There is a bit of a crisis on the roads of the US lately, and it has to do with the truckers. Indeed, trucking and freight companies across the nation are having a serious struggle with their truckers. And, it has nothing to do with the truckers, actually, it's the exact opposite. There is a huge need for truck drivers in the US, and no one seems to be stepping up to the plate. Freight company is calling out for more drivers, offering higher median pay, sign on bonuses, increased salaries, all in an effort to get more drivers.
As for the reasons behind this, there are a number of theories and ideas, mostly it revolves around lifestyle and pay. With inflation, it seems that average hourly wage matches that of the average hourly wage of a fast food worker, or at least that gap is rapidly closing. This really is an issue, considering the amount of sacrifice involved in being a road going traveler full time.
Freight truckers and drivers are vital to the economy and are inordinately important for the shipping of goods across the country, and the efficiency of them directly affects the prices of almost all goods. So we owe a lot to freight truckers, no matter which country they are in. Truckers know the streets, highways and cities better than almost anyone else, they know the good places, and the bad places. Let's take a look at 15 places truckers are afraid to drive to, and 10 places they'd drive to any day.
Nebraska is one of the most dangerous states for truck drivers in the nation, due almost entirely to the weather and harsh road conditions that result from it. The high winds in the open spaces prove to be a huge danger, leading most truckers to be rightly afraid.
The only other state that has similar winds is Wyoming, with the same kind of open space. In Nebraska, the winds blow, as pictured above, and it's only made worse with winter ice. A rollover or a skid is nigh inevitable in those conditions.
For truckers driving in mid-spring to early summer, driving anywhere on any of the highways throughout Tornado Alley, a rather large area in the US midwest, stretching between Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and the fringes of the bordering states.
Hail, extreme wind, tornadoes, rain, flooding, it all leads to a terrible driving experience, and truckers are rightly afraid to drive through this danger zone when the weather is bad. Avoiding it often in the best interests of truckers, if possible.
Many truckers love the city of Chicago, and especially is this true of truckers looking for work, or looking for a new job. The amount of opportunity in the city is only appropriate for the iconic windy city.
For those who don't live near Chicago, it's likely well worth the effort to get up there and secure a job, as the median salary, according to sparefoot.com, is a fair amount higher than the national average. Besides, as to where you live wouldn't be all that important as a trucker, considering your home most often is on the roads.
While absolutely stunning, and perhaps one of the more scenic roads out there, Colorado's Million Dollar Highway is a treacherous road that has steep grades, tight turns, and a worrying lack of guard rails in many places. There's a reason many truckers don't like this road.
Beyond don't like, they are afraid of. It's often ranked as one of the most dangerous roads. There's some mystery as to where the name comes from, whether it's the million dollar views, the cost of the road's construction, or the local legend that a woman drove it and came down, saying that she wouldn't take a million dollars to drive the road ever again.
When it comes to driving in Florida, there aren't a lot of routes that many drivers would be too keen on driving, due to congestion and traffic. Besides, no one actually wants to spend a lot of time doing, well anything in Florida. Besides relaxing on a beach.
Things are a little different for Interstate 4 in Florida, as this is a highway many truckers are afraid of driving on. Consistently ranked at the top of the list of most deadly highways in the US, as well as seeing almost two deaths per every mile last year, it's really no wonder that truckers are afraid.
As the picture above well illustrates, it's a true pleasure to drive along I-64 heading westward in West Virginia, for the views alone it's a nice ride. The rolling green hills, the endless panorama, and the serenity are just a sliver of a weak description of the illustrious landscape truckers roll around the bends through.
It's not much of a stretch to understand it, especially considering for truckers that this highway is rarely overcrowded or congested, which leaves bridge views and emerald hills at sunset to be admired in peace, serenity, and the open road all your own.
While it might not seem like all that dangerous of a place, North Dakota is especially dangerous for truckers, not as much for other people. The death toll for truckers in North Dakota, according to businessinsider.com, is a startling 8.8%, compared to the national average around 2%.
Why is it so high? Most fatalities relate to the state's oil boom, and the amount of transportation traffic that engenders and creates. If a trucker has to take a route through this northern state of the US, they best be on the lookout, paying extra attention to the roads.
While the open spaces of this highway may appeal to the unwise or unseasoned trucker, the fact is that this stretch of highway, between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, is particularly deadly. The reasons behind this are due to a few different factors.
According to the Nevada AAA, this is one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in all of the state, partially due to the amount of people commuting between these two populated hubs, partially due to lack of seatbelts, and as truckers claim, drinking and driving paired with distracted driving.
The above photo, if it isn't evidence enough pointing towards why this stretch of highway is one of the most beautiful and favorite of truckers, is only one of the many views drivers get as they take any of the westbound routes from Montana down into Idaho.
The snow capped peaks, the vibrant, beautiful forest, the exposed grasslands and marshes, it's more than idyllic, and an absolutely moving experience if taken in the autumn, when the aspens turn vibrant golden and yellow. The stuff of dreams.
California's Route 138 isn't a road to mess around with, there's no mistaking that fact. It's often referred to as "Blood Alley" by Californians, according to popularmechanics.com. The name itself is something truckers don't want to hear.
The reason behind this is due to the wiggling, sharp turns and grades, along with the high death toll of the road, which speaks for itself. Any truckers would do best to take an alternative route, or know what exactly is their risking before they attempt to drive it.
While having seen a large number of extensive improvements recently, this highway was one of the worst in the country, especially for commercial drivers. The high number of fatalities, almost exclusively head on collisions, is the reason behind its inherent dangers. It had dangerous turns, blind curves, amongst any other things.
It became among truckers infamous, known as "The Killway," due to how many accidents occurred along its curves. Nowadays, it's much safer, but the somber reminder of the dangerous road it used to be still remains, and the fear.
Charlotte, North Carolina is a place that almost any trucker would go to for free, mostly because if they went there they'd be getting paid pretty well, too, with their employment being worth their time. This city is one of the best for truckers.
The city is a great home base for truckers, despite it being on the East Coast (often hated most by almost every trucker), due to the high rate of pay and salary, along with the fact that housing is remarkably cheap.
While this highway has some extraordinary open spaces, a feature of highways and drives that most truckers find most valuable and best, this particular open stretch of highway, between Phoenix and the California border, is inordinately dangerous.
Not all of it, and not all of Arizona, either, as the fatality tolls are fairly low throughout the state. All except for this stretch of highway, which sees up to 85 fatalities in a year, according to Popular Mechanics.
In South Carolina, there are plenty of highways that truckers would rather avoid completely, almost entirely due to the extreme congestion and traffic present along almost every highway, paired with the increased frustration and risk, along with the decrease in hourly pay due to lower miles per hour.
Yet, this highway, highway 17, is one that truckers are afraid of most, due to the danger involved, the risk of driving on it at all. It's a bit of a shame, too, because it's really a beautiful drive. Sharp, blind curves and an excess of wildlife crossings make this road too dangerous to risk it.
According to a ranking from sparefoot.com, the city of Columbus, Ohio ranks as the third best place in all the country for truckers to go to. That must mean it's pretty great, and any trucker would be a bit nuts to say that they wouldn't go here for free.
It ranked so high on the list due to job opportunities and pay, as well as a great going rate for housing, amongst other things. It's a pretty good home base, too, in a great location for routes across the country.
There's a good reason this show inspired such a crazy and dramatic show as "Ice Road Truckers," and that reason is entirely due to just how dangerous this highway is, one of the most dangerous in the US, and one of the most dangerous in the world. This doesn't stop truckers from driving on it for a living, but that doesn't mean they aren't afraid.
The highway has a stretch of 240 miles where there are no services of any kind, pair that with the extreme conditions and road elements (lowest recorded temperature in the US was recorded near this highway) and you've got a recipe for disaster, and fear.
Indianapolis, Indiana, is a beautiful city in the Midwest, and most any truck driver would say in a heartbeat that they'd drive here for free, any day of the week (unless they were in the middle of a haul.)
The reason this city is so well loved by truckers, and one of the best places for truckers to go has to do with its spectacular amount of work, and the great pay that truckers can earn from companies based here, and it makes the second ranked spot on Sparefoot's list for most affordable housing.
While Georgia itself is a fairly good city for truckers to find themselves, when it comes to the Interstate that runs through a portion of the city, I-285 to be specific, truckers will get slightly weak with fear just thinking about driving on it.
This highway alone is what makes Georgia rank 7th on the list of worst states for accident fatalities, as it sees almost four fatal crashes per ten miles along it's length, according to This Is Insider. That paired with the congestion that all truckers hate makes this highway a no-go for many drivers.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful drives in all of the United States, this highway is not only worth it for the spectacular views at almost any given roadside pull off of the entire highway, but also because it's a fairly laid back drive.
Truckers love it because it's an absolute treasure to drive, with not a lot of congestion, and views that really take you to a land of glee and inner peace. All the stresses of driving seem to melt as the road sweeps over ocean views, and mountain views, all in the same breath of relaxation.
While many of the roads in Montana offer spectacular views and slice of the most sought after thing in the freight world, unoccupied and empty roads, this particular stretch of highway in Montana is all of those things to just a little bit too much of a degree.
Highway 2 in Montana is particularly deserted, if there were to be some kind of accident, it would take an ambulance almost an 90 minutes to reach the scene. Pair that with the twisty two lane element of this route and it's a recipe for disaster and fear.
Kansas City, Missouri is a go to destination for many truckers, as this place is great for them, in many different ways. Like several of the cities featured in this article, Kansas City is great because it provides job security and affordable housing for truckers.
The biggest draw for truckers is what shines the most: the cost of housing, which is remarkably cheap, especially considering the average salary of truckers in the area. Though the other aspects aren't ranked as high, Kansas City has incredible value when it comes to home-ownership for truckers.
More often than not, the congestion and traffic found in major cities is merely a deterrent for truckers, and an annoyance that really sets back their mileage and pay per day. Time and miles are money for truckers, and traffic jams suck that up like nothing else.
But, it's little different for the city of Los Angeles, one of the most congested cities in the world, where traffic jams last for ages, and dangers are quite high. Truckers are afraid to go to this city, afraid for their paychecks as well as afraid of the risk of accidents.
Louisville, Kentucky is a great city for truckers, they'd go there for free any day, as it provides one key thing that a lot of truckers look for in a place to be, and that is a good housing price.
In Kentucky, the price of housing is remarkably cheap, according to Sparefoot, it is ranked fourth for best value. While the salaries for truckers there are lower, it's worth it for many truckers, for the ease of mind when it comes to other things.
Houston has some of the most dangerous roads in the country, and while Dallas has some of the best job opportunities, Texas isn't always the best for truckers hauling or truckers living.
A particularly bad stretch of road is Interstate 45 in Houston, which has been ranked as the second most dangerous highway in all of the United States. That's pretty good reason for any trucker to fear driving on it, as good of a reason as any. Houston saw 51 fatal wrecks in a four year period, according to This Is Insider.
Nashville Tennessee isn't just a great city for those looking to jump-start their musical careers, no it's much more than that, especially for truckers, where many not only live but enjoy life as well.
The Music City is great for truckers due in part because of the high salary that companies in the city offer, with the average being almost $10,000 higher than the national average. Sounds pretty good, all things considered, and a place that truckers would definitely go to for free (to get paid.)
Sources: Sparefoot, Business Insider & Popular Mechanics