Top 8 most dangerous spots on I-40

KNOXILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- It's one of the deadliest highways in the country and runs right through East Tennessee.

We're talking about I-40.

Local 8 News has been investigating why it's so dangerous and what you need to look out for.

Many of us drive I-40 every day, some of us several times a day.

We've found out, the 8 places you're most likely to get hit.

We looked at all the accidents on I-40 from Harriman to the North Carolina line since 2005.

There were more than 12,000 wrecks

The top 8, right here in Knox County.

The worst, West Hills.

Even if you don't live in Knoxville, you know it, it's where you get off for the mall.

555 wrecks happened there.

Drivers like Jerry Eavey know how congested it can get,
"I know getting off the exit there it's always backed up, people trying to cut over, getting in front of you and stuff."

You only have to drive two miles to hit the next bad spot at marker 382, 487 accidents.

Head east for the third worst stretch. Exit 387, Western and 17th Avenue saw 434 wrecks.

Sgt. Randall Martin with THP says speed can play a part, "You're moving at a good speed, your reaction time can be cut down, if you take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road and you've got a recipe for disaster."

So why are these such dangerous spots? Troopers say it's not the highway - it's distracted drivers

"Thing about it is when you take your eyes off the road whether its to answer a phone call or a text message, anything you can't see what's coming in from of you," says Sgt. Martin.

That's why cops are cracking down.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol stakes out trouble spots and launches campaigns.

Just last month they executed a distracted driving campaign.

Troopers drove a semi so they could spot people texting, not wearing their seat-belt or committing other violations.

They wrote almost 200 citations in just two days and believe they helped prevent more wrecks.

"What's a life worth? It's not worth a call, it's not worth a text, it's not worth a cell phone, put it down," says Sgt. Martin

And it's up to you -- to keep the numbers down.

Here is the full list of the top 8.

#1-380 (555 wrecks)

#2-382 (487 wrecks)

#3-387 (434 wrecks)

#4-377 (414 wrecks)

#5-388 (414 wrecks)

#6-383 (404 wrecks)

#7-378 (361 wrecks)

#8-321 (321 wrecks)

Sevier County's most troubled spot was mile marker 407, the exit that takes you to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg saw 158 accidents.

Head further east to Jefferson County and marker 415 was the most dangerous with 118 crashes.

And I-40 mile markers 105, 100 and 199 each saw more than 345 wrecks.

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