Which is More Dangerous? Highway 31 East or Loop 49
For about two-and-half years, I made the trek from Tyler to Athens everyday for work. I used Toll 49 from South Broadway till the exit for Highway 31 West, which saved a ton of time.
But driving that portion of Loop 49 was always a little sketchy. Only two lanes, very few passing areas or idiots passing in a no passing zone or people just driving it too slow.
Over the last couple of years, deaths have increased on Toll 49. According to KLTV, since 2015, eleven people have died on the toll road.
Now take Highway 31 East going into Kilgore. It has become known as either "death valley" or "bloody 31". In a 2015 Tyler Morning Telegraph story, Texas Department of Transportation said there were 23 fatal crashes on Highway 31 between Tyler and Kilgore.
Highway 31 has gone through some changes over the years with the addition of more passing areas which, at least to me, has made the drive somewhat better.
But both roads are still dangerous. The best advice I can give is don't be stupid behind the wheel, get off the phone and don't drink and drive. And for the drivers that like to ignore any kind of road sign, just take a moment and realize that it's all there for a reason. Because of those drivers ignoring the signs, these accidents happen.