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.


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