As the population of the United States continues to grow and gas prices continue to decline, more drivers are hitting the roads in cars, thus increasing the number of cars on the road, traffic jams on these roads, and ultimately, the number and likelihood of car accident on these roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 35,000 people died as a result of road crashes in the United States in 2015. 2.4 million others suffered injuries.
Unsurprisingly, when you compare the data from state to state, those with the highest population have the highest number of fatalities. These include Texas, Florida, California and New York. However, the results of fatalities relative to the population in each state paint a different picture.
These are the top 10 most dangerous states to drive in based on fatalities per 100, 000 people.
Louisiana starts out our top 10 list with a fatality rate of 15.54 per 100, 000 people. This is despite it coming in third with one of the lowest DUI arrest rates per 1,000 drivers. The state also ranked sixth with a 1.51 fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
There were 16.44 car fatalities per 100, 000 people in 2015 in Oklahoma. Although high, this was a drop from 17.25 in 2014. 86.6% of Passengers and drivers in Oklahoma wore seat belts in 2016. This is a high number although still less than the country’s average.
Kentucky experienced 17.20 fatalities per 100, 000 people in 2015, a significant rise from just 15.23 the previous year. It has one of the highest numbers of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled coming in 4th with 1.51.
7. North Dakota
North Dakota registered a decrease with a fatality rate of 17.31 from the 18.26 it had in 2014. But this was barely enough to escape this list. Most of these deaths are largely attributed to drunk driving. Despite the high number of deaths on the road, passengers and drivers in the state wear seat belts less often. While the national average stood at 90.1% in 2016, only 82.8% in North Dakota ever buckled up.
With a fatality rate of 17.47 per 100, 000 people, Alabama is easily one of the most dangerous states to drive in. The state also scored poorly in other metrics except for the number of DUI arrests. Fewer drivers in Alabama have auto insurance compared to other states; 18.40% of drivers in the state are not insured.
The state of Arkansas starts off our top five with a fatality rate of 17.83 per 100, 000 people. Interestingly, the state also ranked 5th in fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Only 75.1% of drivers and passengers in the state wore seat belts in 2016 though.
4. South Carolina
South Carolina has the fourth highest fatality rate at 19.95 per 100, 000 people, but it has the highest fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled at a staggering 1.89. However, residents in the state are more likely to observe best practices compared to other states; 93.9% of drivers and passengers wore seat belts in 2016.
Montana earns its place among the top three with a 21.69 fatality rate per 100, 000 people and an equally high fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, only coming second to South Carolina. For a long time, it was not illegal to drive while holding a beer can in Montana. Although the laws have since tightened, there is still a strong trend of drunk driving in the state.
Mississippi maintains its second spot from 2014 with a fatality rate of 22.62 per 100, 000 people. It jumped one position from 2014 to have the third highest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled at 1.70. Only 77.9% of drivers and passengers in Mississippi wore seat belts in 2016.
The most dangerous state to drive in in the U.S is Wyoming. It had a 24.74 fatality rate per 100, 000 people in 2015 comfortably retaining its position at the top in 2014. The state has a 1.51 fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Majority of these deaths (more than three-quarters) occurred in rural roads with drunk driving being the leading contributor
It is very important to be very careful while driving on the road especially in these ten states. As you observe safety, be aware of other motorists on the road since there’s a chance they might not be as careful as you. But in the event that you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident, you should immediately seek medical attention, after which you should ensure you ensure that you speak to car accident injury attorney to discuss what options you have for getting compensation for any injuries and damages you may have suffered in the accident.