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The 5 Most Dangerous Roads & Highways in Georgia

atlanta highways at sunset

Georgia’s highways are vital for getting around, but some are downright dangerous. The state has a higher rate of road accidents compared to national averages, making awareness of the most dangerous roads in Georgia essential. The most perilous roads in Georgia witness too many accidents, resulting in severe injuries and even deaths. 

These treacherous conditions have drivers feeling anxious during their daily commutes, worrying about their safety. The situation gets worse with heavy traffic, bad road conditions, and reckless drivers adding to the risks.

To tackle these dangers, drivers must know which roads to watch out for. With this knowledge, Georgians can be proactive, steering clear of trouble spots and driving cautiously to stay safe.

 

These are the most dangerous roads in Georgia

Georgia’s highways carry millions of residents and visitors every year, but some roads are demonstrably more dangerous than others. Based on a recent data analysis by MoneyGeek, these roads are: 

Rank Road  City
Moreland Ave. (Georgia 42) Atlanta
2 I-20 Decatur
3 I-285 Atlanta
4 Georgia 85 Riverdale
5 Old National Hwy. (Georgia 279) Atlanta

 

The most dangerous highway in Georgia: Moreland Avenue (State Route 42)

A stretch of Moreland Avenue (also known as State Route 42) is the deadliest highway stretch in Georgia. This 5-mile section runs through Atlanta’s eastern suburbs, specifically from South River Industrial Boulevard Southeast to Wylie Street Southeast. 

Here’s a closer look at the factors contributing to its danger:

  • High Crash Rate: This section of Moreland Avenue has the highest number of fatal crashes per mile in the state. According to the aforementioned study, it was the location of 12 fatal accidents resulting in 13 fatalities.
  • Urban Traffic Challenges: Moreland Avenue carries a significant amount of traffic, especially during rush hour. This high volume, combined with multiple traffic lights and intersections, creates a congested environment where car accidents are more likely.
  • Mixed-Use Road: It’s a mix of commercial and residential areas. This blend can lead to conflicts between motor vehicles traveling at different speeds and pedestrians trying to cross the road.
  • Potential for Aggressive Driving: The frustration of heavy traffic can sometimes lead to aggressive driving behaviors like speeding, following too closely, or improper lane changes

If you must travel this stretch of Moreland Avenue, be sure to drive defensively. Allow ample following distance, avoid distractions, and obey all traffic laws.

Be sure to consult with a Marietta personal injury lawyer for more guidance if you’ve been injured on any of the roads we’ve featured

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The most dangerous road in Georgia: I-20 from Exit 71 to Exit 65

One of the most dangerous interstates in the country is the section of Interstate 20 (I-20) between Exit 71 and Exit 65. This 5-mile stretch, located within the bustling Atlanta metro area, has unfortunately seen a concerning number of fatal accidents.

This specific section of I-20 has been the site of 11 fatal accidents. It runs through DeKalb County, specifically between the Lithonia Industrial Boulevard exit (Exit 71) and the Columbia Drive exit (Exit 65).

Several factors contribute to the dangers of this specific section of I-20:

  • The high volume of traffic, especially during peak hours, creates congestion and increases the risk of accidents.
  • The presence of multiple merging lanes can be challenging for drivers to navigate, especially during rush hour.
  • Distracted driving and speeding further exacerbate the risks, as drivers may not be fully focused or may be exceeding the speed limit in an attempt to navigate the heavy traffic.

 

The Perimeter (I-285) from Rt. 6 Interchange to Riverdale Rd. Exit 

The Perimeter, also known as Interstate 285 (I-285), is deemed the most dangerous interstate and a vital highway in the country that encircles Atlanta, Georgia.

However, a specific section of this highway, the stretch from the Rt. 6 Interchange to the Riverdale Rd. exit, has earned a particularly dangerous reputation. This section has consistently ranked among the deadliest in the state, with a concerning number of 11 fatal accidents

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, I-285 saw 139 fatal crashes in 2021 alone. This specific section of I-285 spans approximately 4.4 miles. It runs through DeKalb and Clayton counties, connecting the northern and eastern suburbs of Atlanta.

The Perimeter is one of the busiest highways in the state, carrying a significant amount of traffic throughout the day. This congestion creates a high-pressure environment where the risk of accidents is elevated.

The presence of numerous merging lanes, especially near interchanges, can be challenging for drivers to navigate and often lead to confusion and potential collisions.

 

GA 85 from Exit 237A to Springdale Dr. 

While not the absolute deadliest in the state, GA 85 from Exit 237A to Springdale Drive earns a concerning spot among Georgia’s most dangerous roads.

This 4-mile stretch of highway, connecting Forest Park and Riverdale in Clayton County, has seen a significant number of fatal accidents, making it a crucial area for drivers to exercise extreme caution. GA 85 witnessed 10 fatal accidents and had a concerning 2.5 crashes per mile between 2018 and 2020. 

 

Old National Hwy. (Georgia 279) 

Old National Highway, also known as Georgia State Route 279 (GA 279), is a significant stretch of road in Georgia, particularly between Bethsaida Road and the I-85 overpass. This specific section has been identified as one of the more hazardous areas in the state.

The average number of crashes occurring on this segment of SR 279 is approximately 80 per year according to Fayette County Transportation Corridor Study. About 32% of these crashes result in one or more injuries, indicating a high risk of harm to those involved.

While exact fatality numbers fluctuate yearly, the frequency and severity of accidents underscore the dangerous nature of this road.

This stretch runs through several key areas, providing access to residential neighborhoods, commercial zones, and connecting with major highways such as I-85. Its proximity to these bustling areas contributes to heavy traffic and frequent collisions.

 

Major incidents on these roads

High-profile crashes on Georgia’s most dangerous roads serve as tragic reminders of the risks associated with these highways.

Georgia residents along Moreland Avenue have expressed concerns about an ongoing construction project at a local intersection, which they claim has led to nearly a dozen crashes in recent weeks

In South Fulton, a tragic crash early on a Friday morning left family members devastated. The accident, which occurred shortly after 1:30 a.m. on the 7200 block of Old National Highway, resulted in three fatalities. Police reported that the incident involved a car and a three-wheeled Slingshot motorcycle.

Another tragic incident took place on Interstate 20 in Conyers early on a Wednesday morning. According to the Georgia State Patrol, a person died following a crash with a tractor-trailer on the interstate at the Exit 80 ramp near West Avenue. The crash occurred when the driver of a Honda Fit was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes and collided with the backside axle of the tractor-trailer, causing the Honda to overturn. 

The Gumprecht Law Firm is dedicated to helping those affected by these tragic accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash, an experienced Alpharetta personal injury lawyer from our firm is here to assist you.

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Safety tips for drivers in GA

Driving on Georgia’s roads can present various challenges, especially on highways known for high accident rates. Here are essential safety tips to help you navigate these roads safely and know what to do if an accident occurs.

 

Defensive Driving Techniques:

  • Stay Alert: Always be aware of your surroundings and the actions of other drivers. Pay special attention to traffic patterns and potential hazards, especially on busy highways like I-285 and I-75.
  • Keep a Safe Distance: Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This gives you ample time to react to sudden stops or unexpected maneuvers.
  • Avoid Distractions: Refrain from using your phone or engaging in other distractions while driving. Focus on the road and your driving.
  • Obey Speed Limits: Adhere to posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to road conditions. Speeding is a major factor in many accidents.
  • Use Turn Signals: Signal your intentions well in advance of turning or changing lanes. This helps other drivers anticipate your movements and react accordingly.
  • Be Cautious in Construction Zones: Slow down and follow all signs and instructions in construction zones. These areas can be particularly hazardous with narrow lanes and sudden changes in traffic flow.

 

How legal representation can help

Dealing with insurance claims after an accident on Georgia’s dangerous roads can be complex and overwhelming. The Gumprecht Law Firm offers expert legal representation to navigate this process, ensuring you understand your policy terms, proving liability, negotiating with insurance adjusters, and accurately calculating damages.

Our skilled Alpharetta personal injury lawyer can handle all aspects of your case, from evidence gathering to litigation if necessary, aiming to secure fair compensation for your injuries and losses. If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options and let us advocate for your rights.