Are Interstate Highways The Safest Roads

Christina Perez
• Sunday, 01 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Interstates appear to offer a significant, but relatively small safety advantage over non-divided, full-access roads. I was certain that divided, multi-lane highways were much safer than the typical city street or country road.

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Unfortunately, none of this data allows us to make a comparison of the relative safety of riding motorcycles on interstates. However, if we look at the data for all traffic, we can find interesting NHTSA assessments of safety issues regarding interstates.

Where on the interstate system is also a key factor, obvious to anyone who has ridden on the D.C. Beltway or I95 just about anywhere. While we're on the subject of I95, NHTSA identifies the Florida section of I95 as particularly dangerous and published an entire report on fatalities on the D.C. Beltway.

NHTSA data also make clear that (1) the use of helmet reduces greatly the chance of being killed relative to not wearing a helmet and (2) consuming alcohol and then riding soon thereafter is a great way to reduce one's life expectancy. So, I stand mildly corrected: driving on interstates in general is not much safer than other roads.

In this case research recently published by North Carolina State University and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, using fatal crash data from 2005-2009, found that 72 percent of fatal crashes in North Carolina, and 59 percent of fatal crashes in Virginia, occurred on non- interstate roads. Attendees of the Transportation Research Board annual conference recently heard about the study and possible implications.

Fleets with less than 10 power units were found to make up a larger percentage of fatal truck-involved crashes. As an industry it is important for us to get involved in conversations about road design and planning.

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(Source: www.history.com)

Advertiser Disclosure : We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Editorial Guidelines : We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance.

We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts. In the midst of the end of the year holidays, it’s fun to get swept up in the lights, the gifts, and the excitement of seeing loved ones to celebrate such a special season.

During Christmas and New Year’s, it’s over 50 percent more likely that families and individuals will go on a road trip lasting longer than 50 miles according to Forbes. Because of this, it is important to know more about the states we travel through in order to better understand how safe the roadways are and how likely it is to have a car accident.

Then, enter your ZIP code into our FREE tool above to find auto insurance rates that work for you! You can also check out our page titled “Which states have the cheapest auto insurance rates?” to find out what the average rates are in your state and whether you’re overpaying or underpaying based on the coverages you have and your situation.

Drivers in Maine obey the posted speed limits on interstates and highways, and this has helped many stays safe on the roads. North Dakota boasts a top score with regard to Highway Bridges Rated Obsolete or Deficient.

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(Source: www.cbsnews.com)

But they also sit in 48th place for Death Rates as determined by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Needless to say, North Dakota has a long way to go before it can be considered the state with the safest highways in America.

Boasting a simultaneous first-place in Highway Deaths per 1,000 Highway Miles Traveled and last-place in Interstate Speeding Fatalities per Mile of Interstate, it seems as though driving in Delaware can be both safe and treacherous depending on which statistics matter to you the most. With an above-average score for IHS Death Rates (28), the state certainly still has some work to do to become a safer place to drive.

Nebraska ties with Alaska for the #4 spot on our Best Highways by State list. While Nebraska maintains reasonably safe highways, because nearly 20 percent of drivers in Nebraska choose to drive without wearing their seatbelts, the state sees many unnecessary fatal accidents each year.

With below-average scores for Interstate Speeding Fatalities per Mile of Interstate (2), Percent of Drivers without Seatbelts (21), Highway Bridges Rated Obsolete or Deficient (22), and IHS Death Rates (16), Alaska seems to be a relatively safe place to drive. Coming in at #3, drivers in Oregon are happy to obey the law and wear their seatbelts.

Scoring consistently under 20 for Interstate Speeding Fatalities per Mile of Interstate (14), Highway Deaths per 1,000 Highway Miles Traveled (7), and IHS Death Rates (15), Oregon seems like a very safe place to drive. Iowa scores another big win in our study about the best drivers in the U.S. by state.

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(Source: mccooltravel.wordpress.com)

Scoring under 15 for Interstate Speeding Fatalities per Mile of Interstate (9), Percent of Drivers without Seatbelts (13), Highway Deaths per 1,000 Highway Miles Traveled (4), and IHS Death Rates (7), it’s evident that Minnesota boasts the safest highways in the U.S. Because human error is responsible for 94 percent of all car crashes, we need to take our role as motorists seriously (NHTSA).

Look ahead Maintain a safe distance Go with the flow Make yourself visible Reduce driving distractions Minnesota also ranked first in our most recent best drivers ranking, with scores in the top six of all states for the subcategories, including being the safest state for careless driving with the lowest rate of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), the most traveled interstate in America is I-405 in Los Angeles. Interstate 4 is considered so dangerous because it combines a number of difficult challenges that contribute to an intimidating driving environment.

These include the high traffic volume, number of commercial vehicles, construction sites, and more. Drivers in these states have major problems often with speeding or drunk driving, and almost always with the number of traffic deaths per 100 million miles driven.

Our rankings for each category go from one to 51, including the District of Columbia, with the lowest score representing the state with the safest highways and the highest score representing the state with the most dangerous highways in each respective category. It can have a serious impact on your auto insurance rates as states with more traffic deaths, or people that are filing claims due to accidents, often have higher average auto insurance rates.

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(Source: dirtamericana.com)

To find out the best auto insurance for you based on your location and demographic information, just insert your ZIP code into our online quote comparison tool below. Has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences.

Joel Oman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses.

He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. Advertiser Disclosure : We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions.

Editorial Guidelines : We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Motor vehicle accidents are the fifth leading cause of deaths in the United States Oregon ranks third as the state with the lowest percent of drivers without seat belts Driving defensively is the best way to stay safe on the open road Whether these accidents are the result of careless driving, hazardous weather, or vehicle malfunctions, the possible causes are endless.

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(Source: www.elec-intro.com)

With the question above in mind, we researched statistics and crunched numbers from the following sources to give you the graph below : One of the first notable trends you might pick out of the table is that each of the Top 10 states ranks high (single digits) in at least one category, if not several.

All 9,216 square miles of Vermont lands the last spot on our list of Top 10 SafestHighways. Although ranked 7th overall in federal funding, their 22nd place for drivers without seat belts combined with the whopping 43rd for deficient highway bridges is what hurt them the most.

Ranking 3rd as the state with the lowest percent of drivers without seat belts is definitely something to write home about. The minimal amount of fatalities per interstate mile is also a factor that boosts Oregon higher on our scale.

The biggest hit this Pacific Northwest state took was not just in federal funding, but mainly with their less-than-satisfactory highway bridges. For being 1,445 miles away from the continental United States, Alaska lacks nothing when it comes to federal funding.

The fact that the statistics for seat belt-less drivers, inefficient bridges, and highway deaths per 1,000 miles are at the opposite extremity causes Alaska to land in our #7 spot for states with the safest highways. Kudos to Nebraska’s Department of Roads for staying on top of the quality of their highway bridges.

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Claiming 4th in federal funding and 1st in deficient bridges, it seems that it’s the drivers that need to step it up a notch. Landing at 38th in the category of drivers that don’t wear seat belts, this may be the reason for the #2 spot in interstate fatalities.

With the lowest total score of 86, Iowa beat Minnesota by the skin of its teeth with just one point. Illinois even ranked seventh in death rates; however, when the federal funding sinks 12th from the bottom, the highways will wind up causing that state to get lost somewhere in the mediocrity.

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