What are the Most Dangerous Roads, Highways & Intersections in PA?

November 1, 2021
Legally Reviewed By Rand Spear, Esq.


The most dangerous roads in Pennsylvania have several factors that escalate their danger levels above the average road. Some of these factors include traffic, road conditions, ineffective signage, frequent construction areas, and increased driver aggressiveness. Whether you casually travel around or have a daily commute on a highway to work, it is important to know the most dangerous highways in Pennsylvania. This knowledge can help you avoid an auto accident. 

According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which calculates the number of accidents and fatal crashes per year, Philadelphia is home to many of the most dangerous roads in Pennsylvania. This factor makes sense due to Philly being an urban area. The higher population contributes to a high-traffic volume on the roads and highways around the city. More than a quarter of the most dangerous highways on the Pennsylvania list are located in Philly, which amounts to 24 deadly segments.

Below is a list of the most dangerous roads in Pennsylvania:


The chaotic traffic on this highway has led to numerous fatalities on this 29 mile stretch of road. Frequent construction areas and narrow lanes have contributed to the fatalities. Due to mounting frustration, drivers traveling this interchange practice aggressive driving and speeding, especially under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.


Interstate 83 is an 85 mile stretch of highway, which is mostly located in rural areas of Pennsylvania. This highway is a passageway that many travelers use to head to Maryland. Around Harrisburg, the highway undergoes frequent construction. Also, the city population contributes to several areas of traffic congestion. The most dangerous stretch of I-83 is very close to the Harrisburg Mall.


Interstate 81 is a long highway that vertically runs through the entire state of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania part of Interstate 81 stretches for over 200 miles. Parts of I-81 are dangerous, most notably the segment that runs through Chambersburg and Carlisle. This stretch of road averages nearly 85,000 drivers every day. Due to the congestion, there have been numerous accidents, including a 50-car pile-up. The road has also been shut down due to terrible tractor-trailer accidents.


Interstate 80, the longest east to west route in Pennsylvania, is a popular highway for cross state travel. The condition of I-80 leaves a lot to be desired with massive potholes and crumbling roadway. Two big contributors to the highway’s poor condition are the harsh winters and the heavy tractor trailer traffic. Tractor trailers are just a part of the traffic experienced on I-80, which leads to a heavily crowded highway. Due to the interstate winding around mountains, Interstate 80 also carries visibility issues.


Interstate 79 is another vertical highway that is used by vacationers. Unfortunately, this travel route is known for some intense twists, turns, and curves. Pair these curves with the aggressive drivers that travel I-79, and the relentless combination has caused plenty of accidents. The most dangerous part of Interstate 79 is the interchange between I-79 and I-70, which features a sudden turn and a tight U-shape hugging the interchange.


Interstate 78 passes through cities such as New York and Allentown, making it home to thousands of tractor trailers daily. With the high amounts of truck traffic, accidents regularly occur on I-78, especially on the 32 mile stretch in Lehigh Valley. Most accidents on this interstate are not malicious but are caused by sleep deprivation, improper training, or improper vehicle maintenance related to tractor trailer driving. Additional accidents and consistent construction zones also play a role in the I-78 accident rate.


Stretching close to 11 miles, Roosevelt Boulevard runs through Philadelphia and features several intersections with high accident rates. This northeast Philadelphia road is six lanes wide in both directions. Many drivers using this route frequently exceed the speed limit. Also, unfamiliar drivers often have trouble correctly navigating the Boulevard. Two especially dangerous intersections on Roosevelt Boulevard are the Red Lion Road intersection and the Grant Avenue intersection.


Located outside of Philadelphia in Bucks County, the Knights Road and Street Road intersection is noted as one of the most dangerous in the country. The intersection has an unconventional shape, poor lighting, and confusing traffic signs. When you pair that setting with aggressive drivers and unexpected jaywalkers, it is not surprising that countless accidents occur every year.


Overall Pennsylvania offers plenty of nice stretches of road for driving. However, as seen above, there are some general issues with roads throughout the state that contribute to these dangerous highways. A substantial number of Pennsylvania roads that are in poor condition with potholes and crumbling that wear out tires. Due to the mountains and the state’s varying landscape, some roads feature tight curves or steep hills. Driving along these curves or over these hills could obstruct your vision. Finally, deer are prevalent along many Pennsylvania roads, especially in the rural or wooded areas. The state suffers from many accidents caused by a sudden deer crossing. 

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