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Roadscapes Wednesday: US 431 Alabama One Of The World’s Most Dangerous Roads


Sadly, Anniston and Gadsden can not stay out of the bad news cycle.  I have got something new to add to the bad news East Alabama experience, and this time it involves a road.  According to the World Health Organization, US 431 from Dothan to the Tennessee State Line has been named as one of the world’s most dangerous roads.  The WHO’s “Global status report on road safety 2013” presents information on road safety from 182 countries, accounting for almost 99% of the world’s population.  The report indicates that worldwide the total number of road traffic deaths remains unacceptably high at 1.24 million per year.  Only 28 countries, covering 7% of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws on five key risk factors: drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints.

US 431 is also commonly known as the “Highway To Hell”, and according to the report, and the website, US 431 in Alabama was given a Fear Factor scale of 4 out of 10.  U.S. Route 431 running through Alabama is littered with crosses in memory of all the lives lost on this deadly section of road.  Voted one of “America’s Deadliest Highways” by Readers Digest in 2000, Route 431 is plagued by hazards including poor visibility, sudden 2-4 lane changes and speeding, all of which contribute to poor decision making and ultimately road fatalities.

Since 2006 the state of Alabama and ALDOT has worked hard to make the road safer for motorists, by widening dangerous stretches and increasing road patrols by State Troopers.  Last year, the United States had 33,808 road deaths, and US 431 was the country’s 4th most deadly road.  Bravo East Alabama, Bravo.  So does this mean Quintard Ave. in Anniston is a part of one of the most dangerous roads in the world?  According to this study, it does.

The reason why US 431 is ranked as one of the most dangerous roads in America and the world, is mostly because of a stretch of road south of Phenix City and north of Eufaula Alabama.  The road featured a dangerous 2-lane stretch that resulted in many people getting involved in crashes.  Today, the stretch is now a 4-lane highway and is much safer.  But there are other stretches along US 431 in Alabama that contributes to the most dangerous ranking.  One stretch is US 431 in Randolph County.

From Google Maps.

How about that short one lane stretch in Eufaula.

From Google Maps.

The Quintard Ave. Stretch in Anniston can be dangerous.

The stretch in Attalla where it’s a street is often dangerous.

The one way streets in Guntersville is also sometimes dangerous.

And the stretch going over Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville is also dangerous.

From Google Maps.

So nice going Alabama, one of your roads just made the world’s most dangerous roads list.  Maybe ALDOT will concentrate on making US 431 even more safer.  To view all of the dangerous roads in the world from Driving Experiences, click on the link or the picture below.

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