Deadliest States for Adults and Teen Drivers

Deadliest States for Adults and Teen Drivers

An estimated 42,915 people were killed in a fatal motor vehicle accident in 2021. This was 10% higher when compared to 2020, which had 38,824 car accident deaths. Statistics show that some areas in the United States are deadlier than others.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for adults and teens. For teens, however, driving has resulted to be far more deadly. Fatal car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. with 1 in 3 teen deaths being a result of a car accident.

Table of context:

How deadly are the deadliest states for drivers?

How deadly are the deadliest states for drivers?

In 2022 the U.S. saw a 10% decline in fatal car accident deaths when compared to 2021. Fatal accidents in the deadliest states for drivers range between 1.46 to 1.83 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. The worst states to drive in the U.S. are South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

These states are also ranked in the top 3 deadliest states in the nation. South Carolina has the highest deaths per registered vehicle with up to 1.83 per 100,000 million miles as of 2022. It also had the second highest number of car accident deaths by population with up to 20 deaths per 100,000 people.

Fatal Car Accidents by State

The leading cause of driver death is fatal car crashes. In some states in the U.S., the number of fatal crashes can even come close to or be higher than the number of deaths in some years. There is a range of 0.54 – 1.83 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in all 50 states as of 2022. These numbers change depending on the year.

The rankings of the deadliest states, however, haven’t changed as much between 2019 to 2022. The top five deadliest states for adult and teen drivers by miles driven are:

  • South Carolina (1.83)
  • Mississippi (1.63)
  • Louisiana (1.53)
  • West Virginia (1.51)
  • Kentucky (1.46)

Types of Fatal Accidents

Types of Fatal Accidents

Most states are different when it comes to the type of fatal accident they are the most popular for. Some of the most common types of fatal accidents include side-impact, multiple vehicles, single vehicles, and head-on. On the contrary, there are similar things that lead to these different types of accidents such as speeding, drunk driving, auto defects, and bad weather.

The following list shows the top 10 states with the most fatal vehicle accidents and the number of fatal accidents for each corresponding state as of 2022:

  • Texas (3,305)
  • California (3,259)
  • Florida (2,915)
  • Georgia (1,407)
  • North Carolina (1,321)
  • Pennsylvania (1,103)
  • Ohio (996)
  • Tennessee (974)
  • South Carolina (970)
  • Illinois (948)

Fatal Car Crashes by Population

Fatal Car Crashes by Population

In 2020, the death rate for fatal car crashes was an average of 11.2 per 100,000 people in all 50 states. Despite South Carolina being the deadliest state per 100 million miles driven, Mississippi holds first place for the most deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

Car accident deaths by population range from 4.9 to 25.4 deaths per 100,000 people in all 50 states. The five deadliest states for adult and teen drivers regarding population are:

  • Mississippi (25.4)
  • South Carolina (20.7)
  • Wyoming (22.0)
  • New Mexico (18.8)
  • Alabama (18.6)

Vehicle Fatality Accidents by State/ Miles Driven/ Population (IIHS, 2020)

State Population Vehicle miles traveled (millions) Fatal crashes Deaths Deaths per 100,000 population Deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled
Alabama 5,024,803 67,921 852 934 18.6 1.38
Alaska 732,441 5,306 53 64 8.7 1.21
Arizona 7,177,986 65,758 967 1,054 14.7 1.60
Arkansas 3,012,232 33,919 585 638 21.2 1.88
California 39,499,738 299,812 3,558 3,847 9.7 1.28
Colorado 5,784,308 48,642 574 622 10.8 1.28
Connecticut 3,600,260 29,845 279 295 8.2 0.99
Delaware 991,886 8,345 104 116 11.7 1.39
District of Columbia 690,093 3,030 34 36 5.2 1.19
Florida 21,569,932 208,076 3,098 3,331 15.4 1.60
Georgia 10,725,800 115,967 1,522 1,664 15.5 1.43
Hawaii 1,451,911 8,785 81 85 5.9 0.97
Idaho 1,847,772 17,406 188 214 11.6 1.23
Illinois 12,785,245 94,121 1,087 1,194 9.3 1.27
Indiana 6,785,644 76,608 815 897 13.2 1.17
Iowa 3,188,669 29,751 304 337 10.6 1.13
Kansas 2,935,880 27,854 382 426 14.5 1.53
Kentucky 4,503,958 46,536 709 780 17.3 1.68
Louisiana 4,651,203 48,374 762 828 17.8 1.71
Maine 1,362,280 13,086 151 164 12.0 1.25
Maryland 6,172,679 50,885 540 567 9.2 1.11
Massachusetts 7,022,220 54,127 327 343 4.9 0.63
Michigan 10,067,664 86,547 1,011 1,084 10.8 1.25
Minnesota 5,707,165 51,619 369 394 6.9 0.76
Mississippi 2,956,870 39,665 687 752 25.4 1.90
Missouri 6,154,481 72,797 914 987 16.0 1.36
Montana 1,086,193 12,104 190 213 19.6 1.76
Nebraska 1,961,455 19,432 217 233 11.9 1.20
Nevada 3,114,071 25,231 293 317 10.2 1.26
New Hampshire 1,377,848 11,956 98 104 7.5 0.87
New Jersey 9,279,743 66,341 547 584 6.3 0.88
New Mexico 2,117,566 23,756 365 398 18.8 1.68
New York 20,154,933 102,477 963 1,046 5.2 1.02
North Carolina 10,457,177 106,342 1,412 1,538 14.7 1.45
North Dakota 778,962 8,768 96 100 12.8 1.14
Ohio 11,790,587 103,115 1,154 1,230 10.4 1.19
Oklahoma 3,962,031 42,000 599 652 16.5 1.55
Oregon 4,241,544 32,298 461 508 12.0 1.57
Pennsylvania 12,989,625 87,982 1,060 1,129 8.7 1.28
Rhode Island 1,096,229 6,864 66 67 6.1 0.98
South Carolina 5,130,729 53,972 962 1,064 20.7 1.97
South Dakota 887,099 9,743 132 141 15.9 1.45
Tennessee 6,920,119 76,392 1,119 1,217 17.6 1.59
Texas 29,217,653 260,582 3,520 3,874 13.3 1.49
Utah 3,281,684 30,251 256 276 8.4 0.91
Vermont 642,495 6,007 58 62 9.6 1.03
Virginia 8,632,044 76,110 796 850 9.8 1.12
Washington 7,718,785 53,658 525 560 7.3 1.04
West Virginia 1,789,798 16,054 249 267 14.9 1.66
Wisconsin 5,892,323 57,600 561 614 10.4 1.07
Wyoming 577,267 9,800 114 127 22.0 1.30
U.S. total 331,501,080 2,903,617 35,766 38,824 11.7 1.34

Vehicle Fatality Accidents by State
Vehicle Fatality Accidents by State

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the deadliest road in the country?

I-4 is considered one of the deadliest roads to drive in the U.S. The road runs from Tampa, Florida to Daytona Beach, Florida. I-4 has a high death rate per mile driven. This is due to the many challenges drivers have to undergo to cross this road such as driving alongside heavy truckers, construction zones, different speeds, and heavy traffic.

Which is the deadliest highway in the U.S?

The deadliest highway is thought to be in Houston, Texas. The I-45 highway in Texas also battles the I-4 road for its danger. The problem that makes this highway so deadly is the drivers themselves. Houston drivers are proven to have a problem with drunk driving.

Which is the deadliest country for driving in the world?

China and Malaysia are often seen to be even more dangerous for drivers than the U.S. The reason for this is that they are overpopulated. This results in a higher number of fatal vehicle accidents and death.

What is the leading cause of car accident deaths?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration speeding and drunk driving go head to head for being the leading cause of accident deaths in the nation.

Final thoughts

These statistics also suggest that education, regulations, and enforcement are good points of focus to prevent further driving fatalities in the future. The data shows that more drivers and pedestrians died in the western United States, which may be due to more rural populations.

Lower income areas were shown to have a higher number of fatal crashes as well. As for states with the worst driving conditions, it’s likely no coincidence that many of them also have worse driving laws.

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