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Interstate 20 Accident News and Resources

Interstate 20 was built in 1957 and quickly emerged as a major highway that runs through several metropolitan areas in the southern United States. The interstate provides a connection for drivers that runs through the northern tier of several southern states.

The interstate is the 6th longest east-to-west running interstate in the United States and the 10th longest in the country.

States that Interstate 20 Passes Through

Interstate 20 is a major roadway located in the southern half of the United States. This roadway stretches a total of 1,539 miles and begins in Kent, Texas. On its journey to Florence, South Carolina, the interstate passes through several states. These include:

  • Texas: 636.08 miles
  • Louisiana: 189.87 miles
  • Mississippi: 154.61 miles
  • Alabama: 214.7 miles
  • Georgia: 202.61 miles
  • South Carolina: 141.51 miles


As the roadway stretches across each state, it connects motorists to several major cities. From east to west, these cities include:

  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Augusta, Georgia
  • Columbia, South Carolina

From the Interstate 20 terminus at Interstate 95, the highway continues approximately two miles east into the city of Florence, South Carolina. It is at this point that the road is referred to as Interstate Business 20.

Accident Types on I81
Rear-end
Collisions:

This type of accident occurs when a vehicle hits the vehicle in front of it on the roadway. There are many reasons why this type of accident takes place, often due to driver error while on the interstate..

Accident Types on I81
Truck
Accidents:

Roughly 50% of truck accidents on the interstate take over four hours to clean up. Extensive delays along these narrow roadways make traveling on the interstate even more hazardous.

Accident Types on I81
Motorcycle
Accidents:

When a motorcycle accident occurs the results can be severe for a rider. That's because motorcycles & their riders have little protection when involved in an accident with a larger car or truck.

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Rear-end
Collisions:

This type of accident occurs when a vehicle hits the vehicle in front of it on the roadway. There are many reasons why this type of accident takes place, often due to driver error while on the interstate..

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Truck
Accidents:

Roughly 50% of truck accidents on the interstate take over four hours to clean up. Extensive delays along these narrow roadways make traveling on the interstate even more hazardous.

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Motorcycle
Accidents:

When a motorcycle accident occurs the results can be severe for a rider. That's because motorcycles & their riders have little protection when involved in an accident with a larger car or truck.

Major Economic Hubs from Interstate 20

As the interstate passes through each state between Texas and South Carolina, it serves major southern economic hubs in various areas. These are outlined below.

This type of direct access provided by the interstate allows travelers to make it to major cities within each state more easily.

Major Intersections on Interstate Highway 20

There are several major highways that intersect with I-20 across the country. These include:

Texas: In Texas, I-20 intersects with Interstate 10 East toward San Antonio and Interstate 10 West toward El Paso while in the Balmorhea area. In Dallas, I-20 intersects with Interstate 45 South to Houston, Interstate 35 South to Austin, Interstate 35 North to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Interstate 30 East toward Little Rock, Arkansas.

Louisiana: In the Shreveport area, I-20 intersects with Interstate 49 North to Texarkana, Arkansas, and Interstate 49 South toward Baton Rouge.

Mississippi: In Mississippi, I-20 intersects with I-55 South toward New Orleans and Interstate 55 North toward Memphis, Tennessee. In the Meridian area, the interstate highway intersects with Interstate 59 south toward Hattiesburg.

Alabama: In the Birmingham area, the interstate intersects Interstate 65 South toward Montgomery, Interstate 65 North toward Nashville, and Interstate 22 toward Tupelo.

Georgia: In the Atlanta metropolitan area, Interstate 20 intersects with Interstate 75 South toward Valdosta, Interstate 75 North toward Chattanooga, Interstate 85 North toward Charlotte, North Carolina, and Interstate 85 South toward Montgomery, Alabama.

South Carolina: In South Carolina, I-20 intersects with Interstate 95 North in Fayetteville and Interstate 95 South heading toward Savanna, Georgia.

These major collections allow drivers to make it to their destinations far easier by providing them with straightforward routes that they can follow.

Auxiliary Routes

Both Georgia and Louisiana proposed two interstate routes that were never completed. These roads were intended to bypass around Monroe, Louisiana, and bypass the south side of downtown Atlanta.

There are four existing auxiliary routes located along Interstate 20 in four different states. These include:

Interstate 220 in Shreveport, Louisiana: This east-west bypass route travels around Shreveport and is 17.62 miles from Interstate 20 and Louisiana Highway 3132.

Interstate 220 in Jackson, Mississippi: This roadway is a loop around Jackson that provides an interstate connection for Interstate 55 and Interstate 20.

Interstate 520 in Augusta, Georgia: This 23.34-mile roadway encircles most of Augusta, Georgia, and North Augusta, South Carolina.

Interstate 820 in Fort Worth, Texas: This roadway is a loop of Interstate 20 in Fort Worth that is a little over 35 miles in length. This roadway travels around the city and through some of the area’s suburbs.

The Dangers of Interstate 20

According to statistics provided by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), Interstate 20 ranks as the fourth most dangerous interstate in the United States for commercial vehicle drivers. The information, which is maintained by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) was based on all fatal accidents reported between 2011 and 2015 in rain or snow.

During this four-year period, the interstate had a frequency of 4.7 fatalities for every 100 miles during rain and snow. In terms of fatal accidents during these weather conditions, Interstate 20 ranks third in the total number of deaths.

In 2021, a second study surrounding the interstate across major cities was conducted that determined the fatality rate increased to 13.52 fatal accidents per every 100 miles. This positioned the interstate highway as the second most dangerous highway in the country.

Why Do So Many Accidents Take Place on Interstate 20?

Given the high speeds of the interstate and how dense the traffic patterns are around the metropolitan areas, it is no surprise that this roadway sees such a high number of serious accidents.

Although accidents can take place for a variety of reasons, there are several factors that seem to be common in the majority of these accidents. These include:

  • Speeding: The speed limit on Interstate 20 in eastern Texas is 75-miles per hour. There is also a stretch of the interstate highway that allows traffic speeds of up to 80-miles per hour. Studies have found that drivers failing to control their vehicles due to excessive speeds were the cause of nearly one-third of all crashes. When high-speed vehicles approach congested areas or bad weather on the highway, it can be challenging for them to slow down in order to avoid collisions.
  • Distracted Driving: Anytime a motorist takes their attention off the road ahead, they pose a danger to themselves and others sharing the road. Even a few seconds of inattention can result in life-threatening crashes. We see many accidents take place on the interstate due to drivers who are looking at their cell phones, changing the radios, reaching for food, or turning to other passengers in the vehicle. In just a few seconds, a vehicle traveling at the maximum speed limit can pass more than 100-yards of the roadway. Being distracted at any time can have devastating consequences.
  • Drunk Drivers: Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol are a leading cause of accidents on Interstate 20. Reports provided by the Texas Department of Transportation show that one person dies in an alcohol-related incident nearly every nine hours and six minutes in the Lone Star State. When intoxicated drivers enter Interstate 20, they place the lives of others at risk. We see far too many drivers enter the wrong way onto the interstate highway while under the influence of alcohol. As a result, they crash head-on into other vehicles. In many instances, these crashes occur at highway speeds, increasing the chances of fatal injuries.
  • Drowsy Drivers: Given the fact that Interstate 20 is one of the most commonly traveled roads for truckers in Texas, it is no surprise that driving drowsy is one of the leading causes of crashes. Driving while sleepy or drowsy can pose some of the same dangers as driving while impaired. Falling asleep behind the wheel can result in the loss of control of the vehicle. Drivers who doze off for a few seconds can cause a crash instantly. We see many of these accidents occur late in the evening and early in the morning. Drivers who are late commuters, shift workers, late-night travelers, or long-haul truck drivers are among the most commonly involved drivers in these crashes.
  • Inclement Weather: Weather can change in an instance. Drivers do have an obligation to slow down for slick roads or at least reduce their speeds while traveling in areas with limited visibility. However, not everyone uses caution during adverse weather conditions. As a result, we see many crashes occur during rain, icy conditions, snow, fog, and even dust storms on this major highway.

We also see many accidents take place in work zones across the interstate. Construction zones present safety hazards that thousands of drivers must pass through every day.

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Staying out of the truck blind spot as often as possible.

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Only pass semi-trucks while utilizing the left lane.

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Do not follow too closely to semi-trucks and commercial vehicles.

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Do not drive recklessly or in an aggressive manner while near a semi-truck.

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If you encounter an aggressive truck driver while traveling on Interstate-95, let them pass and stay away from their vehicles whenever possible.

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Be aware of traffic patterns and the conditions around you.

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Report any dangerous truck drivers you encounter to law enforcement as soon as possible.

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Minimize any distractions in your vehicle whenever possible.

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Staying out of the truck blind spot as often as possible.

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Only pass semi-trucks while utilizing the left lane.

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Do not follow too closely to semi-trucks and commercial vehicles.

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Do not drive recklessly or in an aggressive manner while near a semi-truck.

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If you encounter an aggressive truck driver while traveling on Interstate-95, let them pass and stay away from their vehicles whenever possible.

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Be aware of traffic patterns and the conditions around you.

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Report any dangerous truck drivers you encounter to law enforcement as soon as possible.

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Minimize any distractions in your vehicle whenever possible.

The Route and Dangers of I-20

Types of Collisions We See on the Interstate

The majority of accidents that take place on Interstate 20 are rear-end collisions. These accidents are often caused by a combination of inattention, improper speeding, and drivers following too closely. This is particularly true in heavy traffic.

The second type of crash that occurs most often on Interstate 20 is sideswipe crashes. People who become distracted while operating their vehicles are more likely to drift from their own lanes and strike other vehicles traveling nearby.

Multi-vehicle pile ups occur on the interstate fairly often as well, contributing to the high number of serious injuries and fatality crashes that we see each year on this roadway.

Accidents involving semi-trucks are also leading across Interstate 20. Commercial vehicles travel across the interstate every day to deliver products. Given the significant number of trucks that travel on the road, it is no surprise that they are present in many accidents. 

Accidents involving tour buses are fairly common on the interstate as well. Most tour buses take the interstate highway to travel to their destinations as the smaller roads in each state do not provide them with the space needed to maneuver the vehicles easily. 

These and other types of accidents can result in serious injuries for those involved. Given the high number of commercial vehicles on the interstate highway and the close spaces between the vehicles traveling along the business roadway, the chances of accidents ending in multiple injuries are much higher. 

The Future of the Interstate

Over the next decade, Interstate 20 will be transformed in several states across its 1500 mile stretch.

In Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation has a planned $830 million I-20 project that will turn I-20 between Midland and Odessa into three lanes of travel in each direction. This project will also have one-way frontage roads, improved locations for entrances and exits to the interstate, create new interchanges, and convert underpasses at eight different locations.

The state of Louisiana has proposed a $20 million plan that aims to widen a 2-mile stretch of the interstate eastward from Highway 165 near Pecanland Mall. 

Another large road widening project is set to begin on Interstate 20 in South Carolina. The project is set to begin where the roadway transitions from six lanes to four lanes of travel just east of US Highway 378. South Carolina officials also plan to replace the east and westbound bridges of the interstate over the Norfolk Southern Railroad. 

In Mississippi, the Department of Transportation is in the midst of replacing the slide on the outside of the eastbound lanes within the southwest quadrant interchange near Ellis Avenue. This project was projected to cost roughly $853,000 and also includes the removal of guardrails and excess materials from the roadway.

The state of Georgia plans to reconstruct all of the mainline and shoulders of Interstate 20 after a slew of deadly accidents occurred on the roadway. The project aims to reduce the number of fatalities that take place on the interstate by making it safer for travelers. The project will add an extra 2-foot asphalt shoulder to each of the four shoulders for the full 12.7-mile length of the roadway project. The project is broken down into several stages with the intention to create new outside travel lanes and reconstruct the inside travel lanes, and take other actions aimed to prevent severe crashes.

The state of Alabama is planning a $6.51 million project that is aimed to resurface the roadway and widen a portion of the interstate between exit 71 and Interstate 359. Another $83.4 million road-widening project and bridge replacement project was also proposed for the area between Skyland and McFarland Boulevards.

Each of the proposed and planned projects is geared toward creating a safer place for travelers. Given the overall views of how dangerous the interstate is, it is critical that these and other projects are put underway to ensure travelers are able to make it to their destinations safely.

Types of Collisions We See on the Interstate

The majority of accidents that take place on Interstate 20 are rear-end collisions. These accidents are often caused by a combination of inattention, improper speeding, and drivers following too closely. This is particularly true in heavy traffic.

The second type of crash that occurs most often on Interstate 20 is sideswipe crashes. People who become distracted while operating their vehicles are more likely to drift from their own lanes and strike other vehicles traveling nearby.

Multi-vehicle pile ups occur on the interstate fairly often as well, contributing to the high number of serious injuries and fatality crashes that we see each year on this roadway.

Accidents involving semi-trucks are also leading across Interstate 20. Commercial vehicles travel across the interstate every day to deliver products. Given the significant number of trucks that travel on the road, it is no surprise that they are present in many accidents. 

Accidents involving tour buses are fairly common on the interstate as well. Most tour buses take the interstate highway to travel to their destinations as the smaller roads in each state do not provide them with the space needed to maneuver the vehicles easily. 

These and other types of accidents can result in serious injuries for those involved. Given the high number of commercial vehicles on the interstate highway and the close spaces between the vehicles traveling along the business roadway, the chances of accidents ending in multiple injuries are much higher. 

The Future of the Interstate

Over the next decade, Interstate 20 will be transformed in several states across its 1500 mile stretch.

In Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation has a planned $830 million I-20 project that will turn I-20 between Midland and Odessa into three lanes of travel in each direction. This project will also have one-way frontage roads, improved locations for entrances and exits to the interstate, create new interchanges, and convert underpasses at eight different locations.

The state of Louisiana has proposed a $20 million plan that aims to widen a 2-mile stretch of the interstate eastward from Highway 165 near Pecanland Mall. 

Another large road widening project is set to begin on Interstate 20 in South Carolina. The project is set to begin where the roadway transitions from six lanes to four lanes of travel just east of US Highway 378. South Carolina officials also plan to replace the east and westbound bridges of the interstate over the Norfolk Southern Railroad. 

In Mississippi, the Department of Transportation is in the midst of replacing the slide on the outside of the eastbound lanes within the southwest quadrant interchange near Ellis Avenue. This project was projected to cost roughly $853,000 and also includes the removal of guardrails and excess materials from the roadway.

The state of Georgia plans to reconstruct all of the mainline and shoulders of Interstate 20 after a slew of deadly accidents occurred on the roadway. The project aims to reduce the number of fatalities that take place on the interstate by making it safer for travelers. The project will add an extra 2-foot asphalt shoulder to each of the four shoulders for the full 12.7-mile length of the roadway project. The project is broken down into several stages with the intention to create new outside travel lanes and reconstruct the inside travel lanes, and take other actions aimed to prevent severe crashes.

The state of Alabama is planning a $6.51 million project that is aimed to resurface the roadway and widen a portion of the interstate between exit 71 and Interstate 359. Another $83.4 million road-widening project and bridge replacement project was also proposed for the area between Skyland and McFarland Boulevards.

Each of the proposed and planned projects is geared toward creating a safer place for travelers. Given the overall views of how dangerous the interstate is, it is critical that these and other projects are put underway to ensure travelers are able to make it to their destinations safely.

The Route and Dangers of I-95

Types of Collisions We See on the Interstate

The majority of accidents that take place on Interstate 20 are rear-end collisions. These accidents are often caused by a combination of inattention, improper speeding, and drivers following too closely. This is particularly true in heavy traffic.

The second type of crash that occurs most often on Interstate 20 is sideswipe crashes. People who become distracted while operating their vehicles are more likely to drift from their own lanes and strike other vehicles traveling nearby.

Multi-vehicle pile ups occur on the interstate fairly often as well, contributing to the high number of serious injuries and fatality crashes that we see each year on this roadway.

Accidents involving semi-trucks are also leading across Interstate 20. Commercial vehicles travel across the interstate every day to deliver products. Given the significant number of trucks that travel on the road, it is no surprise that they are present in many accidents. 

Accidents involving tour buses are fairly common on the interstate as well. Most tour buses take the interstate highway to travel to their destinations as the smaller roads in each state do not provide them with the space needed to maneuver the vehicles easily. 

These and other types of accidents can result in serious injuries for those involved. Given the high number of commercial vehicles on the interstate highway and the close spaces between the vehicles traveling along the business roadway, the chances of accidents ending in multiple injuries are much higher. 

The Future of the Interstate

Over the next decade, Interstate 20 will be transformed in several states across its 1500 mile stretch.

In Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation has a planned $830 million I-20 project that will turn I-20 between Midland and Odessa into three lanes of travel in each direction. This project will also have one-way frontage roads, improved locations for entrances and exits to the interstate, create new interchanges, and convert underpasses at eight different locations.

The state of Louisiana has proposed a $20 million plan that aims to widen a 2-mile stretch of the interstate eastward from Highway 165 near Pecanland Mall. 

Another large road widening project is set to begin on Interstate 20 in South Carolina. The project is set to begin where the roadway transitions from six lanes to four lanes of travel just east of US Highway 378. South Carolina officials also plan to replace the east and westbound bridges of the interstate over the Norfolk Southern Railroad. 

In Mississippi, the Department of Transportation is in the midst of replacing the slide on the outside of the eastbound lanes within the southwest quadrant interchange near Ellis Avenue. This project was projected to cost roughly $853,000 and also includes the removal of guardrails and excess materials from the roadway.

The state of Georgia plans to reconstruct all of the mainline and shoulders of Interstate 20 after a slew of deadly accidents occurred on the roadway. The project aims to reduce the number of fatalities that take place on the interstate by making it safer for travelers. The project will add an extra 2-foot asphalt shoulder to each of the four shoulders for the full 12.7-mile length of the roadway project. The project is broken down into several stages with the intention to create new outside travel lanes and reconstruct the inside travel lanes, and take other actions aimed to prevent severe crashes.

The state of Alabama is planning a $6.51 million project that is aimed to resurface the roadway and widen a portion of the interstate between exit 71 and Interstate 359. Another $83.4 million road-widening project and bridge replacement project was also proposed for the area between Skyland and McFarland Boulevards.

Each of the proposed and planned projects is geared toward creating a safer place for travelers. Given the overall views of how dangerous the interstate is, it is critical that these and other projects are put underway to ensure travelers are able to make it to their destinations safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do after being in an accident on Interstate 20?

 If you are the victim of an auto accident on Interstate 20, you may be able to make a financial recovery after being injured. There are several things you should do to make sure your legal rights and best interests are protected. These include: 

  1. Call 911 Immediately: If you’ve been in an auto accident on Interstate 20, taking care of yourself and your passengers first is important. Contact 911 immediately to have the police and paramedics respond to the scene. An ambulance can transport you and other injured victims to local hospitals. It is crucial to undergo a medical exam to determine your injuries and how bad they are. Hold on to any medical bills you receive, as you will need this information later. 
  2. Request Law Enforcement at the Crash: Police will come to the scene and create a report of the auto accident. This report will show who was involved in the car crash, the insurance information of those involved, who was engaging in reckless driving practices, and what caused the accident. Get a copy of the police report for your records.
  3. Secure the Scene: Secure the scene of the collision if you can do so. If possible, move the vehicle you were driving to the side of the road, so it is not blocking traffic. Turn on your four-ways (emergency lights) to warn other drivers on the roadway. If you cannot move your vehicle, do not leave it until it is safe. 
  4. Gather Evidence from the Crash Site: Evidence that is found at the actual accident scene site can be critical when it comes to proving your side of the story. You will want to exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, get their contact information as well. Take pictures of the vehicles involved, the road conditions, and your injuries. These pictures will be beneficial when filing a claim for compensation later.
  5. Cooperate With the Authorities: Following an auto accident, it is important to cooperate with the authorities while at the actual accident scene. This includes law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and other first responders. When asked, you will want to provide your name and contact information to the police and medical responders. 
  6. Contact Your Insurance Carrier: It is important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Your insurance carrier will need some basic information from you to start the claims process. They will need your name, address, phone number, and policy number. They will also need to know what happened in the accident and who was at fault. Be sure to give them as much information as possible so that they can help you get the best possible outcome. It can be helpful for you to consult with a car accident attorney before speaking with your insurance carrier by requesting a free consultation. 
  7. Keep Records: Following your collision, keeping records of what happened is vital. This includes taking pictures of the actual accident scene, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and writing down your recollection of events. You will want to keep medical bills that show your medical expenses, estimates to repair your vehicle, and other evidence to prove your damages.
  8. Contact an attorney: It is important to find a law firm with extensive experience handling car accident cases in your state. This is especially true if you suffered injuries due to another motorist’s careless or reckless driving. Each state has its own laws governing car accidents, so it is crucial to find an attorney familiar with the laws in the state where your Interstate 20 car accident occurred.

 Taking these steps can help to ensure your legal rights and best interests are protected as you move forward from your car accident.

Do I need to work with a personal injury lawyer after my Interstate 20 accident?

It is important to understand that you have no legal obligation to work with a personal injury attorney to represent you after your auto accident. However, retaining legal representation is in your best interest. After a car accident, it is important to understand your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. A personal injury lawyer can seek the maximum compensation for your legal case.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to negotiate with insurance companies and get the best possible outcome for your case. If you were injured in a car accident on Interstate 20, contact a knowledgeable law firm today to schedule a free consultation to explore the legal options available to help you move forward.

When is the best time to contact an attorney after an injury accident on Interstate 20?

Injured victims should seek legal guidance as soon as possible after an auto accident on Interstate 20. In the time following a crash, the insurance adjustor for the at-fault driver will likely try to minimize the amount of money they have to pay. Having a skilled team from a seasoned law firm by your side can help ensure you are not taken advantage of by these self-serving entities. 

Waiting to reach out to an attorney can jeopardize the strength of your personal injury case. Waiting can result in lost evidence and the inability to reach out to witnesses. It can also result in you being unable to recall specific details of the crash. Reaching out to a law firm early on can ensure you have the strongest case possible and all the evidence you need. 

An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to investigate the incident, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company to get you the maximum compensation possible. They will also be able to answer any questions about the legal process and help you navigate this difficult time.

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Be extra alert:

This seems obvious, but try to be extra alert when driving on dangerous highways. Act as if you’re driving in poor road conditions (heavy rain or snow or poor visibility).

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Plan ahead:

If you’re traveling long distances on a road trip or for work or pleasure, plan ahead. Consider when you’ll hit heavy-traffic areas and the weather conditions throughout your trip.

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Rest:

If you feel drowsy, take a break and let someone else drive or pull off in a safe place for a quick nap. Here are some keen warning signs of drowsy driving: yawning or blinking frequently, watering eyes, difficulty recalling the past few miles that you’ve driven, missing exits, or drifting from your lane.

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Obey traffic laws:

Always obey traffic laws. Not only will this prevent you from receiving a ticket, but you’re less likely to get into a fatal car accident if you obey the speed limit and other traffic regulations.

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