Who do you think you are?

I-10 bridge in Mobile, Ala., taken yesterday.
Spend a little time driving America’s Interstate highways, and you’ll get to know all the characters that make their homes on the road.
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Driving home for the holidays? You’ll get there — eventually

There’s good news and bad news for motorists this holiday season.

America’s roads have never been safer, statistics show. But, depending where you live, they may never be slower.

“The big new trend this year is the construction,” said Carol White, co-author of “Live Your Road Trip Dream.” “With all the TARP funds rolling out on highway projects, last summer was a mess, and I think it is going to continue into the winter months in areas where weather permits.”

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government has spent $27 billion for highway and bridge construction in the last two years.
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When in Rome, watch your driving

Of all the recurring complaints I get from readers, the one they find by far most vexing has nothing to do with excessive fees, surprise surcharges or surly employees.

It’s about traffic tickets. In Italy.

Dean Brown is the latest in a long line of agitated drivers. In 2008, he and his wife visited Florence. “I parked my rental car in a space with a meter,” said Brown, a general contractor who lives in Tiburon, Calif. “I made sure the meter had the correct amount of paid time for our visit. Now I have received a notice of “Violation of the Highway Code,” which states that my vehicle was circulated in a limited-traffic area without authorization. They are asking for 183 euros,” about $250.
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Surprise! Americans drive the speed limit — unless they’re on I-15

Here’s some interesting research that challenges the conventional wisdom about travel in America: U.S. motorist do drive the speed limit — unless they’re on I-15 in Nevada and Utah, better known as “America’s Autobahn.” That’s according to a survey released this morning by TomTom, a manufacturer of navigation systems.

The results were calculated using data from TomTom’s Speed Profiles, the historical speed database from the company’s Tele Atlas map business. Among some of the other findings, TomTom concluded that the slowest roads in the nation were in Washington, D.C.
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America’s streets may be safer, but mind those country roads

The government has some good news for you: The number of traffic fatalities is at its lowest level since 1961. Injuries are down, too.

That’s according to a new report (PDF) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The bad news — and calling it that may be a stretch — is that not all roads are equally safer.
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