Advancements in automobiles and road safety have made driving safer. Yet, in the 21st century, the United States still has a number of major roads, highways, and byways that are deathtraps.
There are a variety of reasons that the USA’s roads are dangerous from the people who drive them to the layout of the motorways themselves. Cars are a major part of US culture and auto racing season is one of the most anticipated each year for sports fans. Missouri’s Highway 63 has been labeled as the state’s most dangerous roadway. The dangerous road meanders through Missouri from the Arkansas state line near Thayer to the Iowa state line near Lancaster. It is rather surprising that such a dangerous road would wind through the Missouri capital of Jefferson City. With the state’s politicians congregating in the capital, they seem to ignore the deathtrap that has developed right on their doorsteps.
Within Missouri, the road is 337 miles (543km) long. The highway stretches through a number of small townships and settlements that have seen better days. Vichy is one of these townships that once had a roadside hotel/motel, but is now just a gas stop off for traffic passing through. Further north small burgs such as Vienna are located and former settlements to German and Austrian immigrants who settled in Missouri.
Between 2009 and 2019, Highway 63 saw 179 fatalities. That is nearly 20 deaths per year. In total, Highway 63 stretches for just under 338 miles and 13 counties and covers a distance from the borders with Arkansas to Iowa. Some of the counties it goes through are rather poor and maintenance along the highway and its arteries is lacking. One of the big issues is having a lack of intersections and safe ways for cars to join or leave the highway.
Highway 63 was established in 1926 and though upgrades have been made in the last 90-plus years, it will take a $300 million project to overhaul the deadly road. Much of Highway 63 meanders through Missouri farmland. The rural areas mean that the highway is merely two lanes. The upgrade would bring it up to a four land, dual carriageway system. It is the two lanes that cause a lot of the car accidents. Between 2009 and 2019, there were 158 auto accidents. Due to individuals attempting to pass or merge onto the highway, accidents have occurred.