Do you find yourself driving along and wonder how the some of the other drivers have managed to live this long? You are not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were some 30,000 fatalities last year on America’s highways and byways. However, how does your state stack up against the rest when it comes to your chances of making it home in one piece?
According the USCB estimates, some states have a notorious reputation for number of accidents, and fatalities. The reputation isn’t always warranted though, as some states most people don’t even consider are among the worst in the country.
5 Worst States
- North Dakota
5 Best States
The five best and worst aren’t based off the total number or accidents or fatalities, but are instead based on a percentage by the number of miles driven each year, and how many licensed drivers there are in each state.
The five best and worst states to drive in (2009), regardless of percentages are:
- California – 3,081
- Texas – 3,071
- Florida – 2,558
- North Carolina – 1,314
- Georgia – 1,284
- Alaska – 64
- Vermont – 74
- Rhode Island – 83
- New Hampshire – 110
- Delaware – 116
You can see that states with high population concentrations have quite a few more accident related deaths. Alaska is ranked #1, but only because they have the fewest roads and the lowest population at just 710,000. California gets a bad rap, but only because it is the most populous state in the country with over 37.5 million residents.
Taking into consideration of how safe your local roads are really depends on how many people live near you. States that require commuting to get to and from work will naturally have a higher accident rate. Basically, the bigger the area, coupled with lack of public transportation lends to the number of accidents. For instance, New York is ranked as the country’s third most populous state but only had a 0.9% for traffic fatalities.
The good news is that traffic accidents and fatalities are on the decline, and have been dropping every year since 1990. There were 44, 599 traffic fatalities in 1990, compared to 33,808 in 2009 – a decrease of over 10,000 annually.
Many attribute this to improved safety features on cars, but law enforcement has also taken a firmer stance on drunk driving, actively seeking drunk drivers with random checkpoints, in addition to educating police on how to spot drunk drivers better.
Get home safely!
Statistical Source: U.S. Census Bureau