Deadliest Highways: Ranking the 100 Interstates Most Likely to Cause a Fatal Crash

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.

Anonymous

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

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

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

2004-2008In-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.