With thousands of miles of picturesque landscapes and snow-capped mountains to marvel at, Idaho’s roadways stretch across a multitude of different types of terrain. But, because these roadways are paved through such a wide variety of scenery, motorists are at a higher risk of being involved in an auto accident.
Did you know that more than 75% of all fatal car accidents in Idaho occur on state highways? In fact, Idaho is about to hit an all-time high in traffic-related fatalities. Here at The Advocates we’ve put together a list of the most dangerous roadways in Idaho in hopes to keep you safe and cautious in your next journey across the gem state.
5. Highway 20: A Fisherman’s Paradise, A Driver’s Worst Nightmare
From fighting off cowboys in pioneer Parma to cruising through a fisherman’s paradise up in Island Park, Highway 20 is a scenic route that truly captures the essence of Idaho’s variety of terrain. And while it stretches from that old western town all the way out to the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Idaho traffic experts argue that this is one of the most dangerous roadways in Idaho.
Despite the relatively flat stretch across most of the state, once US-20 reaches Island Park, where the roadway becomes a more vigorous and rocky terrain, more vehicular accidents are bound to occur here. The highway not only lures drivers into the rigid depths of the mountainous bends, but this area in particular is especially known for the numerous amounts of animals who venture out onto the highway.
4. Highway 34: Putting the ‘Wild’ in Wild West
Buckle up and get your wagon’s ready for a wild road trip back to early Idaho pioneer times. Known as the Pioneer Historic Byway, Highway 34 paves its way through desert lands, spirals around geological canvases, and traverses through the mountainous valleys of southeastern Idaho. But, despite having its American West spirits and historical canyons and caves, Highway 34’s route is ultimately a dangerously winding route.
While it may be the shortest gap between Salt Lake City and Yellowstone, Highway 34 is a disaster for wildlife-related car crashes. Especially down in Soda Springs, ID, where over the past few years local wildlife organizations, such as Fish and Game, have reported numerous amounts of large animals being held responsible for car accidents.
3. Interstate 15 in Inkom: A Moose Magnet
While being particularly susceptible to moose and deer crossings, Interstate 15 is a scenic bypass that parades around the base of the snow-capped Scout Mountain range in Inkom, Idaho. Located at the upper end of the Snake River Valley, I-15 has, in recent years, become more of a bridge for wildlife to scramble across the busy roadway.
According to regional conversation educator for Fish and Game, Jennifer Jackson stated that thousands of mule deer live within the small corridor of Bannock County, making it nearly impossible for the thousands of drivers who make this weekly journey to avoid car collisions with these animals. Though, in a recent attempt to somewhat curb their crossings, various wildlife agencies and conservation groups have had success in updating the already existing animal barrier to decrease wildlife-related car accidents.
2. Lolo Pass/Highway 12: The Road to an Icy Inferno
With an elevation at over 5,000 feet, Lolo Pass is a serpentine roadway that curves through the Rocky Mountains of Idaho and Montana. With its slick, winding turns, and in fact, a turn that stretches for 99 miles, this roadway is mostly known for its crossing with US-12, a motorcycle haven. But, don’t be fooled by the thick asphalt and smooth texture, Lolo Pass is a mere tease for cyclists and motorists.
Where Lolo Pass divides the Sandy River watershed from the Hood River watershed, the pass becomes a slippery, and quite literal, road slide. Locals will oftentimes caution drivers to avoid taking this route during the winter months, as these icy road conditions have caused hundreds of motorists to succumb to its treacherous, wintry path.
1. US-95: An American Catastrophe
Ranked as one of America’s worst highways, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US-95 has seen a rapid increase in the annual number of fatal car accidents over the last few years. In just the last decade alone, US-95 has seen over 140 fatal crashes. Now, it may not be as busy or as winding as some of the other highways, the fact that this road spans for over 500 miles, leaves drivers with an overwhelming amount of opportunity for a traffic catastrophe.
In fact, people in Idaho will often advise out-of-state drivers, and even in-state residents, to steer clear of this disastrous roadway during the holidays. One of the most dangerous times being around Memorial Day weekend and 4th of July.
Call The Idaho Advocates Today!
If you or a loved one have ever been injured in a highway accident, we understand how terrifying it can be. Our personal injury attorneys at The Advocates have successfully helped thousands of car accident victims just like you in the last two decades. Our job is to help restore your life back to what it once was before the devastating crash. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a FREE case evaluation. You can call us at (208)-995-2444 or chat with one of our attorneys on our homepage. You deserve an Advocate!