State by state | 2005

The number and type 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 provide a way of examining motor vehicle deaths relative to a state's population, but many factors can affect these rates. Western states with large rural areas typically have high fatality rates because of such factors as higher speed traffic. Other factors include differing degrees of urbanization, amounts and types of travel, types of vehicles driven, 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).

Fatal crash totals

There were 39,189 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2005 in which 43,443 deaths occurred. This resulted in a national motor vehicle death rate of 15 deaths per 100,000 people. Motor vehicle death rates varied among states from a low of 7 deaths per 100,000 people in Massachusetts and New York, to a high of 33 deaths per 100,000 people in Wyoming.

States with lowest and highest motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people, 2005

Population, fatal motor vehicle crashes, motor vehicle crash deaths, and motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by state, 2005
State Population Fatal motor vehicle crashes Motor vehicle crash deaths
Num Num Rate
Alabama 4,557,808 1,011 1,131 24.8
Alaska 663,661 65 72 10.8
Arizona 5,939,292 1,036 1,177 19.8
Arkansas 2,779,154 590 648 23.3
California 36,132,147 3,846 4,329 12.0
Colorado 4,665,177 554 606 13.0
Connecticut 3,510,297 261 274 7.8
Delaware 843,524 118 134 15.9
District of Columbia 550,521 44 48 8.7
Florida 17,789,864 3,194 3,543 19.9
Georgia 9,072,576 1,582 1,729 19.1
Hawaii 1,275,194 129 140 11.0
Idaho 1,429,096 243 275 19.2
Illinois 12,763,371 1,230 1,361 10.7
Indiana 6,271,973 855 938 15.0
Iowa 2,966,334 398 450 15.2
Kansas 2,744,687 384 428 15.6
Kentucky 4,173,405 885 985 23.6
Louisiana 4,523,628 865 955 21.1
Maine 1,321,505 151 169 12.8
Maryland 5,600,388 577 614 11.0
Massachusetts 6,398,743 418 442 6.9
Michigan 10,120,860 1,030 1,129 11.2
Minnesota 5,132,799 500 559 10.9
Mississippi 2,921,088 840 931 31.9
Missouri 5,800,310 1,117 1,257 21.7
Montana 935,670 224 251 26.8
Nebraska 1,758,787 238 276 15.7
Nevada 2,414,807 379 427 17.7
New Hampshire 1,309,940 156 166 12.7
New Jersey 8,717,925 691 748 8.6
New Mexico 1,928,384 420 488 25.3
New York 19,254,630 1,327 1,429 7.4
North Carolina 8,683,242 1,405 1,534 17.7
North Dakota 636,677 105 123 19.3
Ohio 11,464,042 1,224 1,323 11.5
Oklahoma 3,547,884 710 802 22.6
Oregon 3,641,056 444 488 13.4
Pennsylvania 12,429,616 1,497 1,616 13.0
Rhode Island 1,076,189 80 87 8.1
South Carolina 4,255,083 980 1,093 25.7
South Dakota 775,933 158 186 24.0
Tennessee 5,962,959 1,160 1,270 21.3
Texas 22,859,968 3,104 3,504 15.3
Utah 2,469,585 235 282 11.4
Vermont 623,050 68 73 11.7
Virginia 7,567,465 876 947 12.5
Washington 6,287,759 577 647 10.3
West Virginia 1,816,856 347 374 20.6
Wisconsin 5,536,201 714 815 14.7
Wyoming 509,294 147 170 33.4
US total 296,410,404 39,189 43,443 14.7

Deaths by road user

In 2005 the types of motor vehicle crash deaths varied across states. For example, Wyoming had relatively low percentages of deaths involving passenger car occupants (31 percent) and pedestrians (4 percent) and a relatively high percentage of deaths involving occupants of SUVs and pickups (44 percent). In contrast, New Jersey had relatively high proportions of passenger car occupant deaths (50 percent) and pedestrian deaths (21 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 (25 percent), and pedestrian deaths were highest in the District of Columbia (33 percent).

Motor vehicle deaths by type and state, 2005
State Passenger car occupants Pickup and SUV occupants Large truck occupants Motorcyclists Pedestrians Total motor vehicle deaths*
Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 579 51 354 31 16 1 61 5 72 6 1,131
Alaska 34 47 19 26 1 1 4 6 7 10 72
Arizona 359 31 278 24 13 1 122 10 157 13 1,177
Arkansas 273 42 220 34 25 4 63 10 37 6 648
California 1,954 45 855 20 36 1 462 11 742 17 4,329
Colorado 262 43 175 29 15 2 87 14 48 8 606
Connecticut 138 50 41 15 5 2 42 15 34 12 274
Delaware 76 57 19 14 2 1 19 14 11 8 134
District of Columbia 17 35 4 8 0 0 6 12 16 33 48
Florida 1,416 40 760 21 46 1 448 13 576 16 3,543
Georgia 765 44 554 32 29 2 143 8 150 9 1,729
Hawaii 47 34 22 16 0 0 24 17 35 25 140
Idaho 117 43 105 38 9 3 25 9 9 3 275
Illinois 695 51 255 19 29 2 157 12 164 12 1,361
Indiana 441 47 236 25 29 3 102 11 63 7 938
Iowa 241 54 107 24 6 1 44 10 24 5 450
Kansas 190 44 141 33 11 3 35 8 24 6 428
Kentucky 496 50 269 27 18 2 87 9 54 5 985
Louisiana 371 39 325 34 20 2 75 8 109 11 955
Maine 91 54 44 26 1 1 15 9 9 5 169
Maryland 288 47 99 16 9 1 84 14 102 17 614
Massachusetts 202 46 81 18 1 0 55 12 76 17 442
Michigan 557 49 227 20 5 0 122 11 137 12 1,129
Minnesota 282 50 131 23 12 2 55 10 44 8 559
Mississippi 464 50 294 32 18 2 39 4 72 8 931
Missouri 631 50 372 30 21 2 88 7 88 7 1,257
Montana 84 33 112 45 3 1 27 11 13 5 251
Nebraska 140 51 93 34 5 2 17 6 8 3 276
Nevada 173 41 98 23 13 3 52 12 63 15 427
New Hampshire 65 39 40 24 2 1 42 25 5 3 166
New Jersey 372 50 97 13 21 3 61 8 154 21 748
New Mexico 172 35 183 38 13 3 37 8 61 12 488
New York 634 44 179 13 24 2 161 11 321 22 1,429
North Carolina 737 48 390 25 26 2 135 9 164 11 1,534
North Dakota 48 39 45 37 2 2 6 5 9 7 123
Ohio 742 56 239 18 18 1 177 13 95 7 1,323
Oklahoma 350 44 266 33 25 3 75 9 50 6 802
Oregon 210 43 139 28 6 1 48 10 48 10 488
Pennsylvania 853 53 297 18 29 2 197 12 159 10 1,616
Rhode Island 45 52 10 11 0 0 14 16 14 16 87
South Carolina 544 50 279 26 21 2 97 9 98 9 1,093
South Dakota 83 45 52 28 5 3 22 12 14 8 186
Tennessee 616 49 369 29 21 2 128 10 70 6 1,270
Texas 1,375 39 1,090 31 73 2 354 10 419 12 3,504
Utah 119 42 91 32 10 4 23 8 20 7 282
Vermont 43 59 11 15 0 0 14 19 3 4 73
Virginia 456 48 253 27 25 3 69 7 88 9 947
Washington 312 48 142 22 11 2 73 11 71 11 647
West Virginia 170 45 106 28 9 2 33 9 23 6 374
Wisconsin 430 53 192 24 13 2 93 11 44 5 815
Wyoming 52 31 74 44 7 4 20 12 7 4 170
US total 19,811 46 10,834 25 759 2 4,439 10 4,881 11 43,443
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Crash types

Nationwide 49 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2005 occurred in single-vehicle crashes. The highest proportions of single-vehicle crashes occurred in Montana (72 percent), the District of Columbia (71 percent), North Dakota (65 percent), and Wyoming (65 percent).

Passenger vehicle occupant deaths by crash type and state, 2005
State Single-vehicle Multiple-vehicle All crashes*
Num % Num % Num
Alabama 486 51 465 49 951
Alaska 22 41 32 59 54
Arizona 306 47 343 53 652
Arkansas 253 50 257 50 510
California 1,378 48 1,505 52 2,883
Colorado 242 55 202 45 444
Connecticut 107 59 75 41 182
Delaware 33 34 62 65 96
District of Columbia 15 71 6 29 21
Florida 936 42 1,290 58 2,228
Georgia 625 47 713 53 1,338
Hawaii 31 45 38 55 69
Idaho 135 60 90 40 225
Illinois 436 45 533 55 969
Indiana 345 49 362 51 707
Iowa 153 43 199 57 352
Kansas 155 46 182 54 337
Kentucky 400 51 381 49 781
Louisiana 337 48 369 52 707
Maine 74 55 61 45 135
Maryland 167 42 229 58 396
Massachusetts 165 56 132 44 297
Michigan 321 40 491 60 812
Minnesota 183 43 244 57 427
Mississippi 462 59 317 41 779
Missouri 524 52 489 48 1,013
Montana 141 72 56 28 197
Nebraska 118 50 119 50 237
Nevada 124 44 155 56 279
New Hampshire 60 56 47 44 107
New Jersey 225 46 259 54 484
New Mexico 219 60 146 40 365
New York 428 51 407 49 839
North Carolina 572 50 566 50 1,139
North Dakota 62 65 32 34 95
Ohio 447 44 557 55 1,005
Oklahoma 328 52 297 48 625
Oregon 168 47 192 53 360
Pennsylvania 574 49 592 51 1,166
Rhode Island 37 64 21 36 58
South Carolina 467 56 374 44 841
South Dakota 84 61 53 39 137
Tennessee 539 53 469 47 1,008
Texas 1,185 47 1,329 53 2,514
Utah 114 51 108 49 222
Vermont 28 52 26 48 54
Virginia 420 58 299 42 720
Washington 217 47 246 53 463
West Virginia 147 51 139 49 286
Wisconsin 319 51 305 49 627
Wyoming 84 65 45 35 129
US total 15,398 49 15,906 51 31,322
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Alcohol involvement

Some states report blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for only a small percentage of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers. If BAC is missing for a driver, it is imputed by the US 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: US Department of Transportation. However, state BAC information is most precise in states that report a high percentage of BACs. In the following table, estimated percentages of fatally injured drivers with BACs at or above 0.08 percent are shown only for states in which BAC reporting 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 2005, BAC was reported for 64 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers. Reporting rates varied by state. Hawaii reported BACs for 96 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers, while Alabama reported BACs for 10 percent. Among states with reporting rates of at least 70 percent, the District of Columbia (61 percent) had the highest estimated percentage of fatally injured drivers with BACs of 0.08 percent or higher, and Nebraska and New Jersey (both 26 percent) had the lowest.

Estimated number and percent of fatally-injured passenger vehicle drivers with BACs ≥ 0.08 percent by state, 2005
State Passenger vehicle drivers
Known BAC results Deaths Estimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08
Num % Num %
Alabama 67 10 701 * *
Alaska 32 86 37 14 37
Arizona 200 49 405 * *
Arkansas 223 57 389 * *
California 1,528 85 1,799 573 32
Colorado 52 17 300 * *
Connecticut 83 65 128 * *
Delaware 39 58 67 * *
District of Columbia 12 86 14 9 61
Florida 923 62 1,500 * *
Georgia 459 47 971 * *
Hawaii 48 96 50 26 52
Idaho 108 69 157 * *
Illinois 583 88 664 218 33
Indiana 316 61 517 * *
Iowa 93 37 250 * *
Kansas 112 46 245 * *
Kentucky 401 69 577 * *
Louisiana 139 27 520 * *
Maine 83 94 88 29 32
Maryland 246 87 282 92 33
Massachusetts 96 42 231 * *
Michigan 376 66 570 * *
Minnesota 162 53 307 * *
Mississippi 279 49 567 * *
Missouri 624 85 737 246 33
Montana 113 86 132 60 46
Nebraska 139 85 164 42 26
Nevada 143 73 195 60 31
New Hampshire 75 90 83 25 30
New Jersey 298 87 342 88 26
New Mexico 205 91 225 76 34
New York 348 59 593 * *
North Carolina 706 85 826 240 29
North Dakota 64 88 73 33 45
Ohio 636 87 730 232 32
Oklahoma 362 82 439 134 30
Oregon 230 89 259 70 27
Pennsylvania 685 80 858 304 35
Rhode Island 32 84 38 19 50
South Carolina 452 76 598 226 38
South Dakota 73 82 89 35 40
Tennessee 200 27 751 * *
Texas 717 43 1,662 * *
Utah 70 55 127 * *
Vermont 38 95 40 14 35
Virginia 318 59 540 * *
Washington 271 87 313 124 40
West Virginia 165 81 204 63 31
Wisconsin 390 89 436 177 41
Wyoming 77 86 90 37 41
US total 14,091 64 21,880 7,117 33
*Cells with missing data have insufficient reporting of BAC results by state for reliably estimating percent of fatally injured drivers with BACs ≥ 0.08 percent

Belt use

When examining belt use among fatally injured motor vehicle occupants, it is important to note that percentages will be lower than observed belt use because unbelted occupants are more likely than belted occupants to be fatally injured.

The percentage of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants who were belted in 2005 varied by state. North Dakota and South Dakota (both 23 percent) had the lowest percentage of fatally injured belted occupants, and Oregon had the highest (63 percent). For the nation, 41 percent of fatally injured occupants were belted.

Number and percent of fatally-injured passenger vehicle occupants by belt use and state, 2005
State Belted Unbelted Unknown Total
Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 359 38 552 58 40 4 951
Alaska 27 50 22 41 5 9 54
Arizona 228 35 351 54 73 11 652
Arkansas 147 29 309 61 54 11 510
California 1,601 56 967 34 315 11 2,883
Colorado 188 42 250 56 6 1 444
Connecticut 71 39 86 47 25 14 182
Delaware 41 43 52 54 3 3 96
District of Columbia 8 38 13 62 0 0 21
Florida 864 39 1,261 57 103 5 2,228
Georgia 515 38 668 50 155 12 1,338
Hawaii 29 42 30 43 10 14 69
Idaho 94 42 126 56 5 2 225
Illinois 427 44 450 46 92 9 969
Indiana 294 42 331 47 82 12 707
Iowa 164 47 137 39 51 14 352
Kansas 101 30 209 62 27 8 337
Kentucky 273 35 506 65 2 <1 781
Louisiana 245 35 371 52 91 13 707
Maine 48 36 64 47 23 17 135
Maryland 206 52 176 44 14 4 396
Massachusetts 84 28 170 57 43 14 297
Michigan 450 55 269 33 93 11 812
Minnesota 184 43 210 49 33 8 427
Mississippi 206 26 572 73 1 <1 779
Missouri 312 31 610 60 91 9 1,013
Montana 52 26 141 72 4 2 197
Nebraska 66 28 145 61 26 11 237
Nevada 120 43 137 49 22 8 279
New Hampshire 31 29 73 68 3 3 107
New Jersey 248 51 221 46 15 3 484
New Mexico 174 48 184 50 7 2 365
New York 409 49 328 39 102 12 839
North Carolina 519 46 521 46 99 9 1,139
North Dakota 22 23 67 71 6 6 95
Ohio 420 42 583 58 2 <1 1,005
Oklahoma 248 40 372 60 5 <1 625
Oregon 228 63 108 30 24 7 360
Pennsylvania 372 32 637 55 157 13 1,166
Rhode Island 20 34 37 64 1 2 58
South Carolina 250 30 547 65 44 5 841
South Dakota 32 23 92 67 13 9 137
Tennessee 363 36 565 56 80 8 1,008
Texas 1,281 51 1,182 47 51 2 2,514
Utah 98 44 123 55 1 <1 222
Vermont 24 44 27 50 3 6 54
Virginia 238 33 447 62 35 5 720
Washington 237 51 206 44 20 4 463
West Virginia 103 36 171 60 12 4 286
Wisconsin 220 35 357 57 50 8 627
Wyoming 43 33 85 66 1 <1 129
US total 12,984 41 16,118 51 2,220 7 31,322

Rural versus urban

Sixty-one percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2005 occurred in rural areas. The state with the greatest proportion of passenger vehicle occupant deaths on rural roads was North Dakota (95 percent).

Number and percent of fatally-injured passenger vehicle occupants by land use and state, 2005
State Urban Rural Unknown Total
Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 277 29 658 69 16 2 951
Alaska 14 26 40 74 0 0 54
Arizona 307 47 345 53 0 0 652
Arkansas 92 18 418 82 0 0 510
California 1,488 52 1,395 48 0 0 2,883
Colorado 187 42 257 58 0 0 444
Connecticut 144 79 37 20 1 1 182
Delaware 26 27 62 65 8 8 96
District of Columbia 21 100 0 0 0 0 21
Florida 1,122 50 943 42 163 7 2,228
Georgia 420 31 632 47 286 21 1,338
Hawaii 26 38 43 62 0 0 69
Idaho 38 17 187 83 0 0 225
Illinois 483 50 483 50 3 <1 969
Indiana 290 41 417 59 0 0 707
Iowa 30 9 322 91 0 0 352
Kansas 65 19 272 81 0 0 337
Kentucky 178 23 603 77 0 0 781
Louisiana 203 29 501 71 3 <1 707
Maine 4 3 126 93 5 4 135
Maryland 218 55 178 45 0 0 396
Massachusetts 271 91 26 9 0 0 297
Michigan 314 39 498 61 0 0 812
Minnesota 100 23 327 77 0 0 427
Mississippi 130 17 649 83 0 0 779
Missouri 240 24 773 76 0 0 1,013
Montana 21 11 176 89 0 0 197
Nebraska 50 21 187 79 0 0 237
Nevada 148 53 131 47 0 0 279
New Hampshire 18 17 89 83 0 0 107
New Jersey 387 80 97 20 0 0 484
New Mexico 72 20 292 80 1 <1 365
New York 421 50 418 50 0 0 839
North Carolina 309 27 830 73 0 0 1,139
North Dakota 5 5 90 95 0 0 95
Ohio 346 34 659 66 0 0 1,005
Oklahoma 139 22 486 78 0 0 625
Oregon 78 22 282 78 0 0 360
Pennsylvania 518 44 643 55 5 <1 1,166
Rhode Island 51 88 7 12 0 0 58
South Carolina 82 10 759 90 0 0 841
South Dakota 13 9 124 91 0 0 137
Tennessee 95 9 138 14 775 77 1,008
Texas 922 37 1,589 63 3 <1 2,514
Utah 69 31 153 69 0 0 222
Vermont 8 15 46 85 0 0 54
Virginia 232 32 487 68 1 <1 720
Washington 135 29 326 70 2 <1 463
West Virginia 53 19 233 81 0 0 286
Wisconsin 183 29 444 71 0 0 627
Wyoming 14 11 115 89 0 0 129
US total 11,057 35 18,993 61 1,272 4 31,322

References