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
StatePopulationFatal motor vehicle crashesMotor vehicle crash deaths
NumNumRate
Alabama4,557,8081,0111,13124.8
Alaska663,661657210.8
Arizona5,939,2921,0361,17719.8
Arkansas2,779,15459064823.3
California36,132,1473,8464,32912.0
Colorado4,665,17755460613.0
Connecticut3,510,2972612747.8
Delaware843,52411813415.9
District of Columbia550,52144488.7
Florida17,789,8643,1943,54319.9
Georgia9,072,5761,5821,72919.1
Hawaii1,275,19412914011.0
Idaho1,429,09624327519.2
Illinois12,763,3711,2301,36110.7
Indiana6,271,97385593815.0
Iowa2,966,33439845015.2
Kansas2,744,68738442815.6
Kentucky4,173,40588598523.6
Louisiana4,523,62886595521.1
Maine1,321,50515116912.8
Maryland5,600,38857761411.0
Massachusetts6,398,7434184426.9
Michigan10,120,8601,0301,12911.2
Minnesota5,132,79950055910.9
Mississippi2,921,08884093131.9
Missouri5,800,3101,1171,25721.7
Montana935,67022425126.8
Nebraska1,758,78723827615.7
Nevada2,414,80737942717.7
New Hampshire1,309,94015616612.7
New Jersey8,717,9256917488.6
New Mexico1,928,38442048825.3
New York19,254,6301,3271,4297.4
North Carolina8,683,2421,4051,53417.7
North Dakota636,67710512319.3
Ohio11,464,0421,2241,32311.5
Oklahoma3,547,88471080222.6
Oregon3,641,05644448813.4
Pennsylvania12,429,6161,4971,61613.0
Rhode Island1,076,18980878.1
South Carolina4,255,0839801,09325.7
South Dakota775,93315818624.0
Tennessee5,962,9591,1601,27021.3
Texas22,859,9683,1043,50415.3
Utah2,469,58523528211.4
Vermont623,050687311.7
Virginia7,567,46587694712.5
Washington6,287,75957764710.3
West Virginia1,816,85634737420.6
Wisconsin5,536,20171481514.7
Wyoming509,29414717033.4
US total296,410,40439,18943,44314.7

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
StatePassenger car occupantsPickup and SUV occupantsLarge truck occupantsMotorcyclistsPedestriansTotal motor vehicle deaths*
Num%Num%Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama57951354311616157261,131
Alaska34471926114671072
Arizona359312782413112210157131,177
Arkansas27342220342546310376648
California1,954458552036146211742174,329
Colorado26243175291528714488606
Connecticut1385041155242153412274
Delaware76571914211914118134
District of Columbia17354800612163348
Florida1,416407602146144813576163,543
Georgia7654455432292143815091,729
Hawaii473422160024173525140
Idaho11743105389325993275
Illinois695512551929215712164121,361
Indiana441472362529310211637938
Iowa2415410724614410245450
Kansas1904414133113358246428
Kentucky4965026927182879545985
Louisiana371393253420275810911955
Maine915444261115995169
Maryland28847991691841410217614
Massachusetts2024681181055127617442
Michigan55749227205012211137121,129
Minnesota28250131231225510448559
Mississippi4645029432182394728931
Missouri63150372302128878871,257
Montana843311245312711135251
Nebraska1405193345217683276
Nevada17341982313352126315427
New Hampshire6539402421422553166
New Jersey37250971321361815421748
New Mexico17235183381333786112488
New York634441791324216111321221,429
North Carolina73748390252621359164111,534
North Dakota48394537226597123
Ohio7425623918181177139571,323
Oklahoma3504426633253759506802
Oregon21043139286148104810488
Pennsylvania853532971829219712159101,616
Rhode Island45521011001416141687
South Carolina54450279262129799891,093
South Dakota83455228532212148186
Tennessee6164936929212128107061,270
Texas1,375391,0903173235410419123,504
Utah119429132104238207282
Vermont435911150014193473
Virginia4564825327253697889947
Washington312481422211273117111647
West Virginia170451062892339236374
Wisconsin43053192241329311445815
Wyoming5231744474201274170
US total19,8114610,8342575924,439104,8811143,443
*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
StateSingle-vehicleMultiple-vehicleAll crashes*
Num%Num%Num
Alabama4865146549951
Alaska2241325954
Arizona3064734353652
Arkansas2535025750510
California1,378481,505522,883
Colorado2425520245444
Connecticut107597541182
Delaware3334626596
District of Columbia157162921
Florida936421,290582,228
Georgia62547713531,338
Hawaii3145385569
Idaho135609040225
Illinois4364553355969
Indiana3454936251707
Iowa1534319957352
Kansas1554618254337
Kentucky4005138149781
Louisiana3374836952707
Maine74556145135
Maryland1674222958396
Massachusetts1655613244297
Michigan3214049160812
Minnesota1834324457427
Mississippi4625931741779
Missouri52452489481,013
Montana141725628197
Nebraska1185011950237
Nevada1244415556279
New Hampshire60564744107
New Jersey2254625954484
New Mexico2196014640365
New York4285140749839
North Carolina57250566501,139
North Dakota6265323495
Ohio44744557551,005
Oklahoma3285229748625
Oregon1684719253360
Pennsylvania57449592511,166
Rhode Island3764213658
South Carolina4675637444841
South Dakota84615339137
Tennessee53953469471,008
Texas1,185471,329532,514
Utah1145110849222
Vermont2852264854
Virginia4205829942720
Washington2174724653463
West Virginia1475113949286
Wisconsin3195130549627
Wyoming84654535129
US total15,3984915,9065131,322
*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
StatePassenger vehicle drivers
Known BAC resultsDeathsEstimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08
Num%Num%
Alabama6710701**
Alaska3286371437
Arizona20049405**
Arkansas22357389**
California1,528851,79957332
Colorado5217300**
Connecticut8365128**
Delaware395867**
District of Columbia128614961
Florida923621,500**
Georgia45947971**
Hawaii4896502652
Idaho10869157**
Illinois5838866421833
Indiana31661517**
Iowa9337250**
Kansas11246245**
Kentucky40169577**
Louisiana13927520**
Maine8394882932
Maryland246872829233
Massachusetts9642231**
Michigan37666570**
Minnesota16253307**
Mississippi27949567**
Missouri6248573724633
Montana113861326046
Nebraska139851644226
Nevada143731956031
New Hampshire7590832530
New Jersey298873428826
New Mexico205912257634
New York34859593**
North Carolina7068582624029
North Dakota6488733345
Ohio6368773023232
Oklahoma3628243913430
Oregon230892597027
Pennsylvania6858085830435
Rhode Island3284381950
South Carolina4527659822638
South Dakota7382893540
Tennessee20027751**
Texas717431,662**
Utah7055127**
Vermont3895401435
Virginia31859540**
Washington2718731312440
West Virginia165812046331
Wisconsin3908943617741
Wyoming7786903741
US total14,0916421,8807,11733
*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
StateBeltedUnbeltedUnknownTotal
Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama3593855258404951
Alaska275022415954
Arizona22835351547311652
Arkansas14729309615411510
California1,6015696734315112,883
Colorado188422505661444
Connecticut713986472514182
Delaware414352543396
District of Columbia83813620021
Florida864391,2615710352,228
Georgia5153866850155121,338
Hawaii29423043101469
Idaho94421265652225
Illinois4274445046929969
Indiana29442331478212707
Iowa16447137395114352
Kansas1013020962278337
Kentucky27335506652<1781
Louisiana24535371529113707
Maine483664472317135
Maryland2065217644144396
Massachusetts8428170574314297
Michigan45055269339311812
Minnesota1844321049338427
Mississippi20626572731<1779
Missouri31231610609191,013
Montana52261417242197
Nebraska6628145612611237
Nevada1204313749228279
New Hampshire3129736833107
New Jersey2485122146153484
New Mexico174481845072365
New York409493283910212839
North Carolina51946521469991,139
North Dakota222367716695
Ohio42042583582<11,005
Oklahoma24840372605<1625
Oregon2286310830247360
Pennsylvania3723263755157131,166
Rhode Island203437641258
South Carolina2503054765445841
South Dakota32239267139137
Tennessee36336565568081,008
Texas1,281511,182475122,514
Utah9844123551<1222
Vermont244427503654
Virginia2383344762355720
Washington2375120644204463
West Virginia1033617160124286
Wisconsin2203535757508627
Wyoming433385661<1129
US total12,9844116,118512,220731,322

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
StateUrbanRuralUnknownTotal
Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama2772965869162951
Alaska142640740054
Arizona307473455300652
Arkansas92184188200510
California1,488521,39548002,883
Colorado187422575800444
Connecticut14479372011182
Delaware262762658896
District of Columbia21100000021
Florida1,122509434216372,228
Georgia4203163247286211,338
Hawaii263843620069
Idaho38171878300225
Illinois48350483503<1969
Indiana290414175900707
Iowa3093229100352
Kansas65192728100337
Kentucky178236037700781
Louisiana20329501713<1707
Maine431269354135
Maryland218551784500396
Massachusetts2719126900297
Michigan314394986100812
Minnesota100233277700427
Mississippi130176498300779
Missouri2402477376001,013
Montana21111768900197
Nebraska50211877900237
Nevada148531314700279
New Hampshire1817898300107
New Jersey38780972000484
New Mexico7220292801<1365
New York421504185000839
North Carolina3092783073001,139
North Dakota5590950095
Ohio3463465966001,005
Oklahoma139224867800625
Oregon78222827800360
Pennsylvania51844643555<11,166
Rhode Island51887120058
South Carolina82107599000841
South Dakota1391249100137
Tennessee95913814775771,008
Texas922371,589633<12,514
Utah69311536900222
Vermont81546850054
Virginia23232487681<1720
Washington13529326702<1463
West Virginia53192338100286
Wisconsin183294447100627
Wyoming14111158900129
US total11,0573518,993611,272431,322

References