point on the map refers to the I-80/76 interchange in Nebraska, near Colorado line.

10 most dangerous roads for truckers

With 36% more vehicles on the road during the holidays, knowing the most dangerous highways for trucks could help you plan better this season.

The more cars on the road, the more potential problems truckers can face as they haul cargo near and far. With the holiday season nearly upon us, more and more vehicles will be clogging the nation's roadways, presenting an even tougher job for the men and women piloting those big rigs.

Zonar, a producer of smart fleet management technology, has compiled a list of the 10 worst roads you should consider avoiding this holiday season – and even the rest the year.

During the holiday season, there are about 36% more vehicles on the road, according to Zonar. Most of the increased traffic is made up of passenger cars (23%), delivery fleets (10%), and people-carriers, such as buses (3%), according to Zonar.

Adding to the stress of holiday travel in America is late-fall weather and decreased daylight. That makes it can be even more dangerous for trucks, data suggests.

It isn't breaking news that there are more vehicles on the roads from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Jan. 1 (the official length of the holiday season). But data that shows which highways are the worst for trucks is always interesting. Zonar the top 10 most dangerous roads in the U.S. for truck drivers this week.

The list uses data from the federal Department of Transportation, based on total accident volume between 2013 -2016.

“Look around any room, and you’ll find the majority of the things you see and use are there because of the approximately 3.5 million truck drivers on the road at any given time," said Gary Schmidt, vice president, business solutions at Zonar. "With more people behind the wheel during the holidays, we want to make sure everyone knows which routes require a bit more caution driving through."

Zonar, which creates solutions that collects data from a wide variety of vehicles including trucks, school buses, and construction equipment, provides drivers and managers with the information and analysis to better navigate any course and safely manage passengers and cargo.  

Knowing which stretches of road are the most dangerous for trucks (regarding total accidents) can help operators and fleet managers potentially decrease their chances of getting into an accident and help keep other drivers safe – by adjusting their routes or schedules, varying driving times and loads, or increasing inspections and checkpoints, Schmidt suggested.

According to the DOT, the top ten most dangerous roads for truck drivers based on total accident volume between 2013 -2016 are: 

  1. I-10 in Alabama
  2. I-95 in Florida
  3. HWY-75 in Idaho
  4. I-40 in Arkansas
  5. US-1 in Florida
  6. M-20 in Michigan
  7. I-80 Nebraska
  8. HWY-5 in Colorado
  9. I-70 in Maryland
  10. SC-35 South Carolina

Along with 10 of the most dangerous highways for truckers, the DOT data showed some other similarities about truck crashes: 

  • More than half of trucks in highway accidents were found to have at least one vehicle defect;
  • 30% of these crashes were caused by equipment failure including brakes, tires, lights, transmission failure, or vehicle overload.
  • Bad weather caused 14.7 percent of accidents: Rain as the most common cause (72.6 percent of weather-related accidents) as well as fog (12.5 percent) and snow (10.1 percent)
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