Research

Which are the 10 deadliest highways in the U.S.?

The holiday season means the return of travel, with millions of Americans set to hit the road in the coming weeks to celebrate with family and friends.

While often viewed as one of the most joyous times of year, it’s also one of the most dangerous times to be behind the wheel of a car.

Studies show that the number of roadway deaths across the country spike roughly 30% on popular holidays, with the main reasons being consumption of alcohol, speeding and the sheer volume of vehicles on the road.

Thanksgiving, which is right around the corner, was found to be the worst of all the holidays, with 2,414 roadway deaths from 2016 through 2020, according to preliminary federal data.

As you prepare for your holiday travels, you may want to chart a course that avoids certain roads that see a disproportionate amount of fatal crashes compared to their counterparts.

With that in mind, insurance site The Zebra analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine the deadliest highways in the country in 2019, with finalized data for 2020 and 2021 not yet available.

“Anytime you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, there’s a chance you might get into a wreck. That said, the likelihood of being in a motor vehicle collision dramatically varies depending on which road you’re driving on,” said Susan Meyer of The Zebra.

To account for varying lengths, the highways were ranked based on fatalities per 100 miles as opposed to total fatalities, though those numbers are included for context.

I-95, which runs through New York and along the country’s entire East Coast, ranked first overall in total fatalities and fatalities per 100 miles.

Researchers found that many of the fatal I-95 crashes occurred in the Northeast region during the winter, when snowy weather makes for dangerous driving conditions.

Here’s a look at the 10 deadliest U.S. highways, according to the data.

1) I-95

  • 14.88 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 284 total fatalities

2) I-20

  • 13.52 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 208 total fatalities

3) I-5

  • 13.47 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 186 total fatalities

4) I-75

  • 13.27 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 237 total fatalities

5) I-35

  • 12.56 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 197 total fatalities

6) I-15

  • 11.02 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 158 total fatalities

7) I-40

  • 9.89 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 253 total fatalities

8) I-70

  • 7.35 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 158 total fatalities

9) I-80

  • 7.21 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 209 total fatalities

10) US-41

  • 7.02 fatalities per 100 miles
  • 141 total fatalities

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