Data this depressing shouldn't look this good. But Geotab has produced a road map of the deadliest highways in America that is like a car crash – very hard to look away from.
Driving is part of the American way of life. Unfortunately, it is also a large part of the American way of death. Each year, more than 30,000 people are killed in road accidents in the United States.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is the U.S. Federal agency that investigates individual traffic accidents. The agency asked fleet management software and GPS vehicle tracking device supplier Geotab to produce a more systematic overview.
The overview map gives a good idea of which highways to avoid, but there is more: at the bottom of the page, the most dangerous highways per state are ranked for three criteria: fatal crash rate, number of crashes and most fatalities.
→ The deadliest highway in the country is the 545-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 1 that runs from the Georgia-Florida state line all the way through the Sunshine state to end at Key West. It is the highway with highest number of crashes (1,011 in the past 10 years), the highest number of fatalities (1,079 in the past 10 years) and the highest crash rate (2.8 fatalities per fatal crash) in the nation.
→ The other deadliest highways in absolute numbers over the past 10 years were the I-40 in Tennessee (517 fatalities), the I-40 again in New Mexico (395 fatalities), the I-65 in Alabama (389 fatalities) and Highway 90 in Louisiana (295 fatalities).
→ The top five for fatal crash rate is quite different: second comes Highway 83 in Texas (2.0), followed by the I-40 in California (1.8), again the I-40 in New Mexico (1.6) and the I-80 in Wyoming (1.4).
→ The highway with the lowest fatality rate is the I-95 in Rhode Island (0.1). The one with the least crashes and the least fatalities is Alaska Route 3 (32 crashes and 38 fatalities over the past 10 years). That doesn't mean these routes are safe; they are still the most dangerous highways in their respective state. They are just safest compared to all the other states' highways.
→ The clickable overview provides interesting anecdotes per highway. For example: US-2 in North Dakota passes the geographical centre of the U.S.; Pennsylvania's I-80 serves no major cities, and mainly serves as a link between Ohio and New York; US-61 is also known as the Blues Highway because it connects places with a blues music link; and in 1967, actress Jayne Mansfield was killed on the Louisiana stretch of Highway 90.
But of course the data collected by Geotab serves a serious purpose – to highlight the daily tragedy that are traffic fatalities – over 82 per day in the U.S. Awareness, as increased by Geotab's map, is one way of countering the deadly tide.
| 02/05/2017 | Frank Jacobs