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.

---

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


Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Silvercar by Audi is expanding its rental service to series of new dealerships.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi's in-house vehicle rental service, Silvercar by Audi, is expanding from 26 airports to dealerships nationwide. The addition of 10 dealers allows customers to enjoy Audi vehicles in a more convenient manner.

The program adds another element to the Audi premium experience joining Audi at Your Door, an online communication and vehicle pick-up and delivery service, that was launched in May.

Silvercar by Audi will continue to offer a fleet of premium standard features through the Silvercar mobile app and website. Additionally, service is offered by a Silvercar Mobility Specialist on-site. Contactless Rental will also be available at participating dealerships.

Silvercar is available in 36 locations in the U.S. including Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and San Diego.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

"We've seen and heard from customers that their mobility needs are changing as transportation habits evolve," said Stephan Zeh, Head of Audi Mobility Services. "The addition of Silvercar rentals at dealerships provides a new, convenient way for new and existing customers to enjoy the premium Audi experience in their neighborhood."

Silvercar is seeing growing demand from new and existing customers for local rental options to accommodate regional transportation, longer test drives, flexible short-term transportation, and lease bridges. These new dealership initiatives will service those needs.

Silvercar by Audi at dealership locations launched in late July and currently include 10 Audi dealerships with more to come through the end of 2020. Current locations include:

  • Audi Dallas, TX
  • Audi Seattle, WA
  • Audi Henderson, NV
  • Audi Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Audi Denver, CO
  • Audi Charlotte, NC
  • Audi North Orlando, FL
  • Audi Fletcher Jones, CA
  • Audi Wesley Chapel, FL
  • Audi Exchange Highland Park, IL

Audi at Your Door is currently offered at approximately 95 percent of Audi dealerships across the U.S.

Trending News

 
 

Ford continues to test self-driving vehicles in Austin, Texas.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company approached the end of 2019 with a sense of optimism for the future. They had just unveiled the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E and the hotly-anticipated debuts of the new Ford Bronco, Bronco Sport, and redesigned F-150 were on the immediate horizon.

Between then and now, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and Ford Motor Company switched CEOs. All the while, the automaker has been testing autonomous vehicle technology in Austin, Texas.

The company has made strides in the last year, which Kathleen Baireuther, Austin Market Manager, Ford Autonomous recently detailed the progress of the company in a blog post on Medium.

Ford Austin Texas Autonomous Self-Driving Ford expanded its self-driving vehicle operations to Austin lat year. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has opened an autonomous vehicle terminal in East Austin and created a command near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, in close proximity to where Tesla recently began constructing the plant that will produce its Cybertruck. The terminal serves as a base for the self-driving test fleet.

Baireuther sees the proper maintenance of the fleet as a part of creating a service that people value, from the use of the models to the deep cleaning and maintenance. When the service is used, the fleet grows closer to making a profit. She shared, "We recently completed the first phase of a fleet operations pilot in Austin that will be utilized for our business in Austin and Ford's broader strategy."

The command center will serve as the "epicenter" of Ford's self-driving business and daily operations. It will house local customer relations, business development, research, safety evaluations and testing operations.

The company continues to be focused on safety. While stories of owners continually trusting their hands-on Tesla AutoPilot technology to drive their vehicles hands-free, Ford and other companies are cognizant of ensuring their test vehicles work within a set of limitations to ensure safety for passengers and those inhabiting the space surrounding the vehicle.

Part of keeping everyone safe is helping vehicles and their operators understand the parameters for use. This includes the landscape. Ford has partnered with Argo to create 3D maps of the streets where the vehicles are used including detailed information about lane geometry, sidewalk locations, bike lanes, traffic signals, street signs, speed limits and static landmarks.

These maps are updated when construction or foliage changes. In Austin, a city that is rapidly expanding and changing, these changes are frequent.

Following the mapping process, the Argo team began operating the vehicles on public roads in autonomous modes. This means confronting the construction changes but also the daily scenarios that conflict with autonomous operation. For instance, Austin has more scooter activity than Ford has encountered in its other test cities - Washington D.C. and Miami, Florida. There's also a good amount of pedestrians and cyclists.

Ford is committed to continuing its self-driving vehicle testing in various areas of the city including East Austin, South Congress, and downtown, including the University of Texas.

Trending News