Which State Has the Most Dangerous Roads?
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Car crashes kill thousands of Americans every year. The Insurance Information Institute (III) says that in 2019, 36,096 people died from car accidents. But which state has the most deadly accidents? The answer might not come as a surprise.
Texas recorded the most fatalities caused by car crashes in 2019 with 3,615 deaths, followed closely by California, with 3,606. These stats don’t mean much since the two states also have the largest populations. The fact that Rhode Island, a much smaller state, only recorded 57 deaths in 2019 further illustrates the weakness of the stat in determining the deadliest state to drive in.
To discover the state with the most dangerous driving, you have to look a little deeper. The rate of fatal crashes per capita or per miles driven might be better indications of road safety in each state. Let’s look at each of these stats together and see what we find.
Trying to figure out which state has the most dangerous roads is no easy task | Twenty20
The state with the worst car crash fatality rate per capita
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gathered information to determine the fatality rate per every 100,000 people in every state. In 2019, based on the data collected, the state with the worst fatality rate per 100,000 people was Wyoming. 25.4 people out of every 100,000 died from car accidents in Wyoming that year.
This might give a slightly better picture of the danger of the roads in each state, but it could also skew a little too far in the other direction of simple numbers of crashes per state that the III gave since Wyoming happens to also be the state with the smallest population.
But with a population of 705,749, the District of Columbia has the best car crash fatality rate in the country, of 3.3 per 100,000 people. This detail might have you put some faith back into the statistic, but the difference in geographic size between the two states should make us suspicious again.
Other states with high car crash fatality rates per 100,000 people are Mississippi (21.6), New Mexico (20.2), South Carolina (19.4), and Alabama (19.0). In 2019, the populations of these states ranged from Wyoming’s 578,759 to South Carolina’s 5,148,714.
Their differences in population help us determine that something in the stat does show how safe the roads are in each state, but the other issues indicate the need to keep looking in order to determine which state’s roads are the most dangerous.
The fatality rate per miles driven
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Understanding the road safety of each state based on miles driven makes sense since the stat is usage-based rather than being dictated purely by population.
According to IIHS, the state with the worst car crash fatality rate per miles driven in 2019 was South Carolina. For every 100 million miles driven in the state, 1.73 people died because of a car crash. Mississippi (1.56) and New Mexico (1.53) have the second and third-worst fatality rates per miles driven.
The fact that these three states also have some of the highest car crash fatality rates per capita helps confirm how deadly their roads are compared to other states.
The state with the deadliest roads
It’s difficult to say exactly which state has the deadliest roads because so many factors could help determine the result. Besides the ones already mentioned, you could look at traffic violations, speed, drunk-driving rates and laws, and a whole slew of other influences.
But based on the components we looked at here, one state that keeps coming up is South Carolina. The fact that Matador Network says it’s the state handing out the second most tickets per capita helps confirm it as the state with the deadliest roads.
Protecting yourself from car accidents and dangerous roads
No matter what state you live in or where you drive, it’s important to stay alert and do everything you can to be safe on the road. Taking defensive driving classes, staying off your cell phone while driving, and obeying the laws of the road are just a few things you can easily do to reduce the risk of causing an accident.
But we all know that we can’t always avoid the unexpected. That’s why it’s so important to find car insurance you know you can count on.
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