Highway 199 on list of most dangerous highways in the country

Josephine Co., Ore. — A Southern Oregon Highway has been named one of the deadliest in the nation.

Highway 199 in Grants Pass is ranked number 13 on a list of ’25 Most Dangerous Highways in the United States”.

The ranking is determined by deaths per mile of highway.

“There’s been quite the mirage of wrecks out here,” Wilderville resident Nanette Martin said.

Nanette Martin has lived off Highway 199 for 24 years.

She says she’s not surprised to hear it’s made the list.

“There’s been so many deaths just in this two-mile run since I’ve lived here and there’s wrecks all the time,” Martin said.

The ranking is based on the number of fatalities per mile on each highway from the years 2011 to 2015, with 199 coming in at an average of .575 deaths per mile.

That’s a total of 46 fatalities in four years.

“It’s a bad highway,” Martin said.

Martin says she’s seen five fatal accidents in her area alone.

Even her mom has been rear-ended.

Thankfully though she’s okay.

“They don’t pay attention to people turning left off the highway into the driveways. And then they go around and the next car doesn’t see it and then they hit it,” Martin said.

Rural Metro Fire is one agency that responds to the accidents.

Division Chief Austin Prince says most fatal crashes are rollovers or drivers hitting trees on the side of the road.

“I don’t know that there’s anything associated with the design of the road. It just happens to be a lot of times contributed to human behavior that ends up causing these wrecks,” Division Chief Austin Prince said.

He says Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Transportation do a lot to slow people down, but the disastrous accidents continue.

Martin thinks most people speeding are trying to get into town quicker.

“They’re driving too fast for their circumstances which… this is a highway, not an interstate,” Martin said.

She says she’s a cautious driver and hopes others will realize how dangerous the highway really is.

“Drive more defensively and not so fast… and give yourself time to get to work so you’re not late and having to go fast,” Martin said.

More data shows Grants Pass is the deadliest city along the highway.

July is the most common month for fatal accidents and Sunday is the most common day.

Most fatal accidents happened between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Interstate 5 is also on the list.

It’s ranked number 16.

The list and more information can be found here: https://www.teletracnavman.com/infographics/most-dangerous-roads-in-america

NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Elizabeth Ruiz was raised in Northern Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Communication. She also minored in Spanish and studied in Spain. While at Colorado State, she was an anchor and reporter for CTV Channel 11.

Elizabeth loves Zumba dancing, singing and spending time with her family.

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