Stretching from Maine in the north to Florida in the south for 1,923.80 miles (3,096.06 km), the I-95 superhighway is one of the largest and most vital motorways in the United States. Passing through 15 states and connecting all major cities on the Eastern Seaboard, like Boston, New York, Jacksonville, and others, the I-95 is both an economic and transit artery for the regions it passes through. However, despite its invaluable contributions, the I-95 has grown in infamy as one of the nation's most treacherous highways. The I-95 routinely claims the lives of hundreds of motorists each year with a death rate of 14.88 fatalities per 100 miles. As recently as 2019, the I-95 had a nation-leading 284 deaths.
Poor Driving Conditions
One of the largest contributing factors to the dark reputation of the I-95 can be attributed to poor road conditions. As one would expect, the winter months in the more northerly states are often confronted with heavy rain and snowfall. Even with vigilant snow removers and plows, there is always the chance that significant portions of the interstate are unfit for driving.
Winter storms can occur seemingly out of nowhere at times and leave maintenance crews unprepared and drivers making daily commutes suddenly stuck in a potentially dangerous situation. Those who are not equipped with the proper equipment, such as snow tires, are the most susceptible to losing control of their car. The inexperience of certain drivers in harsh winter conditions can also play a factor.
If you do find yourself caught in a sudden flurry, make sure to pull over to the side of the road until the storm passes. As tempting as it might be to continue, it is not worth the risk. The safety of yourself and others is paramount.
Lack Of Police Presence
Due to the sheer size of the I-95, many sections of the highway have little to zero police presence. This has led to many instances of car accidents and fatalities being spurred on by reckless and negligent drivers.
The area just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is infamous for being the site of countless examples of drivers with no regard for the speed limit, let alone basic safety. Efforts have been made to try and increase the number of highway patrolmen and patrolwomen, but it is still unclear how much of an effect this has had in recent years. Other forms of hazardous driving, like driving drunk or under the influence of drugs, are also common.
Aside from the heightened risk of danger on I-95, there is also the issue of endless traffic jams and pileups. Due to the interstate's path leading through some of the most highly populated metropolitan areas in the United States, it should be no surprise that the I-95 is host to a higher-than-usual volume of vehicles.
As you would expect, the majority of this traffic occurs on the outskirts of large cities like New York and Miami. However, once you are a few hours outside of these large population centers, the drive is quite open and free. Driving in the summer can be particularly pleasant in the more southern states. With plenty of roadside attractions, taking a trip down the I-95 is not always an unpleasant experience.
Regardless of the I-95's reputation for being dangerous, this should not stop you from using it. As long as you are prepared for various weather conditions and approach your journey with added caution on account of some of the more reckless drivers that frequent the area, everything should be fine. The I-95 is an excellent way for those living on the east coast to travel north or south with relative ease. Whether visiting the sandy beaches in Miami or the cultural landmarks of New York City, the I-95 will help you get there.