This Popular Route In The South Was Ranked The Third Most Feared For A Deadly Reason

When most people think of travel dangers, they might imagine exotic poisonous snakes or plane crashes. However, driving can be one of the biggest threats of all. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are one of the most common causes of death for Americans aged 55 and under and the leading cause of death for U.S. citizens traveling abroad.

This might not be so surprising to the drivers who frequent Texas' Route 90. The highway, which runs east and west from Van Horn to Orange, was named the third most feared route in the United States in a Gunther Mitsubishi survey. The poll asked 3,000 roadtrippers to name the highway they're most nervous to drive on, and Route 90 was highlighted for its long stretches of desolate country road.

Most stressful is the section between Del Rio and Marathon, according to the study, which is scarcely populated and lacks essential services, such as gas stations and restaurants. Even more frightening, some portions are far from emergency help and roadside assistance, making the route a scary place to suffer an accident or medical emergency.

Attractions found along the route

A middle-of-nowhere road might not seem like the kind of place you'd end up on vacation, but Route 90's 607 miles are dotted with interesting towns and attractions. For starters, the route isn't all barren desert. Major cities including San Antonio and Houston sit along Route 90 and are packed with fun sights and activities. Visit San Antonio and get to know the Lone Star State's roots with a stop at the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. In Houston, check out the city's space center, museums, and colorful murals.

If you end up on one of Route 90's rural stretches, you'll still find gems along the way. Marfa might be the most famous little town on the road, known for its iconic Prada boutique (it's actually an art installation, and it's located 37 miles west of the town on Route 90). The area hosts multiple art museums and top-notch restaurants — expect Texas staples like brisket, tacos, and burritos. Marfa is also known as the site of the "Marfa Lights," mysterious glowing orbs that appear sporadically in the town.

Marathon is another stop along the route that, at first glance, gives off ghost-town vibes. But look a little closer and you'll find the perfectly manicured Gage Gardens, the green Fort Pena Colorado Park, and some of the best barbecue in the state at Brick Vault Brewery and Barbecue. Marathon also leads straight to Big Bend National Park via Highway 385.

How to prepare for a drive down Route 90

If you plan to take Route 90 for an upcoming road trip, don't fear the desolate stretches too much. According to a MoneyGeek analysis of the deadliest roads in Texas, you're much more likely to run into trouble on one of the busy interstates, which tend to see the highest number of fatal crashes. In fact, Route 90 didn't even crack the top 10 for deadly car accidents.

Still, driving for hours down a mostly deserted road can be intimidating. Before your trip, stock up on any necessities you might need during your drive. This includes an emergency first aid kit packed with medicine, gauze, and antibiotic ointment. If you already have a kit, check the dates to ensure no medicine is outdated. You'll also want to pack enough food and water to hold you over in case you break down (or get hungry between towns).

Make sure your car is ready for the journey too. Check your tire pressure beforehand, and bring along a spare just in case. Stay on top of routine maintenance such as oil changes, and if it's been a while since your last tune-up, book one with your local auto shop. Finally, before hitting the road, consider mapping your gas station stops to avoid running out of gas during your drive.