Monday, December 11

The Most Dangerous Place to Drive in The United States

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Here you will find no facts. There will be no highway safety statistics, no death rate numbers. This is all opinion.

I’ve driven from Florida to Maine, Seattle to Vegas, New York City to LosAngeles. I’ve driven all over the United States, including most of its major cities.

Chicago drivers seem the most impatient, their horn blaring the second a light turns from red to green. Drivers on I-95 around New York City appear to be the most in a hurry, often flying along at speeds approaching a hundred miles an hour. A few places out West, including Montana and parts of Nevada, are known for fast driving as there are no speed limits or speed limits so high as to practically not exist.

But there is one stretch of road, approximately a hundred miles of I-40 in North Carolina, that frightens me as a driver more than any other place in all of the United States. Traveling from West to East, the area I’m speaking of starts in Winston-Salem and stretches through Greensboro, Durham and just past Raleigh.

Yes, this stretch of highway I personally dub “the most dangerous place to drive in the United States.”

Why is it so dangerous? I call it the NASCAR factor. Apparently everyone in that region seems to believe they are a NASCAR driver, and they sure act like it. Or maybe because it’s NASCAR country, too many people watch NASCAR and think they can get away with the same type of driving.

Posted speed limits are a joke. When on that part of I-40, I constantly have to drive 10 miles an hour over the speed limit just so I won’t get run over by other drivers. My guess would be the average speed is about 80 to 90 miles an hour, and that’s even when traffic is at its busiest and cars are almost bumper to bumper.

Turn signals are completely non-existant. And drivers zoom in and out mere inches in front of you and behind you as if they’re rounding a bend in the Indianapolis 500. It’s so bad you can hardly change lanes, mainly because other vehicles are going at such high speeds and jumping in and out of lanes all over the place that you don’t dare try and change a lane. You’ll be killed. Run over. Run through. Safety seems no concern whatsoever.

And it doesn’t matter the type of vehicle. Everything from small 2-door cars to massive 18-wheel rigs, everyone seems to drive like a maniac.

I guess so many people have places so important to get to that those places must be more important than their own lives, and are definitely more important than the lives of the other drivers around them.

Occasionally I do see law enforcement along this stretch of highway, but it almost seems like a joke. If the police, local and state, are patrolling I-40 along this stretch, they’re not doing much of a job in curbing crazy drivers. Should the police step up the number of tickets they write? It would seem so to me, but perhaps their local accident statistics suggest otherwise.

But whatever those statistics show, I know of one statistic for sure: I’m a hundred percent nervous whenever I have to hit I-40 from Winston-Salem to Raleigh, North Carolina.

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