U.S. 129 in North Carolina (NC) and Interstate 26 (I-26) in South Carolina (SC) were both mentioned as "silent killers" and some of the deadliest roads in America by CBS News. In fact, back in 2008 U.S. 129 was considered the road where you had "the best chance of being killed" by AAA Carolinas. On I-26, 325 people were killed in 286 car wrecks in the past 10 years.
What makes these Carolina roads so dangerous? Well, both are rural, two-lane roads that are rife with blind curves, bad grading, and a lack of center or side barriers. Roughly 60 percent of all car crash deaths occur on rural, two-lane roads. In the case of I-26, it's a straight, tree-lined shot with steep slopes along the shoulder, according to the CBS News article.
Here is a news report on the dangers of I-26 in SC...
So how can we eradicate these "silent killers"? There is no magic bullet at this time, but states are starting to take action by adding cable barriers and rumble strips to rural roads. An analysis was conducted indicating which rural roads have the highest loss of life rate and those roads should definitely be addressed first. Unfortunately, revamping all rural roads could take years due to shortages in funding.
As John Horsley, the executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said, "We've got some work to do on our roads."
We agree wholeheartedly.