Busiest Interstates for Trucks
According to the DOT, the average owner-operator drives approximately 2.6 million miles throughout their career. This makes sense considering most truckers prefer driving routes that are least 1,000 miles. Whatever the length of the route, though, one thing that truckers are most concerned with is how busy the route is.
There is nothing worse than hitting the road and happening upon unexpected (or even expected) traffic that severely delays your delivery time. For that reason, many drivers prefer routes that are not typically busy. So how do you determine what the busiest trucking routes are? Check out our list below to see which routes you may want to avoid if you want to steer clear of traffic.
For truckers on the east coast, I-95 is likely what they would consider the busiest interstate for trucks. Stretching from Miami, FL to the Maine-Canada border, I-95 runs the entire length of the east coast. While it’s not the longest highway in the U.S., it is considered one of the busiest. It also holds the record for crossing the most states – 15 to be exact!
Unlike I-95, I-80 travels east-west, not north-south. Starting in San Francisco, CA, I-80 takes truckers across the country, ending up in Teaneck, NJ. As one of the major trucking routes in the U.S., I-80 makes its way through 11 states and totals almost 3,000 miles in length. Since it’s one of the major transcontinental highways, it’s no surprise that I-80 is considered one of the busiest. Drivers in the west, midwest, and east will likely venture onto I-80 at one point or another in their career.
Similar to I-95, I-75 travels north-south and originates in Florida. The difference is that I-75 ends at the Canadian border in Michigan, meaning that it veers more west than east. While only passing through 6 states, I-75 does travel through some major cities – Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Detroit to name a few. I-75 was originally built as the population of Southwest Florida started to boom, and the rest is history!
While some consider I-90 to be the busiest interstate for trucks, what we can all agree on is that I-90 is the longest interstate in the U.S. As the longest transcontinental highway, I-90 stretches from Seattle, WA to Boston, MA and covers over 3,000 miles.
As you may have noticed, interstates are numbered with even numbers when traveling east-west and odd numbers when traveling north-south. Another fun fact about the interstate highway numbering system is that for north-south routes, the lower numbers start in the west. Then, for east-west routes, the lower numbers start in the south. So, I-90 is an east-west route that is farther north, so it has a higher number than routes that are south of it.
Last but not least, we’ve got I-40. Based on its numbering, can you guess where it is located and what direction it runs? That’s right – it runs east-west since it’s an even number and is located in the South (generally) since it’s a lower number. I-40 starts in Barstow, CA and travels east to Wilmington, NC.
Depending on where you typically drive, you may have been on one or more of these busy routes. Do you agree that these routes are the busiest? While there are circumstances where other routes take the cake, in general these 5 routes are often considered to be the busiest. Driving on these interstates has its pros and cons, but in the life of a trucker, these miles are all just part of the 2.6 million that are driven throughout their career. If you’re interested in driving 2.6 million miles, check out our truck driver school to get your career started.