During the summer months, many people drive along I-40 to visit neighboring states or to make a full cross-country trip. While all highways can be dangerous at any time of year, ABC 11 News states that I-40 is most dangerous in North Carolina during the summer months. During the months of May to September, from 2015 to 2017, 61 people lost their lives on the highway.
I-40 racked up even higher death tolls in the other states it passes through:
- 85 deaths in Tennessee
- 51 deaths in Arizona
- 50 deaths in New Mexico
- 34 deaths in Oklahoma
Not surprisingly, officials identified speed as the main contributing factor. They encouraged drivers to pay closer attention to their surroundings, abstain from substances that impair driving ability, avoid distractions and be mindful of the speed limits.
Forbes reported earlier this year that speed accounts for almost one in every three traffic fatalities. Researchers say the problem lies in the fact that speeding has become culturally acceptable to many people. It does not attract the type of stigma a DUI or other serious driving offenses do.
When drivers speed, not only do they increase the likelihood of a crash, but they also increase the severity of a potential crash. Some experts say that what is worse is that innocent victims often pay the price for that person’s decision. Drivers who speed often live to see another day while their passengers or the occupants of another vehicle do not.
Pedestrians and bikers are especially vulnerable to fatalities when struck by a speeding vehicle as they are not protected by metal caging and airbags. Not surprisingly, fatalities for pedestrians and bikers have been on a rise in the past few years as well.