Personal Safety

What Are The Most Dangerous (And Safest) States For Driving?

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What are the most dangerous and safest states to drive in the United States? Can you guess where your state falls? We all have a perception of how risky our fellow drivers are on the road, but are your concerns backed up by the stats and facts? Our analysis of the 2021 NHTSA traffic fatality data estimates gives you the most recent reports of the most dangerous and safest states to drive in.

young man sitting inside his car and feeling stressed and upset with hands on face

What State Has The Most Fatal Car Accidents?

In 2021, Texas had the highest number of traffic fatalities with 4,573 deaths.

Which State Has The Fewest Fatal Car Crashes?

On the other hand, Alaska had the lowest number of traffic fatalities in 2021 with 67 deaths.

Top 10 National Driving Stats For 2021

Here are some noteworthy national statistics on fatal traffic accidents in 2021 compared to 2020:1

  1. Fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes up 16%
  2. Fatalities on urban roads up 16%
  3. Fatalities among drivers 65 and older up 14%
  4. Pedestrian fatalities up 13%
  5. Fatalities in crashes involving at least one large truck up 13%
  6. Daytime fatalities up 11%
  7. Motorcyclist fatalities up 9%
  8. Bicyclist fatalities up 5%
  9. Fatalities in speeding-related crashes up 5%
  10. Fatalities in police-reported, alcohol-involvement crashes up 5%

Most Dangerous & Safest States For Driving In 2021

in 2021 there were 42,915 deaths from car crashes (up 10% from 2020 and the highest number of fatalities since 2005). Here’s the list of all 50 states1 ranked from the most accidents (#50) to the least (#1) in 2021:

  1. Alaska 67
  2. Rhode Island 67
  3. Vermont 77
  4. Hawaii 95
  5. North Dakota 102
  6. Wyoming 113
  7. New Hampshire 123
  8. Delaware 137
  9. South Dakota 149
  10. Maine 162
  11. Nebraska 218
  12. Montana 243
  13. Idaho 286
  14. West Virginia 293
  15. Connecticut 327
  16. Utah 332
  17. Puerto Rico 337
  18. Iowa 356
  19. Nevada 386
  20. Massachusetts 413
  21. Kansas 433
  22. New Mexico 479
  23. Minnesota 500
  24. Maryland 542
  25. Wisconsin 597
  26. Oregon 599
  27. Washington 652
  28. Arkansas 690
  29. Colorado 696
  30. New Jersey 709
  31. Mississippi 755
  32. Oklahoma 774
  33. Kentucky 794
  34. Indiana 930
  35. Virginia 968
  36. Louisiana 976
  37. Alabama 987
  38. Missouri 1,016
  39. Arizona 1,123
  40. New York 1,139
  41. South Carolina 1,144
  42. Michigan 1,147
  43. Pennsylvania 1,234
  44. Tennessee 1,318
  45. Ohio 1,351
  46. Illinois 1,357
  47. North Carolina 1,627
  48. Georgia 1,806
  49. Florida 3,753
  50. California 4,258
  51. Texas 4,573

Tips To Stay Safe On The Road

Even if you follow all the best safety practices while you’re driving, you can’t control other drivers and unexpected incidents. Is there anything you can do? Yes; become a defensive driver!

The video below has some excellent initial tips to help you stay safe when conditions are beyond your control. Also, consider taking a defensive driving course.

Breakdown Of Drunk Driving Statistics By State

Which factors contribute to the most traffic fatalities? Alcohol-impaired drivers, speeders, and distracted drivers (we are looking at those of you who text while driving!) are the biggest culprits. If you’re concerned about DUI fatalities and arrests in your area, be sure to check out our article on drinking and driving by state.

Sources: [1] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2021

Sally Jones

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance. Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more. Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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