How dangerous is the Pan-American Highway compared to the I-95?

The Pan-American Highway and the I-95 are both well-known highways in American. Their reputations are not entirely positive, as they are both known for their dangerous conditions and histories. 

How dangerous is the Pan-American Highway compared to the I-95?

Let us explore in this article the dangers of each of these highways and how they compare to each other.

History of Pan-American Highway

The Pan-American Highway is a route known for its really long length. This highway, which goes across both North and South America, is a vast collection of roads. It is a connection between Alaska in the north and Argentina in the south. The idea of this highway was first proposed in the 20th century and was completed so that there would be promotion of trade and communication between the countries.

The route was actually proposed way back in 1884 as a railroad however due to the increase of automobiles, railroads were being replaced by highways. The construction of the Pan-American Highway finally begun in 1925 and it took 13 years for Mexico to complete their section of the highway. It wasn’t until 1963 however that the highway was finally completed and opened. This is however with the exception of the Darien Gap.

There will be numerous issues on this route. This covers the border between Panama and Colombia as well as the Darien Gap, an area of exceptionally deep jungle that many have said is impassable.

History of I-95

The I-96 is found on the East Coast of the United States. It runs all the way from Miami and ends at the Canadian border in Maine, running through a total of 15 states depending on whether you include the District of Columbia, which will make it 16.

Much like the Pan-American Highway, the I-95 was incomplete was a number of years and was only completed in September of 2018 and still holds the title for being one of the oldest routes of the Interstate Highway system formed in 1956, as it took 62 years to fully complete after it was commissioned.

The Dangers of The Pan-America Highway and I-95

It is a well-known fact that both highways are known for their dangers. The question is, which highway is more dangerous than the other and why?

The Pan-American highway is one of the world's most hazardous roads despite providing a spectacular perspective of the stunning scenery. This is due to the numerous difficulties travellers face on the route.

Some of these difficulties include:

  • Geographical issues: This roadway crosses several nations and is the longest highway in the world. Both the lush South American rainforest and Alaska's arctic tundra are traversed by it. Travelers will encounter numerous geographic challenges while on the road. Various locations may have extreme weather conditions.
  • Lack of infrastructure: This motorway still needs to be improved despite years of construction. Some regions lack security precautions, which can be quite dangerous for anyone traveling through them. Some locations are poorly maintained and lack the proper signs. As a result, some drivers are compelled to equip their cars with safety features like rotiform wheels in order to drive across rough terrain.
  • Security concerns: There is insufficient security on the road and this route travels through neighbourhoods with a high crime rate. In places like Central America and some parts of South America, those who use the roads incur a significant risk of losing their life, properties, or both.
  • The Darien Gap: Arguably one of the road's biggest challenges. Between Panama and Colombia, there is a region that is said to be impenetrable. It also serves as a hideout for dangerous rebels and is filled with dangers like poisonous snakes and unusual animals like jaguars. Travelers must abandon the roads and turn to boats and airplanes in order to complete their journey.
  • Extreme Weather: Due to the size of this road, motorists will experience a range of weather conditions as they pass through various places. Extreme cold and scorching heat are possible. Extreme weather is a certainty, and visitors might not be prepared for it.

The I-95 ranks as one of the most dangerous highways in America. This is due to the numerous issues travellers face on this route.

Some of these issues include:

  • One-Mile section in Fort Lauderdale, FL: This section of the I-95 is the most dangerous section of a highway in the US. From 2000 – 2019 alone, this section of the highway has a total of 23 fatal crashes which resulted in a staggering 24 deaths. That does not include the total average of crashes that raises to around 479 crashed per mile on this section of the highway.
  • Complex Interchanges: The State Road 84 much commonly known as the Marina Mile Boulevard has been known for a long time as the region’s deadliest crossroad. Although this section features warning signs for the upcoming sharp 90-degree turn, many travellers ignore them and approach this section at a high speed.
  • Traffic rate: A number of sections along this highway feature a high fatality or accident rate. This as Florida likes to state, is down to the sheer level of daily traffic. Florida blame the high accident rates due to their higher daily traffic count.
  • Size: Due to the size of this highway, a lot of it goes unmonitored. This in turn causes people to drive recklessly as there is no-one to stop them pursuing high speeds and traffic dodging. This alone could be the reason why it is estimated that 200+ lives are taken on this road a year.

It is rather obvious as to why both of these highways are names dangerous, however the points that make their dangerous couldn’t be anymore different. As the Pan-American Highway has one specific portion in its route that is dangerous. That being the Darien Gap, as it is a roadless crossing of more than 60 miles. Meanwhile, The I-95 has various danger points. You have the Marina Mile Boulevard section mentioned above and many more dangerous sections such as the NW 135 street, Stirling Road and Sheridan Road interchanges, and the sunrise Boulevard interchange. Those are just the tip of the iceberg for dangerous points in the I-95.

Overall, The Pan-American Highway is dangerous however it is noted that the I-95 takes a higher number of lives. The Pan-American Highway may have the Darien Gap, but the sheer size and lack of control America has on the I-95 has resulted in this highway being far more dangerous. Yes, The Pan-American Highway has taken vast amounts of life, especially on sections like the Curve of death but you are most likely to get into a fatal accident on the I-95, making it far more dangerous as a whole.