The Deadliest Highways in the United States

The good news is that across the United States, traffic fatalities were down 1% in 2018 when compared to the previous year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 36,750 people died in vehicle accidents in that year.

The not-so-great report is that seven different highways in 10 states account for a large percentage of those crashes and fatalities. The furthest north is I-5 in Washington. The other deadliest highways are located in the southern part of the United States.

1 – Florida’s US-1, running 545 miles along the state’s east coast – from Key West to Georgia – was host to 1,011 crashes with 1,079 fatalities.

2 – Second is Tennessee’s I-40. This interstate cuts west/east across Tennessee before entering North Carolina. There were 437 crashes on I-40 in Tenessee in 2018, with 517 fatalities.

3 – I-40 in New Mexico, running east/west in the northern half of the state, saw 344 accidents with 395 fatalities.

4 – Alabama’s I-65 posted 366 crashes and 389 fatalities in 2018.

5 – Texas’s US-83 comes in from Kansas to the north and runs north/south in the top part of the state. US-83 is deserving of caution when traveling Texas. It had 268 vehicle accidents and 336 fatalities.

6 – South Carolina has the sixth deadliest highway. It’s I-95, which is 1,908 miles long in its entirety running from Florida to the Canadian border. It is especially dangerous in South Carolina however, having racked up 244 crashes and 301 fatalities.

7 – It’s us-90 in Louisiana – the highway that posts the highest number of crashes – 271 – and fatalities – 295.

8 – In Arizona, I-40 is the highway to be careful on. Two hundred forty-nine crashes have occured on I-40 in that southern state, with 293 fatalities.

9 – I-5 spans the state of Washington north to south from Oregon to Canada. Its 277 miles in Washington alone saw 245 accidents and 258 fatalities.

10 – I-95 makes a second appearance on the list. It ranks as number 10 in the Top Ten deadliest US highways, marking 201 crashes in 2019, and 240 fatalities.

Safer and lower cost bridge inspections

So, you’re a highway inspector and you are tasked with inspecting a bridge. Roadway – OK. Structure and supports – check. But how about the top? What if you are evaluating the soaring trusses of a bridge like the Tappen Zee over the Hudson, or any bridge with structures that reach far above the lanes of traffic. For that matter, how do you see all parts of the inside of a tunnel? A retaining wall? A high mast light?

The answer for the Federal Highway Administration in recent months, has been to employ Unmanned Aerial Systems, also known as drones. During the past year, increasing numbers of state departments of transportation are considering using UASs as well, taking their cues from states like Minnesota which, since adopting UAS, has seen a 40% savings in inspection costs and improved data quality. The drones are able to “see’ and deliver data from difficult-to-access bridge elements such as confined spaces, high wall abutments, steep slopes and piers under traffic.

Financial and safety improvements are also noted by UAS users, who observe how UAS can collect data without having to raise or lower inspectors to various parts of bridges and structures using traditional methods like under-bridge inspection vehicles, ladders, lifts and ropes. UAS also results in less large equipment use, which in turn means reductions in not only road and lane closures, but also in overall inspection time and costs.
DOTs are additionally able to collect infrared and 3D modeling bridge and topographic mapping details, and can identify concrete delamination using this wave-of-the-future structural inspection tool.

CV data partnership equals enhanced accuracy in TrafficCast data

Image

TrafficCast’s real travel-time information is set to be more accurate than ever, with the addition of real-time data from Wejo, a UK technology company which provides connected vehicle (CV) data. Upon announcing the partnership, Wejo CEO Richard Barlow commented, “Our value-added insights will enhance and improve TrafficCast’s product offerings and ultimately contribute to reduced congestion on America’s roads, shortened journey times, and provide car owners with a materially better driving experience.”

TrafficCast CEO Al McGowan added, “We are happy to announce our partnership with Wejo, and welcome the addition of their unique content to our industry-leading traffic information ecosystem. Wejo’s data exchange platform is a critical next step in the evolution of the connected vehicle, and our clients and end users will benefit from the insights their data provides.”

With the agreement, TrafficCast will receive Wejo’s anonymized traffic flow updates, including traveling speeds, from some seven million vehicles driving in real time. The partners consider this a major breakthrough in live data sourcing from the road, one that will provide users such as Departments of Transportation and everyday commuters, improved quality and accuracy in the traffic data that helps them navigate their world.

Link

Trafficcast International administrators attended two important technology and mobility conferences in different regions recently. The ITS America 28th Annual meeting was held in Washington DC in early June and explored topics such as how Intellifent Mobility can make our communities safer and smarter for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and vehicles, and how to work safety and efficiency into the goal of delivering goods and services.

In Detroit, TU (Telematics Update) Automotive Detroit brought together leaders from automotive, mobility and technology industries exploring topics such as monetizing vehicle connectivity and what carsharing and scootersharing looks like in other markets across the globe.

I-29 Open, Again

Image

After nearly three weeks this second time, I-29 running from St. Joseph’s, Missouri through Iowa to US-34 in Pacific Junction is open as of June 17.

The corridor, running along the Missouri River, was closed since May 29 after heavy storms dumped record amounts of rainfall across the region. Other roads in the area remain closed due to flooding and damage caused by the high waters.

This 150-mile stretch of Interstate 29 was shuttered for the first time in March because of historic flooding. That previous closure lasted longer than 2 months.

Presently, MoDOT says loads over 12-feet-wide still need to use alternate routes.

Naples, FL to add BlueToad Travel Tracker

Naples, Florida has been awarded a grant that allows the city to purchaseTrafficCast’s BlueToad travel time system equipment. The $129,000 grant provides for the city’s Traffic Management Center to acquire 25 BlueToad traffic controllers, two new servers and the accompanying software.

BlueToad is an operating system which tracks the speed and volume of traffic flow in an area – the city of Naples, for example – by picking up Bluetooth signals, in a non-invasive fashion, from moving vehicles. The information goes to the BlueToad operating system to show traffic flow and patterns, allowing traffic managers to quickly spot, and deal with, problem areas.

E-scooters return to Portland streets TODAY

Starting today, Portland, Oregon drivers are sharing roadways with E-Scooters.

E-scooters are a somewhat controversial new mobility service. Like bike-shares available in some cities, the service provides an electric-powered scooter to rent for one-way trips. The scooters are consigned through a scooter rental app. Some companies offer a call or text unlocking service for those who don’t have smartphones. According to the model, scooters are parked on the sidewalk close to the curb and out of the way of pedestrians when the trip is finished. Some companies requre riders to confirm they’ve parked the e-scooter correctly by submitting a photo through the company’s app to end the rental.

While e-scooters have been cast as a serious menace by detractors – the e-scooters are sometimes driven on and left lying on sidewalks, littering and blocking pedestrian routes – Portlanders approved the one-year pilot program after a 120-day trial period. Proponents who argued for approval for the program cited reduced traffic congestion by reducing the number of cars on the road, fewer automobile fatalities, expanded transportation opportunities especially for underserved Portlanders, and reduced air pollution.

Portland transportation officials warn residents are expected to adhere to e-scooter rules, including mandatory helmet use, no riding on sidewalks, and no riders under 16 years of age. E-scooter riders are also required to yield to pedestrians, and ride only on roadways in parks. E-scooter drivers are allowed on Portland city streets, multi-use paths and in bike lanes. The programs extends til April 26, 2020.