A look at the highest concentration of incidents, fatalities and miles traveled by state.
Traffic fatalities are a serious issue in the United States. Every year, thousands of people die in preventable car accidents. The number of accidents and fatalities vary from state to state, but there are trends in each state based on how many miles the average driver drives each year.
Total Vehicle Miles Traveled
Across the nation, there is a wide expanse in the number of miles the average driver drives. In some states, like California, Texas and Florida, all drivers in the state combined drove over 200 thousand miles in 2007. This high mileage, naturally, increases the risk of car accidents and traffic fatalities in these states.
There doesn’t seem to be a correlation geographically as to why certain states’ drivers traveled a certain number of miles. The three mentioned above are bigger states, so size may have some contribution.
Eighty percent of the states in the U.S. had vehicle miles of 100,000 miles or less. The states that had vehicle miles around the 100,000 mile mark in 2007 include:
The majority of the states fell far below the 100 thousand mark, with a few at the lowest spectrum: Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota and Rhode Island.
Traffic Fatalities by State
Looking at the highest instances of traffic fatalities, it should come as no surprise that California, Texas and Florida have the highest numbers. California tops the chart with over 4,000 fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers in 2007.
Oregon had far fewer fatalities related to driving in 2007, at 455 per 100,000. Still, this state was in the middle of the list for all fatalities across the country. Delaware had just 117 per 100,000 drivers, and West Virginia had the lowest instance of traffic fatalities, at 31 per 100,000 licensed drivers.
Fatality Incident Rates
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculates what it calls fatality incident rates by determining how many fatalities occur for every 100,000 miles driven. Massachusetts and Rhode Island had the lowest incident rates, which were 0.76 and 0.80 respectively. Hawaii and Pennsylvania fell in the middle of this list, at 1.33 and 1.37 respectively. And the highest on the list were, surprisingly, Louisiana and Montana. Louisiana had 2.17 fatalities per 100,000 miles driven and Montana had 2.45 fatalities per 100,000 miles driven in 2007.
How does your state measure up? Use the map to see how many fatalities your state averaged in 2007.