05.31.10

America's 100 Deadliest Highways

With summer driving season here, so is the deadliest part of the year on the road. The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to determine the 100 interstates most likely to generate a fatal wreck.

A quick disclaimer: If you’re driving right now and reading this, put down your smartphone and come back later—please.

Summertime, when America traditionally takes to the road, carries with it a more somber tradition—“the 100 deadliest days” of the year for drivers, according to Susan P. Owings, co-founder of Road Safe America. An astounding 50,765 fatal accidents occurred in June, July, and August from 2004 to 2008, according to data from the National Highway Safety Administration. While fatalities have been steadily decreasing since 2005, 37,261 motorists and passengers nonetheless lost their lives in 2008.

These lives were lost disproportionally: Some roads are more dangerous than others—reckless or distracted drivers seem to congregate on certain highway corridors, while poor road maintenance is another common cause of collisions. We crunched the numbers for five years of accident data, courtesy of the NHSA, from nearly 250 stretches of interstate highways to find out which roads are the most deadly, mile-for-mile.

Some notes: Each interstate was broken into stretches within a single state. We measured fatal accidents, rather than total fatalities, which we then divided by the number of miles of that stretch. And any ties that may appear on these raw numbers driving these rankings are only because of rounding.

Where should you buckle up extra tight? Some of the worst performers are also among the best-known sections of pavement in the country:

#1, I-95
Florida

2004-2008
In-state miles: 382.15
Fatal accidents: 662
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.73
Total fatalities: 765

#2, I-76
New Jersey

2004-2008
In-state miles: 3.04
Fatal accidents: 5
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.64
Total fatalities: 6

#3, I-4
Florida

2004-2008
In-state miles: 132.39
Fatal accidents: 209
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.58
Total fatalities: 234

#4, I-15
California

2004-2008
In-state miles: 287.26
Fatal accidents: 437
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.52
Total fatalities: 506

#5, I-10
California

2004-2008
In-state miles: 242.54
Fatal accidents: 341
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.41
Total fatalities: 387

#6, I-59
Louisiana

2004-2008
In-state miles: 11.48
Fatal accidents: 16
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.40
Total fatalities: 16

#7, I-94
Illinois

2004-2008
In-state miles: 61.53
Fatal accidents: 85
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.38
Total fatalities: 89

#8, I-93
Massachusetts

2004-2008
In-state miles: 47.07
Fatal accidents: 61
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.30
Total fatalities: 67

#9, I-95
Delaware

2004-2008
In-state miles: 23.43
Fatal accidents: 29
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.24
Total fatalities: 30

#10, I-55
Tennessee

2004-2008
In-state miles: 12.28
Fatal accidents: 15
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.22
Total fatalities: 16

#11, I-12
Louisiana

2004-2008
In-state miles: 85.59
Fatal accidents: 102
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.20
Total fatalities: 124

#12, I-81
West Virginia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 26
Fatal accidents: 30
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.15
Total fatalities: 34

#13, I-35
Texas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 504.15
Fatal accidents: 579
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.15
Total fatalities: 659

#14, I-45
Texas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 284.91
Fatal accidents: 325
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.14
Total fatalities: 388

#15, I-75
Florida

2004-2008
In-state miles: 470.88
Fatal accidents: 536
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.14
Total fatalities: 626

#16, I-80
California

2004-2008
In-state miles: 199.24
Fatal accidents: 220
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.10
Total fatalities: 258

#17, I-64
Missouri

2004-2008
In-state miles:
14.69
Fatal accidents:
16
Fatal accidents per mile:
1.07
Total fatalities: 17

#18, I-10
Arizona

2004-2008
In-state miles: 392.33
Fatal accidents: 419
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.07
Total fatalities: 518

#19, I-95
New Jersey

2004-2008
In-state miles: 97.76
Fatal accidents: 103
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.05
Total fatalities: 117

#20, I-80
New Jersey

2004-2008
In-state miles: 68.35
Fatal accidents: 72
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.05
Total fatalities: 78

#21, I-17
Arizona

2004-2008
In-state miles: 145.76
Fatal accidents: 152
Fatal accidents per mile: 1.04
Total fatalities: 164

#22, I-10
Louisiana

2004-2008
In-state miles: 274.42
Fatal accidents: 270
Fatal accidents per mile: .98
Total fatalities: 318

#23, I-95
Maryland

2004-2008
In-state miles: 110.01
Fatal accidents: 107
Fatal accidents per mile: .97
Total fatalities: 120

#24, I-H1
Hawaii

2004-2008
In-state miles: 27.16
Fatal accidents: 26
Fatal accidents per mile: .96
Total fatalities: 31

#25, I-15
Nevada

2004-2008
In-state miles: 123.77
Fatal accidents: 117
Fatal accidents per mile: .95
Total fatalities: 141

#26, I-85
Georgia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 179.9
Fatal accidents: 163
Fatal accidents per mile: .91
Total fatalities: 191

#27, I-10
Mississippi

2004-2008
In-state miles: 77.19
Fatal accidents: 68
Fatal accidents per mile: .88
Total fatalities: 82

#28, I-91
Connecticut

2004-2008
In-state miles: 58
Fatal accidents: 51
Fatal accidents per mile: .88
Total fatalities: 56

#29, I-75
Georgia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 355.11
Fatal accidents: 311
Fatal accidents per mile: .88
Total fatalities: 357

#30, I-78
New Jersey

2004-2008
In-state miles: 67.83
Fatal accidents: 58
Fatal accidents per mile: .86
Total fatalities: 67

#31, I-95
Rhode Island

2004-2008
In-state miles: 42.36
Fatal accidents: 36
Fatal accidents per mile: .85
Total fatalities: 39

#32, I-5
California

2004-2008
In-state miles: 796.53
Fatal accidents: 674
Fatal accidents per mile: .85
Total fatalities: 798

#33, I-10
Alabama

2004-2008
In-state miles: 66.31
Fatal accidents: 56
Fatal accidents per mile: .84
Total fatalities: 63

#34, I-85
Alabama

2004-2008
In-state miles: 80
Fatal accidents: 67
Fatal accidents per mile: .84
Total fatalities: 76

#35, I-95
South Carolina

2004-2008
In-state miles: 198.76
Fatal accidents: 162
Fatal accidents per mile: .82
Total fatalities: 194

#36, I-95
New York

2004-2008
In-state miles: 23.5
Fatal accidents: 19
Fatal accidents per mile: .81
Total fatalities: 24

#37, I-65
Kentucky

2004-2008
In-state miles: 137.32
Fatal accidents: 111
Fatal accidents per mile: .81
Total fatalities: 135

#38, I-19
Arizona

2004-2008
In-state miles: 63.35
Fatal accidents: 51
Fatal accidents per mile: .81
Total fatalities: 57

#39, I-95
Pennsylvania

2004-2008
In-state miles:
51.08
Fatal accidents:
41
Fatal accidents per mile:
.80
Total fatalities:
46

#40, I-8
California

2004-2008
In-state miles: 169.92
Fatal accidents: 136
Fatal accidents per mile: .80
Total fatalities: 153

#41, I-30
Texas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 223.74
Fatal accidents: 179
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.80
Total fatalities: 201

#42, I-70
Missouri

2004-2008
In-state miles: 251.66
Fatal accidents: 201
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.80
Total fatalities: 226

#43, I-95
Virginia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 178.73
Fatal accidents: 140
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.78
Total fatalities: 165

#44, I-95
North Carolina

2004-2008
In-state miles: 181.71
Fatal accidents: 142
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.78
Total fatalities: 175

#45, I-20
Georgia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 202.61
Fatal accidents: 155
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.77
Total fatalities: 189

#46, I-95
Georgia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 112
Fatal accidents: 84
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.75
Total fatalities: 97

#47, I-26
South Carolina

2004-2008
In-state miles: 220.95
Fatal accidents: 161
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.73
Total fatalities: 175

#48, I-24
Tennessee

2004-2008
In-state miles:
180.16
Fatal accidents:
130
Fatal accidents per mile:
0.72
Total fatalities:
154

#49, I-H2
Hawaii

2004-2008
In-state miles: 8.33
Fatal accidents: 6
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.72
Total fatalities: 6

#50, I-30
Arkansas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 143.02
Fatal accidents: 102
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.71
Total fatalities: 113

#51, I-95
Connecticut

2004-2008
In-state miles: 111.57
Fatal accidents: 76
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.68
Total fatalities: 85

#52, I-15
Arizona

2004-2008
In-state miles: 29.39
Fatal accidents: 20
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.68
Total fatalities: 23

#53, I-83
Maryland

2004-2008
In-state miles: 34.5
Fatal accidents: 23
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.67
Total fatalities: 28

#54, I-40
New Mexico

2004-2008
In-state miles: 373.51
Fatal accidents: 247
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.66
Total fatalities: 293

#55, I-20
Mississippi

2004-2008
In-state miles: 154.61
Fatal accidents: 102
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.66
Total fatalities: 114

#56, I-44
Missouri

2004-2008
In-state miles: 290.49
Fatal accidents: 190
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.65
Total fatalities: 233

#57, I-10
Florida

2004-2008
In-state miles: 362.28
Fatal accidents: 234
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.65
Total fatalities: 272

#58, I-95
Massachusetts

2004-2008
In-state miles: 91.95
Fatal accidents: 58
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.63
Total fatalities: 64

#59, I-85
Virginia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 68.84
Fatal accidents: 43
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.62
Total fatalities: 48

#60, I-55
Louisiana

2004-2008
In-state miles: 65.81
Fatal accidents: 41
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.62
Total fatalities: 47

#61, I-65
Alabama

2004-2008
In-state miles: 367
Fatal accidents: 228
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.62
Total fatalities: 277

#62, I-40
Tennessee

2004-2008
In-state miles: 455.28
Fatal accidents: 280
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.62
Total fatalities: 321

#63, I-55
Mississippi

2004-2008
In-state miles: 290.41
Fatal accidents: 176
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.61
Total fatalities: 204

#64, I-85
South Carolina

2004-2008
In-state miles: 106
Fatal accidents: 62
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.58
Total fatalities: 69

#65, I-75
Kentucky

2004-2008
In-state miles: 191.78
Fatal accidents: 111
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.58
Total fatalities: 130

#66, I-85
North Carolina

2004-2008
In-state miles: 236.93
Fatal accidents: 137
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.58
Total fatalities: 160

#67, I-20
South Carolina

2004-2008
In-state miles: 141.51
Fatal accidents: 81
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.57
Total fatalities: 94

#68, I-10
Texas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 881
Fatal accidents: 502
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.57
Total fatalities: 591

#69, I-97
Maryland

2004-2008
In-state miles: 17.62
Fatal accidents: 10
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.57
Total fatalities: 11

#70, I-94
Michigan

2004-2008
In-state miles: 275.49
Fatal accidents: 154
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.56
Total fatalities: 169

#71, I-20
Alabama

2004-2008
In-state miles: 214.7
Fatal accidents: 119
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.55
Total fatalities: 139

#72, I-70
West Virginia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 14.45
Fatal accidents: 8
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.55
Total fatalities: 8

#73, I-59
Mississippi

2004-2008
In-state miles: 171.72
Fatal accidents: 94
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.55
Total fatalities: 108

#74, I-25
Colorado

2004-2008
In-state miles: 299.7
Fatal accidents: 164
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.55
Total fatalities: 188

#75, I-10
New Mexico

2004-2008
In-state miles: 164.27
Fatal accidents: 89
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.54
Total fatalities: 110

#76, I-65
Indiana

2004-2008
In-state miles: 261.27
Fatal accidents: 141
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.54
Total fatalities: 157

#77, I-77
North Carolina

2004-2008
In-state miles: 102.31
Fatal accidents: 55
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.54
Total fatalities: 62

#78, I-75
Tennessee

2004-2008
In-state miles: 161.86
Fatal accidents: 87
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.54
Total fatalities: 102

#79, I-40
California

2004-2008
In-state miles: 154.61
Fatal accidents: 82
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.53
Total fatalities: 110

#80, I-20
Texas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 636.08
Fatal accidents: 337
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.53
Total fatalities: 390

#81, I-70
Maryland

2004-2008
In-state miles: 93.62
Fatal accidents: 49
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.52
Total fatalities: 59

#82, I-35
Oklahoma

2004-2008
In-state miles: 235.96
Fatal accidents: 123
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.52
Total fatalities: 146

#83, I-40
Arkansas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 284.69
Fatal accidents: 148
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.52
Total fatalities: 176

#84, I-20
Louisiana

2004-2008
In-state miles: 189.87
Fatal accidents: 98
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.52
Total fatalities: 116

#85, I-55
Missouri

2004-2008
In-state miles: 210.45
Fatal accidents: 108
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.51
Total fatalities: 124

#86, I-84
Connecticut

2004-2008
In-state miles: 97.9
Fatal accidents: 50
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.51
Total fatalities: 55

#87, I-40
Oklahoma

2004-2008
In-state miles: 331.03
Fatal accidents: 166
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.50
Total fatalities: 228

#88, I-40
Arizona

2004-2008
In-state miles: 359.48
Fatal accidents: 180
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.50
Total fatalities: 220

#89, I-68
West Virginia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 32.06
Fatal accidents: 16
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.50
Total fatalities: 22

#90, I-15
Utah

2004-2008
In-state miles: 401.07
Fatal accidents: 196
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.49
Total fatalities: 232

#91, I-55
Arkansas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 72.22
Fatal accidents: 35
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.48
Total fatalities: 57

#92, I-84
Idaho

2004-2008
In-state miles: 275.74
Fatal accidents: 133
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.48
Total fatalities: 156

#93, I-75
Ohio

2004-2008
In-state miles: 211.3
Fatal accidents: 101
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.48
Total fatalities: 108

#94, I-5
Washington

2004-2008
In-state miles: 276.62
Fatal accidents: 132
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.48
Total fatalities: 146

#95, I-65
Tennessee

2004-2008
In-state miles: 121.71
Fatal accidents: 58
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.48
Total fatalities: 64

#96, I-44
Texas

2004-2008
In-state miles: 14.77
Fatal accidents: 7
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.47
Total fatalities: 7

#97, I-77
West Virginia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 187.21
Fatal accidents: 86
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.46
Total fatalities: 95

#98, I-79
West Virginia

2004-2008
In-state miles: 160.52
Fatal accidents: 73
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.45
Total fatalities: 93

#99, I-76
Ohio

2004-2008
In-state miles: 81.65
Fatal accidents: 37
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.45
Total fatalities: 41

#100, I-96
Michigan

2004-2008
In-state miles: 192.06
Fatal accidents: 87
Fatal accidents per mile: 0.45
Total fatalities: 91

Clark Merrefield and Lauren Streib reported these rankings.