California State Route 99 has just been declared the deadliest road in the U.S. According to an independent study conducted by ValuePenguin, the 424-mile highway that stretches across Central California has the highest number of deaths per 100 miles compared to any other road in the country.
The survey analyzed data from the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, known as FARS, to determine the 50 most dangerous roads in the country.
Researchers found that 264 fatalities, or 62.3 deaths per every 100 miles, occurred on Highway 99 due to traffic related incidents between 2011 and 2015, making it the deadliest highway in the country.
Fresno takes the claim for the city with the highest number of fatalities on Highway 99, with 34 deaths in the four-year period, according to the ValuePenguin report. The California Department of Transportation, however, reports only 21 fatalities in the city during the same time-period.
Although it is significantly shorter than most major highways, Highway 99 features several hazardous factors that account for its high fatality rate, including lack of light, speeding and other dangerous driving habits.
Highway 99 is considered to be the darkest road in the U.S. The lack of lighting has led to 108 traffic fatalities within the four-year span and accounts for 40 percent of deaths on the road.
Another common problem on the highway is motorists ignoring the posted speed limit. Drivers have expressed concern of people traveling at unsafe speeds.
The highway also has a reputation for being susceptible to bad weather, such as dense fog.
Drunk driving has also been an issue. Researchers found that 50 people have died in alcohol related accidents within the target years of 2011 through 2015. The road has the second highest number of alcohol related deaths, after I-45 in Texas. The California Department of Transportation is currently putting programs in place to counter this growing number that would further educate drivers on the harmful effects of drinking and driving.
In 2006, California voters approved Proposition 1B, that would donate $20 billion in bonds to improve the state’s infrastructure. Highway 99 will receive $1 billion, which the California Department of Transportation hopes will improve the road’s safety and decrease the future loss of life that has occurred in past years.
If you or someone you know has died due to a traffic related accident on Highway 99, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento may be able to help explain your legal options. At the Arnold Law Firm, we offer a free consultation to discuss how we can help and if you may be entitled to compensation.