On the Road

These are America's most dangerous highways during the holiday season

Some of the busiest highways in America also also the most dangerous during the holiday travel season.

Photo by Getty Images

If you're about to go over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house, keep this in mind: Texas is home to three of the deadliest roads for holiday travel.

Financial site ValuePenguin looked at reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and collated data from more than 2,700 fatal car accidents between 2015 and 2018 to find which roads are the deadliest during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I-10 (California to Florida) going through Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, and Jacksonville is No. 1 on the list. I-35 (Texas to Minnesota), which travels through Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, is listed at No. 4, and I-20 (Texas to South Carolina) through Dallas; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta is fifth.

These join I-95 (Florida to Maine) and I-80 (California to New Jersey) as the most dangerous during holiday times, with all five accounting for 151 deaths between the three years studied. That's 15 percent of all holiday travel deaths on the entire National Highway System, despite making up only 6 percent of total mileage.

El Paso County is considered the most dangerous area for those traveling I-10 on Thanksgiving. Harris County is third, and the second most dangerous for Christmas travel. In fact, nearly one-quarter of the Thanksgiving traffic fatalities on I-10 occurred in El Paso Country and East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana.

Obviously, traffic volume along these highways likely has a big impact on the high number of deaths, but drunk driving is also a factor. Roughly one in every three fatal holiday-season traffic accidents involved a drunken driver.

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This story originally appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site, CultureMap.


Ford has teamed up with Microsoft to study traffic congestion.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Computers are everywhere. We wear them on our wrists, carry them in our pockets, and rely on them to function in a modern world. As computing evolves, automakers like Ford are using high-level technology to work to solve everyday problems.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker has partnered with Microsoft to simulate the impact thousands of vehicles traveling has on congestion. They're early in to the project, still developing the quantum computing aspects of the project, which will take the problems of today and scale them to predict the problems of tomorrow. Then, the two companies will use the information to dive deeper into possible solutions to those problems.

"Quantum computing has the potential to transform the auto industry and the way we move," said Julie Love, senior director of quantum computing business development, Microsoft. "To do that we need to have a deep understanding of the problems that companies like Ford want to solve, which is why collaborations like these are so important."

When rush hour happens and congestion picks up, it's not uncommon for drivers to use various apps to change their route using traffic apps like Waze. However, these apps often route drivers the same way, creating congestion on side streets. Ideally, new computing would work to balance those routes to allow the least amount of congestion possible on all streets.

Dr. Ken Washington, Chief Technology Officer, Ford Motor Company described the problem and possible solution in a recent post on Medium.

Simply put, it's not feasible to have traditional computers find the optimal solution from a huge number of possible route assignments in a timely manner. That's where quantum computing can help. Essentially, existing digital computers translate information into either a 1 or a 0, otherwise known as a bit. But in a quantum computer, information can be processed by a quantum bit (or a qubit) that can simultaneously exist in two different states before it gets measured. Upon measurement, however, either a 1 or a 0 appears randomly and the probability for each is governed by a set of rules called quantum mechanics.

This ultimately enables a quantum computer to process information with a faster speed. Attempts to simulate some specific features of a quantum computer on non-quantum hardware have led to quantum-inspired technology — powerful algorithms that mimic certain quantum behaviors and run on specialized conventional hardware. That enables organizations to start realizing some benefits before fully-scaled quantum hardware becomes available.

The partnership between Microsoft and Ford started in 2018 to specifically focus on reducing traffic congestion in Seattle, a city undergoing tremendous rapid growth that is confined in its footprint by waterways and mountains.

The collaboration tested numerous scenarios in their efforts to solve Seattle's traffic congestion, with as many as 5,000 vehicles. Each vehicle in the scenario had 10 different route choices. In 20 seconds, computing software weighed each of those suggestions and delivered a route that resulted in a 73 percent improvement in total congestion compared to traditional route suggestion methods. The result was an eight percent drop in the time of the commute.

Ford remains hopeful that future advances in quantum computing will further the company's mission to work to reduce congestion.

Ryan Reynolds stars in the new Netflix movie "6 Underground".

Photo courtesy of Netflix

The '6 Underground' trailer opens with actor Ryan Reynolds waxing poetic. "What's the best part of being dead? It isn't escaping your boss, your ex, or even erasing your criminal record. The best part about being dead...is the freedom," he says. That freedom apparently includes driving through the streets of Italy like a maniac in a lime green 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Alfa Romeo has updated the Giulia for the 2020 model year, including a thoroughly new take on the car's infotainment system. The model staring in the film is a 2020 Giulia Quadrifolgio, the most performance-focused variant of the Italian sports sedan.

6 Underground Starring Ryan Reynolds | Visit Italy | Netflix www.youtube.com

It shines as it is burning rubber and maneuvering around Italy's famously narrow and pedestrian-crowded streets with proper camera angles showing off its sharp steering and Reynold's knowing smile.

The Netflix film, which had a reported budget of $150 million, is directed by Michael Bay, the man responsible to brining the modern shoot 'em up while you blow 'em up style of action movie to millions of viewers for decades now. His previous work includes "The Rock", "Bad Boys", and the Transformers series.

Reynolds recently tweeted that "6 Underground" is, "the most Michael Bay movie in the history of Michael Bay." Translation: a feast for your eyes.

6 Underground starring Ryan Reynolds | Official Trailer | Netflix www.youtube.com

Other vehicles seen in the movie include a Maserati Quattroporte (Maserati and Alfa Romeo share common FCA ownership), Ferrari 488 Pista, Land Rover Range Rovers (may they rest in peace), and a Rolls-Royce Ghost.

"6 Underground" debuts exclusively on Netflix on December 13.

The 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia will arrive on U.S. shores before the end of the year.