This Florida Road Trip Route Is Considered One Of The Most Dangerous In America

Road-tripping is one of the most incredible ways to see the United States. The expansive country has amazingly scenic routes, especially along the coasts. One of the most famous drives is the Florida stretch of the historic U.S. Route 1 that stretches from Florida to Maine along the East Coast. The roadway is one of the oldest in the country and once connected the 13 original colonies.

Along the portion of Route 1 that runs from the bustling metropolis of Miami to Key West on the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys, you'll be met with breathtaking coastal views. You'll also pass along a series of impressive bridges connecting mainland Florida to the network of barrier islands just off the coast. A road trip is the perfect way to travel through Florida, but it's important to remember that it can be dangerous if you aren't attentive throughout the drive.

While car accidents are considered preventable, they're still a leading cause of death worldwide, and each year, more than 40,000 people in the United States are killed in car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. U.S. Route 1 from Miami to Key West, also known as the Overseas Highway, happens to be one of the riskiest drives in the country.

A scenic but deadly drive

Miami to Key West is one of the most iconic routes in the United States and an epic journey that allows you to experience the spirit of "The Great American Road Trip" on a relatively short drive. The entire trip takes less thanĀ four hours, depending on traffic, and covers 166 miles. It's perfect for a leisurely long weekend road trip with friends. You'll pass through unique beach towns with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the Sunshine State's famous white sand beaches. Eventually, you'll reach the vibrant city of Key West, which marks the end of the country-spanning U.S. Route 1 with a mile marker zero sign.

But don't let the epic views distract you from the road. Make sure that you have an experienced driver behind the wheel, because U.S. Route 1 is the most dangerous highway in Florida, resulting in more than 100 fatalities due to traffic accidents, according to the World Population Review traffic data.

The Overseas Highway is prone to accidents for several reasons. A series of massive bridges connect each island, the longest of which stretches a jaw-dropping 6.79 miles over the Atlantic Ocean. These bridges can be distracting, disorienting, and unnerving for tourists not accustomed to long over-water bridge crossings. With heavy traffic that includes large trucks, RVs, and even bicycles combined with narrow roads and reckless, fast drivers who sometimes pass unsafely, it's easy to imagine why car accidents are a regular occurrence.

Tips for staying safe en route

Even though the road trip route poses risks regarding car accidents, as long as you take plenty of safety precautions, you most likely can make it there safely. For starters, you should leave plenty of time to reach your destination so you never need to rush or pass other vehicles.

Traffic can often be heavy, causing congestion along the way, which may slow you down. If you're interested in receiving the most up-to-date traffic information, you can download the Monroe County Sheriff's Office traffic app. The Monroe County Tourist Development Council also offers an interesting app that features an audio driving tour, which will point out important sites and unique landmarks along the way to keep you entertained and off of your cell phone if traffic slows down.

It's crucial to follow all speed limits throughout the drive. Along the Overseas Highway, the speed limit never reaches more than 55 mph and slows down to 35 mph in areas where there might be pedestrian crossings. While you may be excited, remember it's about the journey, not the destination, so enjoy the beautiful views on this drive down the Florida coastline. Be safe attentive, and take your time.