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[Study] 2018 Fatal Crashes in America

January 29, 2020 |

In 2018, there were 33,654 motor vehicle crashes that claimed the lives of 36,560 people in the United States. While these numbers remain alarming, this was a 2 percent decrease in deaths from fatal crashes compared to 2017 data.

At Cannon & Dunphy S.C., we are advocates of road safety aiming to make everyone in the United States aware of these crashes. We wanted to find out the number of fatal crashes with each state’s population to ultimately determine which state had the highest rate.  So, we worked with the data visualization and consumer safety advocacy firm, Safer America, to analyze NHTSA fatal crash data from 2018.

There are many factors that contribute to fatal crashes in the United States. These include the types of vehicles driven, travel speeds, state traffic laws, and weather are just a few. The FARS data we analyzed took a close look at a state’s population, which had a tremendous effect on the number of auto accident deaths. We then used the raw total numbers of 2018’s fatal crashes to calculate the fatal crash rate per 100,000 in population for every state in the United States.

As a result, we discovered the 2018 national average fatal crash rate per 100,000 people was 11.2.

The five states with the highest fatal crash rates in 2018:

  1. Mississippi
  2. South Carolina
  3. Alabama
  4. Wyoming
  5. New Mexico

These 5 states ranked above the national average.

The five states with the lowest fatal crash rates in 2018:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New York
  5. District of Columbia

These 5 states ranked below the national average.

2018 National Fatal Crash Rates in Relation to National Average

*Fatal crash rates expressed per 100,000 people in each state.

Rank State Pop Fatal Crashes Deaths Fatal Crash Rate Relation to National Average
1 Mississippi 2,986,530 597 664 19.99 Above
2 South Carolina 5,084,127 970 1,037 19.08 Above
3 Alabama 4,887,871 876 953 17.92 Above
4 Wyoming 577,737 100 111 17.31 Above
5 New Mexico 2,095,428 350 391 16.70 Above
6 Montana 1,062,305 168 182 15.81 Above
7 Arkansas 3,013,825 472 516 15.66 Above
8 Louisiana 4,659,978 716 768 15.36 Above
9 Oklahoma 3,943,079 603 655 15.29 Above
10 Kentucky 4,468,402 664 724 14.86 Above
11 West Virginia 1,805,832 265 294 14.67 Above
12 Tennessee 6,770,010 974 1,041 14.39 Above
13 Missouri 6,126,452 848 921 13.84 Above
14 Florida 21,299,325 2,915 3,133 13.69 Above
15 Georgia 10,519,475 1,407 1,504 13.38 Above
16 Arizona 7,171,646 916 1,010 12.77 Above
17 North Carolina 10,383,620 1,321 1,437 12.72 Above
18 Kansas 2,911,505 366 404 12.57 Above
19 North Dakota 760,077 95 105 12.50 Above
20 South Dakota 882,235 110 130 12.47 Above
21 Idaho 1,754,208 212 231 12.09 Above
22 Indiana 6,691,878 774 858 11.57 Above
23 Texas 28,701,845 3,305 3,642 11.51 Above
24 Delaware 967,171 104 111 10.75 Below
25 Oregon 4,190,713 450 506 10.74 Below
26 Nebraska 1,929,268 201 230 10.42 Below
27 Colorado 5,695,564 588 632 10.32 Below
28 Nevada 3,034,392 300 330 9.89 Below
29 New Hampshire 1,356,458 134 147 9.88 Below
30 Vermont 626,299 60 68 9.58 Below
31 Maine 1,338,404 128 137 9.56 Below
32 Alaska 737,438 69 80 9.36 Below
33 Iowa 3,156,145 291 318 9.22 Below
34 Virginia 8,517,685 778 820 9.13 Below
35 Wisconsin 5,813,568 530 588 9.12 Below
36 Michigan 9,995,915 905 974 9.05 Below
37 Pennsylvania 12,807,060 1,103 1,190 8.61 Below
38 Ohio 11,689,442 996 1,068 8.52 Below
39 California 39,557,045 3,259 3,563 8.24 Below
40 Maryland 6,042,718 474 501 7.84 Below
41 Hawaii 1,420,491 110 117 7.74 Below
42 Connecticut 3,572,665 276 294 7.73 Below
43 Utah 3,161,105 237 260 7.50 Below
44 Illinois 12,741,080 948 1,031 7.44 Below
45 Washington 7,535,591 497 546 6.60 Below
46 Minnesota 5,611,179 349 381 6.22 Below
47 New Jersey 8,908,520 525 564 5.89 Below
48 Rhode Island 1,057,315 56 59 5.30 Below
49 Massachusetts 6,902,149 343 360 4.97 Below
50 New York 19,542,209 889 943 4.55 Below
51 District of Columbia 702,455 30 31 4.27 Below

As seen from the table above, District of Columbia (D.C.) had the lowest fatal crash death rate of 4.27, while Mississippi held the highest of 19.99. Between the lowest and highest state, there was a 15.72 difference in fatal crash rate.

Which States Barely Passed National Average?

  • Texas – 11.51
  • Indiana – 11.57

Which States Barely Remained Below Nation Average?

  • Delaware – 10.75
  • Oregon – 10.74

Overall 23 states had a fatal crash rate higher than the national average, while 28 states were below it.

Key Takeaways

Even though the U.S. population has been steadily growing since 1975, the death crash rates per 100,000 population in 2018 is about half of what it was years ago. Car accidents are inevitable, however, our personal injury lawyers in Milwaukee have plenty of safety tips that can help protect you from an accident.

  • Do not drink or drive under any circumstance.
  • Pull into traffic slowly. Be sure to stop when appropriate, look at all mirrors, be aware of blind spots.
  • Drive defensively whenever needed. Always expect the unexpected, and be ready to adjust accordingly.
  • Drive without any distractions. Be sure to put the phone down. Keep your eyes on the road at all times.
  • Avoid speeding. Speeding is one major factor in all types of accidents.
  • Keep up with the car maintenance. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, fluids are not low, and car brakes are functioning properly.

 

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