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5 Most Dangerous Roads in Hawaii

Here's what you need to know...

There are different conditions and situations that make a road dangerous. Being aware of what can make a Hawaiian road dangerous can help you navigate a safer drive while in this state.

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Here are some things to be aware of when you are behind the wheel:

  • Terrain – Roads in Hawaii can vary in terrain. Some are steep, curvy, and rocky while some are flat but can become soft or covered in sand. Being aware of the terrain as you are driving on a road can help you drive safely.
  • Surroundings – Construction, as well as trees and other natural surroundings, can impede roadways in Hawaii and cause drivers to stop suddenly. Be aware of what’s around you when driving and be prepared to stop at any moment.
  • Wildlife – One of the natural beauties of Hawaii is its wildlife. While we marvel at their magnificence and appreciate their beauty, they can create many road hazards. No matter where you are driving in this state, keep a close eye out for wildlife that may be lurking nearby.
  • Visibility – In addition to trees, bushes, and construction signs and vehicles that may impair your visibility while driving, you should also be aware of fog and rain while driving in Hawaii. Not having good visibility can decrease your reaction time and cause an accident.

Hawaii Car Insurance


As with nearly all other states, Hawaii has legally required types and amounts of car insurance for all drivers living here. Hawaii minimum requirements for car insurance are as follows:

  • $10,000 per person personal injury protection (PIP) for yourself and your passengers
    Since Hawaii is a no-fault state, if you are injured in a car accident, you are required to file a claim under your PIP coverage no matter who was at fault. PIP pays for your medical bills in relation to the accident.
  • $20,000 per person / $40,000 per accident personal injury protection for third parties (other motorists and pedestrians)
    This PIP coverage applies to the medical bills of other parties involved in an accident.
  • $10,000 per occurrence for property damage protection
    If you caused an accident that damages the property of another party, it will fall under your property damage coverage.

Additional Optional Coverages

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Drivers in Hawaii will want to consider adding some extra coverages to their insurance policy, especially if they anticipate driving on dangerous roads.

– Collision

If your car is damaged in an accident, you can file a collision claim.

This will pay for your property damage up to your coverage limits. You can choose the amount of coverage and your deductible with collision coverage. Driving on dangerous roads puts you more at risk for having an accident, making collision coverage a wise decision.

– Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage pays for other damages to your car that are unrelated to a collision such as hitting wildlife, vandalism, theft, fires, floods, or other natural disasters. Like collision coverage, you will select the amount of your comprehensive coverage and your deductible amount.

– Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Even though insurance is a legal requirement in Hawaii, some drivers choose to ignore it. If you are in an accident with another driver who is not insured, your uninsured motorist coverage will apply.

It will also apply if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Underinsured motorist coverage will kick in if the other parties insured limits have been reached, yet you still have damages that have not been paid for.

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5 Most Dangerous Roads in Hawaii

#1 – Kahekili Highway

Kahekili Highway runs from Kapalua to Wailuku. It is a 20-mile one-land paved road known for narrow passages between rock and sheer cliff drops, dangerous road conditions, and snaking turns. Falling rocks are a big concern on this road, as are mudslides if it has been raining.

The maximum speed limit on this road is 15mph, while most of it garners speeds of only 5mph. This road is not for the novice driver and should not be attempted at night or in poor conditions by those unfamiliar with the road.

#2 – Death Road of Maui


The most dangerous stretch of the Kahekili Highway is known as the Death Road of Maui.

This stretch of road is 4.5 miles that are described as being etched into a cliff and only big enough for a golf cart. With blind-side cliff turns and only one-way traffic in some areas, this road is not for the faint of heart.

#3 – Saddle Road

Also known as Hawaii Route 200 or the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, Saddle Road is 52.7 miles long and runs from downtown Hilo to Highway 190 near Waimea. It was named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the 10 Scariest Highways for White-Knuckle Road Trips.

Its maximum elevation is 6,600 feet and gives access to volcano observatories. It features fog that reduces the visibility of drivers who dare go here, as well as narrow lanes, poorly maintained pavement, and many old bridges.

In fact, this road is considered so dangerous that some rental car companies forbid their customers from taking their cars on it. To make matters worse, there are no gas stations or stores along the road and some areas have very poor cell service.

#4 – Road to Hana

Located in Maui, the Road to Hana is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world. It is a 62-mile road connecting Kahului to Hana at about 4,700 feet above sea level. Many points are so narrow that only one lane of traffic can pass at a time.

With 620 turns, many of them hairpin turns, you must be on your best game to drive this road. Road surfaces are also poor with many important areas lacking guardrails. Although beautiful, the views on this road can actually cause distracted driving.

#5 – Waialae Avenue

Unlike the other roads that are dangerous due to their narrowness, curves, natural landscaping and even poor pavement, this one is dangerous for different reasons.

Located in Honolulu near the Ala Moana Shopping Center, Waialae Avenue contains a dangerous intersection. In fact, there were 142 accidents here in just 2015 alone.

With distracted drivers, pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles using this busy intersection, it is no wonder it is one of Hawaii’s most dangerous road.

Driving Safely in Hawaii

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There are steps you can take to drive safely in Hawaii. These steps won’t guarantee that you will not have an accident but they can decrease the chances of having one or having a severe one.

– Drive Below the Speed Limit

No matter what type of road you are on, driving at least slightly below the speed limit will help. At slower speeds, you have more time to react to seeing something in the road and having to swerve to avoid hitting something. Lower speeds also decrease the chances of having a more serious accident.

– Watch out for Other Cars, Pedestrians, and Wildlife

You should always watch for wildlife, other vehicles, and pedestrians while driving.

These things can, at times, be unpredictable. Watching them and being prepared for any sudden or unexpected moves they make can better prepare you to react quickly to avoid an accident.

This is especially true on busy roads or roads located in residential and commercial areas.

– Avoid Distracted Driving

Cell phones and other smart devices have caused a significant increase in distracted driving. Whether it is responding to a text message, checking the balance or your bank account, or posting a photo to Instagram, it can wait until you have pulled over or arrived at your destination.

Also, be aware that there are other things that can cause distracted driving such as eating, adjusting the radio station, or worrying about what your passengers are doing. Focus on the road at all times.

Comparison Shopping for Car Insurance

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Just like comparison shopping can save you money on nearly everything from groceries to cars, it can also save you money when it comes to auto insurance.

An online price comparison tool allows you to compare auto insurance carriers, their rates, and coverages in one convenient place.

When comparison shopping for auto insurance, be sure that you are getting adequate coverage for your driving and financial situation. A good time to comparison shop is before your auto policy automatically renews or at least once annually.

Enter your zip code below to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies in Hawaii at once!

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