State by state | 2015

The number and types of motor vehicle crash deaths differ widely among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. A state's population has an obvious effect on the number of motor vehicle deaths. Fatality rates per capita and per vehicle miles traveled provide a way of examining motor vehicle deaths relative to the population and amount of driving. However, many factors can affect these rates, including types of vehicles driven, travel speeds, rates of licensure, state traffic laws, emergency care capabilities, weather, and topography.

The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Posted November 2016.

Fatal crash totals

There were 32,166 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2015 in which 35,092 deaths occurred. This resulted in 10.9 deaths per 100,000 people. The fatality rate per 100,000 people ranged from 3.4 in the District of Columbia to 24.7 in Wyoming. Federal Highway Administration. 2015. Highway statistics, 2014. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation.

Population, fatal motor vehicle crashes, motor vehicle crash deaths and motor vehicle crash death rates per state, 2015
StatePopulationFatal crashesDeathsDeaths per 100,000 population
Alabama 4,858,979 783 849 17.5
Alaska 738,432 60 65 8.8
Arizona 6,828,065 810 893 13.1
Arkansas 2,978,204 472 531 17.8
California 39,144,818 2,925 3,176 8.1
Colorado 5,456,574 506 546 10.0
Connecticut 3,590,886 253 266 7.4
Delaware 945,934 122 126 13.3
District of Columbia 672,228 23 23 3.4
Florida 20,271,272 2,699 2,939 14.5
Georgia 10,214,860 1,327 1,430 14.0
Hawaii 1,431,603 86 94 6.6
Idaho 1,654,930 198 216 13.1
Illinois 12,859,995 914 998 7.8
Indiana 6,619,680 756 821 12.4
Iowa 3,123,899 282 320 10.2
Kansas 2,911,641 322 355 12.2
Kentucky 4,425,092 694 761 17.2
Louisiana 4,670,724 674 726 15.5
Maine 1,329,328 144 156 11.7
Maryland 6,006,401 472 513 8.5
Massachusetts 6,794,422 291 306 4.5
Michigan 9,922,576 893 963 9.7
Minnesota 5,489,594 375 411 7.5
Mississippi 2,992,333 604 677 22.6
Missouri 6,083,672 802 869 14.3
Montana 1,032,949 204 224 21.7
Nebraska 1,896,190 218 246 13.0
Nevada 2,890,845 296 325 11.2
New Hampshire 1,330,608 103 114 8.6
New Jersey 8,958,013 522 562 6.3
New Mexico 2,085,109 269 298 14.3
New York 19,795,791 1,046 1,121 5.7
North Carolina 10,042,802 1,275 1,379 13.7
North Dakota 756,928 111 131 17.3
Ohio 11,613,423 1,029 1,110 9.6
Oklahoma 3,911,338 588 643 16.4
Oregon 4,028,977 412 447 11.1
Pennsylvania 12,802,503 1,102 1,200 9.4
Rhode Island 1,056,298 41 45 4.3
South Carolina 4,896,146 909 977 20.0
South Dakota 858,469 115 133 15.5
Tennessee 6,600,299 884 958 14.5
Texas 27,469,114 3,124 3,516 12.8
Utah 2,995,919 256 276 9.2
Vermont 626,042 50 57 9.1
Virginia 8,382,993 711 753 9.0
Washington 7,170,351 516 568 7.9
West Virginia 1,844,128 246 268 14.5
Wisconsin 5,771,337 523 566 9.8
Wyoming 586,107 129 145 24.7
U.S. total 321,418,821 32,166 35,092 10.9

Deaths by road user

In 2015, the types of motor vehicle crash deaths varied across states. For example, Wyoming and North Dakota had the highest percentage of deaths involving occupants of SUVs and pickups (50 percent) and some of the lowest proportions of deaths including car occupants (23 and 27 percent).  In contrast, Massachusetts had one of the highest proportions of car occupant deaths (41 percent), a relatively high proportion of pedestrian deaths (24 percent), and a relatively low percentage of deaths involving SUV or pickup occupants (13 percent).  The highest percentage of motorcyclist deaths occurred in New Hampshire and South Dakota (23 percent each).  The percentage of pedestrian deaths was highest in the District of Columbia (57 percent).

Motor vehicle crash deaths by road user type and state, 2015
StateCar occupants Pickup and SUV occupantsLarge truck occupants Motorcyclists Pedestrians Bicyclists Total*
Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%
Alabama 356 42 279 33 16 2 64 8 98 12 9 1 849 100
Alaska 13 20 23 3500 10 15 12 1800 65 100
Arizona 260 29 217 24 14 2 131 15 153 17 29 3 893 100
Arkansas 191 36 181 34 17 3 73 14 43 8 3 1 531 100
California 1,161 37 581 18 23 1 456 14 742 23 129 4 3,176 100
Colorado 175 32 165 30 13 2 103 19 59 11 13 2 546 100
Connecticut 108 41 46 17 7 3 49 18 45 17 3 1 266 100
Delaware 49 39 15 12 2 2 18 14 35 28 3 2 126 100
District of Columbia 6 260000 2 9 13 57 1 4 23 100
Florida 924 31 511 17 31 1 577 20 628 21 150 5 2,939 100
Georgia 577 40 413 29 25 2 140 10 193 13 23 2 1,430 100
Hawaii 19 20 17 1800 19 20 25 27 2 2 94 100
Idaho 76 35 86 40 4 2 30 14 8 400 216 100
Illinois 405 41 231 23 12 1 143 14 150 15 26 3 998 100
Indiana 351 43 210 26 16 2 90 11 96 12 12 1 821 100
Iowa 120 38 114 36 6 2 40 12 25 8 5 2 320 100
Kansas 138 39 110 31 16 5 41 12 24 7 3 1 355 100
Kentucky 324 43 231 30 9 1 87 11 67 9 7 1 761 100
Louisiana 250 34 222 31 7 1 87 12 102 14 34 5 726 100
Maine 65 42 36 2300 30 19 19 1200 156 100
Maryland 210 41 96 19 10 2 69 13 92 18 10 2 513 100
Massachusetts 124 41 41 13 2 1 44 14 72 24 9 3 306 100
Michigan 353 37 219 23 11 1 137 14 166 17 33 3 963 100
Minnesota 163 40 113 27 3 1 60 15 39 9 10 2 411 100
Mississippi 261 39 277 41 18 3 37 5 63 9 5 1 677 100
Missouri 349 40 263 30 19 2 89 10 104 12 9 1 869 100
Montana 70 31 101 45 1 0 23 10 14 6 1 0 224 100
Nebraska 83 34 100 41 5 2 23 9 19 8 4 2 246 100
Nevada 103 32 72 22 4 1 44 14 66 20 10 3 325 100
New Hampshire 51 45 23 2000 26 23 8 7 3 3 114 100
New Jersey 218 39 78 14 10 2 49 9 170 30 18 3 562 100
New Mexico 79 27 102 34 10 3 38 13 54 18 7 2 298 100
New York 392 35 165 15 13 1 158 14 307 27 36 3 1,121 100
North Carolina 617 45 320 23 17 1 155 11 182 13 23 2 1,379 100
North Dakota 36 27 66 50 8 6 8 6 7 5 1 1 131 100
Ohio 485 44 244 22 26 2 161 15 116 10 25 2 1,110 100
Oklahoma 235 37 214 33 17 3 88 14 69 11 6 1 643 100
Oregon 161 36 120 27 8 2 59 13 69 15 8 2 447 100
Pennsylvania 497 41 281 23 22 2 175 15 151 13 16 1 1,200 100
Rhode Island 17 38 9 20 1 2 9 20 8 1800 45 100
South Carolina 380 39 230 24 24 2 138 14 123 13 16 2 977 100
South Dakota 46 35 48 3600 31 23 5 4 1 1 133 100
Tennessee 392 41 283 30 20 2 119 12 104 11 10 1 958 100
Texas 1,153 33 1,157 33 83 2 440 13 537 15 50 1 3,516 100
Utah 102 37 69 25 6 2 35 13 46 17 5 2 276 100
Vermont 20 35 14 25 1 2 10 18 5 9 4 7 57 100
Virginia 329 44 213 28 19 3 72 10 77 10 15 2 753 100
Washington 245 43 119 21 5 1 74 13 85 15 14 2 568 100
West Virginia 91 34 96 36 4 1 32 12 19 7 1 0 268 100
Wisconsin 252 45 133 23 8 1 77 14 57 10 15 3 566 100
Wyoming 34 23 73 50 7 5 23 16 5 300 145 100
U.S. total 13,116 37 9,027 26 600 2 4,693 13 5,376 15 817 2 35,092 100

Crash types

Nationwide, 55 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths in 2015 occurred in single-vehicle crashes. The largest proportion of deaths in single-vehicle crashes occurred in the District of Columbia (70 percent), Montana (68 percent), and Maine (67 percent), whereas the smallest proportion occurred in Minnesota (47 percent). 

Deaths by crash type and state, 2015
StateSingle-vehicle Multiple-vehicle All crashes
Number%Number%Number%
Alabama 471 55 378 45 849 100
Alaska 41 63 24 37 65 100
Arizona 491 55 402 45 893 100
Arkansas 266 50 265 50 531 100
California 1,806 57 1,370 43 3,176 100
Colorado 302 55 244 45 546 100
Connecticut 157 59 109 41 266 100
Delaware 67 53 59 47 126 100
District of Columbia 16 70 7 30 23 100
Florida 1,579 54 1,360 46 2,939 100
Georgia 768 54 662 46 1,430 100
Hawaii 53 56 41 44 94 100
Idaho 131 61 85 39 216 100
Illinois 571 57 427 43 998 100
Indiana 442 54 379 46 821 100
Iowa 161 50 159 50 320 100
Kansas 214 60 141 40 355 100
Kentucky 394 52 367 48 761 100
Louisiana 411 57 315 43 726 100
Maine 105 67 51 33 156 100
Maryland 270 53 243 47 513 100
Massachusetts 190 62 116 38 306 100
Michigan 525 55 438 45 963 100
Minnesota 195 47 216 53 411 100
Mississippi 396 58 281 42 677 100
Missouri 475 55 394 45 869 100
Montana 152 68 72 32 224 100
Nebraska 117 48 129 52 246 100
Nevada 189 58 136 42 325 100
New Hampshire 70 61 44 39 114 100
New Jersey 343 61 219 39 562 100
New Mexico 194 65 104 35 298 100
New York 678 60 443 40 1,121 100
North Carolina 746 54 633 46 1,379 100
North Dakota 70 53 61 47 131 100
Ohio 569 51 541 49 1,110 100
Oklahoma 341 53 302 47 643 100
Oregon 278 62 169 38 447 100
Pennsylvania 662 55 538 45 1,200 100
Rhode Island 27 60 18 40 45 100
South Carolina 520 53 457 47 977 100
South Dakota 70 53 63 47 133 100
Tennessee 517 54 441 46 958 100
Texas 1,763 50 1,753 50 3,516 100
Utah 145 53 131 47 276 100
Vermont 32 56 25 44 57 100
Virginia 463 61 290 39 753 100
Washington 309 54 259 46 568 100
West Virginia 157 59 111 41 268 100
Wisconsin 298 53 268 47 566 100
Wyoming 91 63 54 37 145 100
U.S. total 19,298 55 15,794 45 35,092 100

Alcohol involvement

Some states report blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for only a small percentage of passenger vehicle drivers. If BAC is missing for a driver, it is estimated by the U.S. Department of Transportation's multiple imputation model. Subramanian, R. 2002. Transitioning to multiple imputation — a new method to impute missing blood alcohol concentration (BAC) values in FARS. Report no. DOT HS-809-403. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, BAC information is most precise in states that report a high percentage of BACs. In the following table, estimated percentages of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BACs at or above 0.08 percent are shown only for states in which BAC reporting for fatally injured drivers was 70 percent or higher. Estimated percentages are based on known BAC when available and imputed BAC for the remaining drivers.

For the nation in 2015, BAC was reported for 70 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers. Rhode Island reported BACs for 95 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers, while Mississippi reported BACs for 47 percent.

Thirty-nine states and The District of Columbia had BAC reporting rates of at least 70 percent.  Among these states, Alaska had the highest estimated percentage of fatally injured drivers with BACs of 0.08 percent or higher (48 percent), and Utah had the lowest (17 percent).

Estimated number and percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BAC ≥ 0.08 percent by state, 2015
StateTotal drivers killedDrivers killed with known BAC resultsEstimated drivers killed with BACs ≥ 0.08
NumberNumber%Number%
Alabama 492 321 65
Alaska 27 24 89 13 48
Arizona 330 256 78 102 31
Arkansas 281 198 70 82 29
California 1,229 670 55
Colorado 248 219 88 69 28
Connecticut 121 110 91 45 38
Delaware 47 34 72 20 42
District of Columbia 3 2 67
Florida 1,032 607 59
Georgia 755 444 59
Hawaii 22 17 77 10 44
Idaho 107 75 70 34 32
Illinois 489 385 79 150 31
Indiana 425 223 52
Iowa 169 116 69
Kansas 187 104 56
Kentucky 411 324 79 105 25
Louisiana 372 298 80 134 36
Maine 75 67 89 26 35
Maryland 226 186 82 76 34
Massachusetts 137 98 72 42 30
Michigan 427 243 57
Minnesota 225 191 85 65 29
Mississippi 396 185 47
Missouri 465 369 79 128 27
Montana 121 112 93 45 37
Nebraska 135 115 85 41 31
Nevada 122 115 94 41 33
New Hampshire 56 49 88 14 24
New Jersey 212 166 78 45 21
New Mexico 128 94 73 50 39
New York 405 326 80 98 24
North Carolina 701 557 79 196 28
North Dakota 72 66 92 30 42
Ohio 570 483 85 171 30
Oklahoma 332 305 92 82 25
Oregon 212 191 90 77 36
Pennsylvania 613 434 71 178 29
Rhode Island 20 19 95 8 40
South Carolina 468 353 75 151 32
South Dakota 67 63 94 32 47
Tennessee 525 378 72 134 26
Texas 1,664 796 48
Utah 123 97 79 21 17
Vermont 25 18 72 7 30
Virginia 429 332 77 113 26
Washington 262 219 84 72 28
West Virginia 147 130 88 30 21
Wisconsin 300 262 87 96 32
Wyoming 77 47 61
U.S. total 16,484 11,493 70 4,946 30

Restraint use

Based on daytime observational surveys conducted by the states, the rate of safety belt use among front seat passenger vehicle occupants in 2015 ranged from 70 percent in New Hampshire to 97 percent in Georgia. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2016. Seat belt use in 2015 — use rates in the states and territories. Report no. DOT HS-812-274. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. Rates of restraint use among fatally injured motor vehicle occupants will be lower than observed restraint use because unrestrained occupants are more likely than restrained occupants to be fatally injured in a crash. Restrained fatally injured occupants include occupants in child safety seats and occupants restrained by safety belts. Two states, California and Maryland, and the District of Columbia had at least 60 percent restraint use among fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants.  In contrast, six states — Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming — had use rates below 30 percent. 

Rates of observed daytime front seat safety belt use and number and percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants by restraint use and state, 2015
State and percent of observed safety belt use Unrestrained fatally injured occupants Restrained fatally injured occupants Unknown restraint status of fatally injured occupantsTotal fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants
Number%Number%Number%Number
Alabama 93 355 55 251 39 41 6 647
Alaska 89 15 39 15 39 8 21 38
Arizona 87 251 51 180 36 64 13 495
Arkansas 78 190 51 151 40 33 9 374
California 97 549 31 1,065 60 158 9 1,772
Colorado 85 188 54 148 43 11 3 347
Connecticut 85 66 43 70 45 19 12 155
Delaware 90 30 46 32 49 3 5 65
District of Columbia96 1 17 5 83 0 0 6
Florida 89 604 41 777 53 82 6 1,463
Georgia 97 411 41 487 48 110 11 1,008
Hawaii 93 15 41 11 30 11 30 37
Idaho 81 95 58 63 38 6 4 164
Illinois 95 242 38 300 47 99 15 641
Indiana 92 221 38 279 48 76 13 576
Iowa 93 101 43 123 52 12 5 236
Kansas 82 127 49 115 45 15 6 257
Kentucky 87 308 55 248 44 2 <1 558
Louisiana 86 247 52 187 39 44 9 478
Maine 86 53 52 48 4800 101
Maryland 93 87 28 189 60 40 13 316
Massachusetts 74 83 48 46 27 44 25 173
Michigan 93 191 33 313 54 81 14 585
Minnesota 94 86 30 157 56 39 14 282
Mississippi 80 309 57 235 43 1 <1 545
Missouri 80 357 57 217 35 47 8 621
Montana 77 114 67 48 28 9 5 171
Nebraska 80 118 63 47 25 21 11 186
Nevada 92 73 41 92 51 15 8 180
New Hampshire 70 47 64 27 3600 74
New Jersey 91 116 38 174 58 12 4 302
New Mexico 93 88 48 72 39 25 14 185
New York 92 176 31 316 55 81 14 573
North Carolina 90 404 42 500 53 47 5 951
North Dakota 80 65 64 29 28 8 8 102
Ohio 84 387 52 292 39 69 9 748
Oklahoma 85 226 50 197 44 28 6 451
Oregon 96 76 26 154 53 59 20 289
Pennsylvania 83 405 51 274 35 113 14 792
Rhode Island 87 16 59 10 37 1 4 27
South Carolina 92 306 50 282 46 30 5 618
South Dakota 74 60 63 28 29 7 7 95
Tennessee 86 333 49 302 44 50 7 685
Texas 91 875 37 1,272 54 209 9 2,356
Utah 87 81 47 85 49 8 5 174
Vermont 86 17 50 14 41 3 9 34
Virginia 81 301 54 244 44 8 1 553
Washington 95 113 31 206 56 50 14 369
West Virginia 89 99 52 71 37 22 11 192
Wisconsin 86 168 43 176 45 45 12 389
Wyoming 80 79 74 26 24 2 2 107
U.S. total 89 9,925 44 10,650 47 1,968 9 22,543

Rural versus urban

Nationwide, 49 percent of motor vehicle deaths in 2015 occurred in rural areas. The percentage on rural roads was 93 percent in North Dakota,  89 percent in Montana, and 85 percent in South Dakota compared with 6 percent in Massachusetts, 8 percent in Maryland, 11 percent in New Jersey, and none in the District of Columbia.

Number and percent of motor vehicle crash deaths by land use and state, 2015
StateUrban Rural UnknownTotal
Number%Number%Number%Number
Alabama 249 29 480 57 120 14 849
Alaska 31 48 33 51 1 2 65
Arizona 554 62 335 38 4 <1 893
Arkansas 155 29 376 7100 531
California 1,802 57 1,366 43 8 <1 3,176
Colorado 284 52 260 48 2 <1 546
Connecticut 217 82 46 17 3 1 266
Delaware 60 48 66 5200 126
District of Columbia 23 1000000 23
Florida 1,238 42 453 15 1,248 42 2,939
Georgia 866 61 564 3900 1,430
Hawaii 81 86 13 1400 94
Idaho 34 16 162 75 20 9 216
Illinois 579 58 419 4200 998
Indiana 298 36 523 6400 821
Iowa 90 28 230 7200 320
Kansas 79 22 276 7800 355
Kentucky 168 22 593 7800 761
Louisiana 365 50 354 49 7 1 726
Maine 26 17 130 8300 156
Maryland 164 32 42 8 307 60 513
Massachusetts 287 94 19 600 306
Michigan 382 40 576 60 5 1 963
Minnesota 135 33 274 67 2 <1 411
Mississippi 118 17 559 8300 677
Missouri 371 43 497 57 1 <1 869
Montana 24 11 200 8900 224
Nebraska 73 30 173 7000 246
Nevada 214 66 107 33 4 1 325
New Hampshire 48 42 66 5800 114
New Jersey 451 80 64 11 47 8 562
New Mexico 120 40 176 59 2 1 298
New York 671 60 450 4000 1,121
North Carolina 468 34 910 66 1 <1 1,379
North Dakota 9 7 122 9300 131
Ohio 610 55 492 44 8 1 1,110
Oklahoma 252 39 391 6100 643
Oregon 133 30 313 70 1 <1 447
Pennsylvania 581 48 616 51 3 <1 1,200
Rhode Island 38 84 7 1600 45
South Carolina 278 28 699 7200 977
South Dakota 20 15 113 8500 133
Tennessee 477 50 479 50 2 <1 958
Texas 1,219 35 1,493 42 804 23 3,516
Utah 159 58 107 39 10 4 276
Vermont 9 16 48 8400 57
Virginia 268 36 485 6400 753
Washington 277 49 288 51 3 1 568
West Virginia 78 29 190 7100 268
Wisconsin 205 36 360 64 1 <1 566
Wyoming 24 17 119 82 2 1 145
U.S. total 15,362 44 17,114 49 2,616 7 35,092

References