Looking for a summertime road trip adventure? Consider these 5 scary American roadies

From QuestionPro and Gunther Mitsubishi | 

  • Survey asks which routes roadtrippers fear breaking down on most.
  • US Route 285 in New Mexico is the most feared road trip in the country
  • Infographic showing America's 50 most feared road trips.

The quintessential American summer road trip is an epic journey that unites families and friends. It’s an adventure that lets you meander through the tapestry of America's landscapes, steeped in captivating scenery, quaint towns, and timeless charm. However, behind the enticing postcard-perfect panoramas, a summer trip can quickly become dangerous if you breakdown in a remote area with extreme summer temperatures… 

Gunther Mitsubishi commissioned QuestionPro to run a survey of 3,000 regular roadtrippers, and asked them to rank which routes (in each state) across America they fear breaking down on the most. 

#1st Most Feared: US Route 285 in New Mexico

The most feared route among American roadtrippers is along US Route 285 in New Mexico. This stretch of road traverses vast areas with limited access to services and amenities. Its remoteness means that breakdowns could leave travelers stranded for extended periods before help arrives. The route often passes through arid desert regions, where extreme temperatures can take a toll on both vehicles and individuals. Moreover, the highway stretches across long distances between towns and gas stations, increasing the risk of running out of fuel or encountering mechanical issues without immediate assistance. 

#2nd Most Feared: California’s Death Valley Road (SR-190)

Unsurprisingly, California’s Death Valley Road (SR-190) came in 2nd place overall. Spanning through the heart of Death Valley National Park, this desolate and unforgiving road poses numerous dangers to stranded motorists. Firstly, Death Valley is one of the hottest places on Earth, this extreme heat can quickly lead to dehydration, heatstroke, and other life-threatening conditions for people without proper provisions or shelter. Additionally, the area is characterized by vast stretches of arid desert with limited vegetation and shade, making it difficult to find relief from the sweltering sun. Another concern is the remoteness of the location, as Death Valley Road is sparsely populated and offers minimal services. The lack of nearby towns or amenities means that assistance may be hours away, leaving stranded drivers exposed to the elements and potential hazards. The road itself is also challenging, with steep grades, sharp turns, and narrow shoulders, increasing the risk of accidents or collisions for both stranded motorists and passing vehicles.

Flash floods are another significant danger in Death Valley, particularly during summer thunderstorms. Sudden downpours can quickly transform dry washes into raging torrents, cutting off access and further complicating recovery efforts. Moreover, the vastness of Death Valley can make it difficult to pinpoint an exact location for emergency responders, prolonging the wait for assistance.

#3rd Most Feared: Texas' US Route 90

Texas’ US Route 90 was voted as the 3rd most feared. This route often passes through arid regions, where extreme heat and unpredictable weather conditions can be a challenge, particularly during the summer months. The sparse population along certain stretches may result in longer waiting times for help to arrive. Moreover, cellular network coverage can also be unreliable in certain areas, hampering communication efforts.

#4th Most Feared: Saddle Road (Hawaii Route 200)

In 4th position came Saddle Road (Hawaii Route 200). Saddle Road traverses rugged volcanic terrain and passes through remote areas with limited amenities and services. In the event of a breakdown, finding immediate assistance can be difficult due to the road's isolation and sparse population. The weather conditions on Saddle Road can be unpredictable, with sudden rainfall, fog, or strong winds. This can reduce visibility and make driving conditions treacherous, posing additional risks for stranded travelers. Moreover, parts of the road have steep inclines and sharp curves, requiring extra caution. Cell phone reception can be unreliable in certain sections, hindering communication for emergency assistance.

#5th Most Feared: Nevada’s US Route 50

And rounding up the top 5 most feared was Nevada’s US Route 50, known as the ‘Loneliest Road in America’. This stretch of highway passes through vast stretches of desolate desert and remote terrain, earning its moniker. The road offers limited access to services, towns, and amenities, making it challenging for stranded motorists to find immediate assistance. The isolation and sparse population along the route can lead to long waiting times before help arrives, especially in sections where there are vast distances between towns or gas stations. The extreme temperatures experienced in the Nevada desert, ranging from scorching heat during summers to frigid cold in winter, can add to the difficulties of being stranded without proper shelter or resources.

Infographic showing America's 50 most feared road trips

"Road trips are a cherished American tradition. The freedom of the open road, discovering new destinations, and sharing laughter with loved ones make road trips truly exhilarating experiences. However, amidst the excitement, it is crucial to recognize the importance of being prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. While breakdowns may be rare, they can dampen the spirit of the journey if not properly anticipated. So, embrace the thrill of the road trip, but remember, the best adventures are built on a foundation of preparedness, enabling you to tackle any challenges and keep the joy of the journey alive” says Joseph Gunther IV of Gunther Mitsubishi.

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