The 10 Safest States For Drivers

From the long stretches of North Dakota highway to the rotaries of Massachusetts, Americans log nearly 3 trillion driving miles each year — enough to travel to the sun and back over 15,000 times! We drive a lot, and the more we drive, the greater our risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. A staggering 5.6 million motor vehicle crashes were reported in 2012 alone — 30,800 of those being fatal.

While we acknowledge that the only acceptable fatality rate is zero, we thought it was worth recognizing states that are putting appropriate measures in place to assure fewer fatal accidents. Using fatality rate per 100,000 drivers as our basis*, we ranked the safest states for US drivers and created the above interactive map to better visualize the data.

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1. Massachusetts
2. Washington
3. Rhode Island
4. Connecticut
5. New Jersey
6. New Hampshire
7. New York
8. Alaska
9. Illinois
10. California
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Does your state rank well? Can you find any interesting patterns in the data? Share your observations in the comments section below!


Complete Data for All 50 States

SAFETY RANK STATE TOTAL FATALITIES LICENSED DRIVERS FATALITY RATE
1 MA 349 4,734,000 7.37
2 WA 444 5,228,000 8.49
3 RI 64 750,000 8.54
4 CT 236 2,486,000 9.49
5 NJ 589 6,040,000 9.75
6 NH 108 1,065,000 10.14
7 NY 1,168 11,249,000 10.38
8 AK 59 526,000 11.21
9 IL 956 8,236,000 11.61
10 CA 2,857 24,201,000 11.81
11 MN 395 3,322,000 11.89
12 (Tie) OR 336 2,770,000 12.13
12 (Tie) UT 217 1,789,000 12.13
14 MD 505 4,102,000 12.31
15 CO 472 3,808,000 12.4
16 MI 938 7,019,000 13.36
17 HI 126 915,000 13.77
18 (Tie) OH 1,123 8,006,000 14.03
18 (Tie) VA 777 5,538,000 14.03
20 IN 779 5,376,000 14.49
21 VT 77 530,000 14.54
22 PA 1,310 8,843,000 14.81
23 NV 258 1,728,000 14.93
24 WI 615 4,057,000 15.16
25 NE 212 1,364,000 15.55
26 DE 114 720,000 15.83
USA 33,561 211,815,000 15.84
27 ME 164 1,008,000 16.27
28 IA 365 2,217,000 16.46
29 ID 184 1,093,000 16.83
30 FL 2,424 13,897,000 17.44
31 AZ 825 4,698,000 17.56
32 GA 1,192 6,582,000 18.11
33 MO 826 4,288,000 19.26
34 NC 1,292 6,678,000 19.35
35 KS 405 2,018,000 20.07
36 SD 133 607,000 21.92
37 TN 1,014 4,574,000 22.17
38 TX 3,398 15,252,000 22.28
39 AL 865 3,828,000 22.6
40 LA 722 2,924,000 24.69
41 SC 863 3,456,000 24.97
42 KY 746 2,985,000 24.99
43 AR 552 2,199,000 25.1
44 NM 365 1,430,000 25.52
45 MT 205 758,000 27.05
46 WV 339 1,242,000 27.3
47 WY 123 422,000 29.18
48 OK 708 2,400,000 29.5
49 MS 582 1,958,000 29.72
50 ND 170 503,000 33.81

 



Tweet One of These Key Observations

Tweet this: 19 of the 20 most dangerous states to drive in voted for Romney in 2012.
Tweet this: 4 New England states are on the ’10 Safest States for Drivers’ list.
Tweet this: Southern states score very low on ‘Safest States for Drivers’ list.
Tweet this: North Dakota is the most dangerous state to drive in.
Tweet this: Massachusetts is the safest state for drivers, according to a new report.
Tweet this: Interactive map shows safest states for drivers. How safe is your state?


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*Methodology: Rankings were determined by fatality rate per 100 thousand licensed drivers. Data sourced from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s “Traffic Safety Facts” Report, released in June 2014. Information on traffic fatalities is available from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), NVS-424, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. NCSA can be contacted at 800-934-8517 or via the following e-mail address: ncsaweb@dot.gov. General information on highway traffic safety can be accessed by Internet users at www.nhtsa.gov/NCSA.

  • C Proescher

    Rather poor way to chart things. The first paragraph tells us all about how much we drive how many trillions of miles each year. And then the graph relates ‘safeness’ to ‘how many licenses are issued.

    The number of licenses issued is meaningless as a statistic, a state like New York (and NYC in particular) could issue a hundred licenses, but what if only 10 people bother to drive?

    A good researcher would have based the graph upon how many passenger miles were driven each year.