There are a lot of variables that impact the likelihood of a car accident. The biggest variable, of course, is the driver. Simply put, bad drivers get in accidents at a much higher rate than good drivers do. Of course, that’s not all that has an impact on accident rates.
The state that you’re driving in actually has a strong impact on the likelihood of you being in an accident. This is the case for a variety of reasons: everything from weather conditions, to the quality of the roads, to the driving laws, to the level of enforcement, to the severity of punishment play a role in car accident rates. The National Safety Council has ranked all 50 states - plus Washington D.C. - to help drivers see just how good their state is at helping prevent auto accidents.
States that earn an A grade in road safety
Seven states earned top marks for preventing accidents, and providing safe driving conditions for drivers. The top states, in order of ranking, are Illinois, Louisiana, Washington D.C., Delaware, Maine, West Virginia, and Maryland.
While all of these states earned a great grade, each one has areas to work on, mainly the prevalence of inexperienced teen drivers lacking proper driving skills and education.
States that earn a B grade in road safety
15 states earned a B grade from the National Safety Council. These states are viewed as ones that are above average in car accident prevention, but still have a lot of areas to improve before they are graded as elite in terms of safety for drivers. These states represent 8-22 on the overall list, and are, in order, Indiana, Washington, Georgia, Oregon, California, Tennessee, Hawaii, Connecticut, Utah, New Jersey, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island.
States that earn a C grade in road safety
The states in this bracket grade out as being average at preventing car accidents and providing safe driving conditions for drivers. These states all have a number of areas where they grade out as notably positive, but a number of areas where they are well below the grade. These stats are ranked 23-34, and are, in order, Minnesota, New Mexico, Alabama, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Colorado, and New Hampshire.
States that earn a D grade in road safety
A fair number of states earn a D grade from the National Safety Council, suggesting that they’re a bit below average when it comes to safe driving conditions and accident prevention. While these states are certainly below average, they all have some areas where they do well, or are steadily improving. The states represent 35-42 on the total list of car accident prevention and are, in order, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Ohio.
States that earn an F grade in road safety
These states are the worst throughout the country in terms of preventing accidents, and providing safe environments for drivers. They represent 43-51 on this list, and are, in order, Nevada, Florida, Mississippi, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Missouri, South Dakota, and Montana. All of these states struggle mightily across the board in terms of safe driving conditions.
The ability of the person behind the wheel will always be the largest factor in determining the rate of car accidents. However, since there are other factors that state’s control, it’s worth knowing how your state fares in terms of car accident prevention.