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What States Have the Most Fatal Car Crashes?

August 11, 2017
car crashes

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that the United States had the highest fatality rate from car crashes of 20 comparison countries. The study found that in 2013, the nation had a motor vehicle crash death rate of 10.3 per 100,000 persons.  More than 32,000 people died on our roads that year, approximately 90 fatalities per day.

While the U.S. doesn’t fare well when compared with other countries, how well do the states stack up against each other when it comes to motor vehicle fatalities?  

10 States with the Highest Fatality Rates

Based on analysis of information from 2014 from 24/7 Wall Street, here is a list of the 10 most dangerous states to drive in followed by the fatality rate per 100,000 persons:

  1. Wyoming – 25.7
  2. Mississippi – 20.3
  3. Montana – 18.8
  4. New Mexico – 18.4
  5. North Dakota – 18.3
  6. Oklahoma – 17.3
  7. South Carolina – 17.1
  8. Alabama – 16.9
  9. South Dakota – 15.9
  10. Louisiana – 15.1

10 States with the Lowest Fatality Rates

Here are the states deemed the safest in the study based on fatality rates per 100,000 persons:

  1. Massachusetts – 4.9
  2. Rhode Island – 4.9
  3. New York – 5.3
  4. New Jersey – 4.7
  5. Washington – 4.6
  6. Minnesota – 6.6
  7. Hawaii – 6.7
  8. Connecticut – 6.9
  9. Vermont – 7.0
  10. Illinois – 7.2

Some Factors Behind the Numbers

Identified as key factors behind these statistics were:

  • -Type of road – Fatalities were much more likely to occur on rural roads where people tend to drive faster. In fact, more than half of all road fatalities in the U.S. in 2014 took place on rural roads, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • -Alcohol use – Close to one-third of drivers who died in crashes in 2014 were considered legally intoxicated based on blood-alcohol content.
  • -Lack of seat belt use – In the majority of the states ranked least safe, seat belt use fell below the national average, which in itself wasn’t great compared with other countries. The U.S. ranked 18th out of 20 for front seat use, and 13th out of 18 for rear seat use, based on the CDC report.

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