Most Dangerous Road in Wyoming
One of the United States Most Dangerous Highways is Located in Wyoming
Most individuals would think that with Wyoming’s low population that it would be a safe state to drive in, but they are wrong because it has one of the most dangerous roads in the United States. Federal and state governmental agencies have collected data on accidents throughout the United States, and Wyoming has consistently been listed toward the top of the list for road accidents for several years. The roads located in rural areas of the United States such as the majority of Wyoming, are known for having numerous vehicular accidents despite the fact that 80 percent of the population lives in metropolitan areas.
Wyoming’s U.S. Highway 287 is Especially Dangerous for Teenage Drivers
Driving in Wyoming is particularly dangerous for its teen drivers who are still learning about road safety. Research reveals that over 35 teenage drivers out of 100,000 are killed in vehicular accidents across the state of Wyoming each year. This percentage is much higher than other states and causes concern for parents along with the state of Wyoming’s government officials. The most popular road used by local residents and tourists in Wyoming is U.S. Highway 287. This road is only two-lanes wide at most points but has constant vehicular traffic that includes huge semitrucks and small automobiles trying to travel as quickly as possible across the state.
U.S. Highway in Wyoming is one of the Longest Roads in the Nation
U.S. Highway 287 in Wyoming is approximately 1,800 miles long and connects several states located from the north to the south of the United States. In Wyoming, it passes through some difficult terrain, including the Medicine Bow Mountains and Laramie Mountains. For new drivers such as teenagers or tourists who are unfamiliar with driving in mountainous areas with poor visibility, this highway is especially dangerous. Despite being in a rural location, this highway is extremely popular for travelers because it leads to Yellowstone National Park that is one of most visited locations in this geographic zone.
Severe Winter Weather Frequently Leads to Additional Accidents in Wyoming
Winter weather in Wyoming is especially difficult with massive amounts of snow or ice that are combined with cold temperatures. Anyone driving along U.S. Highway 287 must cope with a narrow and treacherous road that is often not cleared with snowplows. There are often deep snowdrifts along the sides of this road during the winter, making it difficult for drivers to navigate wider vehicles past each other along the narrow two-lane road. Truck drivers transporting goods in semi-trucks on this highway are on strict schedules and avoid driving slower despite poor road conditions. The result of driving at a normal speed on this road is a vehicular slide-off and collision that frequently leads to a fatality.
Most of Wyoming’s U.S. Highway 287 is Located in Rural Areas
The majority of this particular highway is located along rural farmland or ranches, and if an accident does occur, then it is difficult for rescue workers to reach the scene quickly to assist victims. Unfortunately, multiple vehicle or chain reaction accidents are also a common occurrence because of poor visibility along this highway. In some cases, drivers will also exceed the speed limit to arrive faster at a destination because they know this highway does not have constant surveillance from law officials.
Rest Stops on U.S. Highway 287 Do Not Provide Numerous Amenities
When traveling along this busy highway, law officials suggest stopping at a rest stop occasionally, but these locations offer few amenities. In most cases, there are only basic toilet facilities and no drinking water available. Drivers cannot purchase food or soft drinks, and it is not possible to stay overnight. There are only a few small towns along this highway to stop at to purchase meals and this leads to people driving straight though the state without stopping to rest. The lack of rest while traveling on this road leads to sleepy drivers who are not alert enough to avoid an accident. However, many individuals in Wyoming are aware of the problems along U.S. Highway 287 and are trying to make important changes to increase this roads safety.
State Officials Want U.S. Highway 287 to Become a Four-Lane Road
An important change that is taking place to U.S. Highway 287 in Wyoming is road widening to make it a four-lane highway along some of its most highly traveled areas. Of course, this roadwork can take a long time and can also lead to potential dangers from construction vehicles and workers. The goal of the state of Wyoming is to have the entire highway changed to a four-land road rather than a two-lane road by the end of 2020.
Law Officials in Wyoming are trying to Assist Drivers to Reduce Vehicle Accidents
The state of Wyoming is also trying to have more law officials traveling along U.S. Highway 287 to help drivers in distress. A good example of this assistance is when a state trooper can change a blown-out tire for a driver to get them back on the road instead of having their vehicle blocking a lane. In addition, the state is adding road signs that inform drivers how to listen to local weather reports and roadwork warnings in order to decrease their driving speed and take extra precautions. With a combination of several changes, the state of Wyoming hopes to have its U.S. Highway 287 removed from the nation’s most dangerous road list.