It is a quintessential American past time to simply hop in the car and hit the open road. Driving is as American as apple pie and baseball. Millions of Americans hit the roads during the summer months to appreciate the beautiful vistas, get away from the city and simply enjoy life. There can be a darker side to this past time that many may not even think about. Although this article will discuss the 10 Best Scenic Drives in the U.S., it will start with a caution for drivers and how to protect yourself while on these drives.
One of the not-so-pleasant statistics that surround driving is the crashes, injuries and unfortunate fatalities that happen every day on the roads. As millions of Americans travel these scenic routes every summer, crash rates increase as well as fatalities during these heightened travel times, which requires vigilance.
2014, according to the IIHS saw 32,675 auto-related fatalities with 10 deaths per 100,000 people and just over 1 death per 100 million miles travelled. These statistics vary drastically across the U.S., with the fatality per 100,000 population being just 3.5 in the District of Columbia while it is 25.7 in Wyoming and per 100 million miles it is just 0.57 in Massachusetts and 1.65 in South Carolina.
If you are planning on hitting the road this summer, you’d better read these road trip tips. It is essential that your vehicle is properly maintained as vehicle malfunction can contribute to the seriousness of vehicle crashes. If possible, make sure your next vehicle includes crash avoidance features and highway features like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control that are helping reduce crash severity and help prevent them altogether.
The Right Insurance Choices
Driving the open road for seven days across multiple states sounds like a dream, until you get into an accident with an uninsured driver in Virginia (because it’s legal there) and you do not have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist covers. This can result in a catastrophe financially for you. Of course any accident on the road in another state can cause problems; only having the right insurance, full coverage and knowing the insurance laws where you will be visiting can save your trip. Make sure to get rental reimbursement too. Nothing cuts a trip shorter than not having a vehicle to drive.
10 Most Scenic Drives
- Hawaiian Drive – from the Hawaii Belt on the “Big Island” to Hana Highway on Maui – Hana Hwy (Hwy 360), Maui, Hawaii: 38 miles from Pauwela to Hana – almost any drive on these idyllic pacific islands is vista of beauty. Just remember to pull over and enjoy the scenery from time to time.
- Blue Ridge Parkway – 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina – driving the Appalachian Mountains on this highway gives you a view on mountains, valleys, farming and changing landscapes across its 469 miles.
- OverSeas Highway 1 – Florida: 160 miles from Miami to Key West – is one of the most interesting drives and one of the scariest for some drivers as bridges can span miles of ocean before briefly touching down on land again.
- Route 66 – 300 miles from Chicago, Illinois, to St Louis, Missouri – an American classic the original stage from Chicago to St. Louis, Missouri, just remember that most of the original route is in tatters. Visit the sites but stay on the main highway for safety.
- Pacific Coast Highway 1 – California: 332 miles from San Francisco to Santa Barbara – is a dichotomy of flavours from towering Redwoods on one side to a wide-open ocean on the next. Slow down to enjoy.
- San Juan Skyway – Colorado: 232 miles, begins in Durango on US Highway 550 North heading towards Durango Mountain Resort – through the San Juan Mountains includes a winding, twisting, non-guard railed section that can test your nerves. Stay on the road to enjoy amazing mountain and valley vistas.
- Acadia National Park Loop – Maine: 27 miles, through Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island – encompassing the highest point on the Atlantic Seaboard and the first spot in the US to witness the sunrise, it can be a surreal drive.
- Route 100 Byway – Vermont: 138 miles, crisscrossing along the spine of the Green Mountain from the Mad River Byway to the Massachusetts’s border – a local paradise drive of about 20 small charming towns and amazing fall foliage through the Vermont countryside.
- Going-to-the-Sun Road – is a 52-mile loop through Glacier National Park in Montana and crosses the Continental Divide. It is only open in the summer.
- Seward Highway – for the truly adventurous this Alaska Highway provides an unforgettable trip ascending over 1000ft and back to sea level within an hour.
Be prepared for an amazing journey by getting multiple car insurance quotes including full coverage for your adventure. It all begins right here.