State by state | 2006

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 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 38,588 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2006 in which 42,642 deaths occurred. This resulted in a national motor vehicle death rate of 14 deaths per 100,000 people. Motor vehicle death rates varied among states from a low of 6 deaths per 100,000 people in the District of Columbia, to a high of 38 deaths per 100,000 people in Wyoming.

States with lowest and highest rates of motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people, 2006

Population, fatal motor vehicle crashes, motor vehicle crash deaths, and motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by state, 2006
StatePopulationFatal motor vehicle crashesMotor vehicle crash deaths
NumNumRate
Alabama4,599,0301,0741,20826.3
Alaska670,053717411.0
Arizona6,166,3181,1131,28820.9
Arkansas2,810,87259666523.7
California36,457,5493,8354,23611.6
Colorado4,753,37748553511.3
Connecticut3,504,8092833018.6
Delaware853,47613314817.3
District of Columbia581,53033376.4
Florida18,089,8883,0973,37418.7
Georgia9,363,9411,5571,69318.1
Hawaii1,285,49814416112.5
Idaho1,466,46523926718.2
Illinois12,831,9701,1361,2549.8
Indiana6,313,52081789914.2
Iowa2,982,08538643914.7
Kansas2,764,07542746816.9
Kentucky4,206,07483791321.7
Louisiana4,287,76888698222.9
Maine1,321,57417118814.2
Maryland5,615,72759365111.6
Massachusetts6,437,1934044306.7
Michigan10,095,6431,0031,08510.7
Minnesota5,167,1014564949.6
Mississippi2,910,54081291131.3
Missouri5,842,7139711,09618.8
Montana944,63222626327.8
Nebraska1,768,33122626915.2
Nevada2,495,52938743217.3
New Hampshire1,314,8951161279.7
New Jersey8,724,5607117728.8
New Mexico1,954,59942448424.8
New York19,306,1831,3511,4567.5
North Carolina8,856,5051,4291,55917.6
North Dakota635,86710111117.5
Ohio11,478,0061,1411,23810.8
Oklahoma3,579,21266976521.4
Oregon3,700,75841747712.9
Pennsylvania12,440,6211,4091,52512.3
Rhode Island1,067,61072817.6
South Carolina4,321,2499661,03724.0
South Dakota781,91917219124.4
Tennessee6,038,8031,1641,28721.3
Texas23,507,7833,0703,47514.8
Utah2,550,06324928711.3
Vermont623,908778713.9
Virginia7,642,88486696312.6
Washington6,395,7985756309.9
West Virginia1,818,47037241022.5
Wisconsin5,556,50667072413.0
Wyoming515,00416919537.9
U.S. Total299,398,48438,58842,64214.2

Deaths by road user

In 2006, the types of motor vehicle crash deaths varied across states. For example, Wyoming had relatively low percentages of deaths involving car occupants (33 percent) and pedestrians (3 percent) and a relatively high percentage of deaths involving occupants of SUVs and pickups (43 percent). In contrast, New York had relatively high proportions of car occupant deaths (43 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 Rhode Island (20 percent) and pedestrian deaths were highest in the District of Columbia (46 percent).

Motor vehicle deaths by type and state, 2006
StatePassenger car occupantsPickup and SUV occupantsLarge truck occupantsMotorcyclistsPedestriansTotal motor vehicle deaths*
Num%Num%Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama553464013318110397861,208
Alaska243221281191291274
Arizona452353843020213611167131,288
Arkansas26740236352547511315665
California1,838438702135149812717174,236
Colorado199371633016374145911535
Connecticut1635437121053183612301
Delaware70473121111172718148
District of Columbia1746000013174637
Florida1,293387102134154016546163,374
Georgia7624550330322151914891,693
Hawaii593731190021133119161
Idaho106401023800371483267
Illinois635512582124213110138111,254
Indiana41246195222739711738899
Iowa22451101231235713256439
Kansas20644137291436414235468
Kentucky45550234262339310526913
Louisiana398413353411194109610982
Maine98524122422312105188
Maryland33451111178184139414651
Massachusetts2265364156148116114430
Michigan529492262111111110136131,085
Minnesota24449104211026613388494
Mississippi4044429733182556566911
Missouri56852300272029287671,096
Montana1033910941832610125263
Nebraska1345096364118793269
Nevada18743122286146115212432
New Hampshire6753292300211765127
New Jersey282378811132871116521772
New Mexico15933173361334186914484
New York621431911325219213312211,456
North Carolina75749406261511389173111,559
North Dakota53484036334444111
Ohio6725419416242156139681,238
Oklahoma3334425834334638466765
Oregon1934097201124394710477
Pennsylvania754493202133218712166111,525
Rhode Island404967221620151981
South Carolina482462642512110710125121,037
South Dakota8746603163221274191
Tennessee6204835928292136119171,287
Texas1,305381,1953481234410379113,475
Utah123438730622482910287
Vermont505720233310110087
Virginia4905125627202697829963
Washington306491412210278126610630
West Virginia187461112792369205410
Wisconsin3625016823419213558724
Wyoming6533844312617963195
U.S. Total18,9684410,7662575324,697114,7841142,642
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Crash types

Nationwide, 51 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2006 occurred in single-vehicle crashes. The highest proportions of single-vehicle crashes occurred in Montana (66 percent), South Dakota (65 percent), and New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont (all 62 percent).

Passenger vehicle occupant deaths by crash type and state, 2006
StateSingle-vehicleMultiple-vehicleAll crashes*
Num%Num%Num
Alabama5225445246975
Alaska2248245246
Arizona4074745052858
Arkansas2885622244510
California1,290471,462532,754
Colorado2035516545368
Connecticut106529848204
Delaware40396260103
District of Columbia635116517
Florida868431,165572,034
Georgia64450655501,299
Hawaii4852454893
Idaho124598641210
Illinois4645144849912
Indiana3385131848657
Iowa1534717553328
Kansas1825216748349
Kentucky3454935651701
Louisiana3995434246742
Maine79576043139
Maryland1773927461451
Massachusetts1725812642298
Michigan3344343457768
Minnesota1674619354360
Mississippi4365732843764
Missouri4605241547878
Montana139667334212
Nebraska1064612454230
Nevada1534915951312
New Hampshire5455444598
New Jersey1744719953373
New Mexico2106213138341
New York4154942250848
North Carolina63954541461,181
North Dakota5457404394
Ohio4234747953906
Oklahoma2954930251597
Oregon1875316347350
Pennsylvania58253509471,092
Rhode Island2962183847
South Carolina4305633644766
South Dakota96655235148
Tennessee5345446146995
Texas1,241491,314512,557
Utah1064911051216
Vermont4562283873
Virginia4455831441762
Washington2405321447455
West Virginia1545015450308
Wisconsin3005524145541
Wyoming94606240156
U.S. Total15,4195115,0234930,476
*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, 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 2006, BAC was reported for 64 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers. Reporting rates varied by state. Vermont reported BACs for 98 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers, while Massachusetts reported BACs for 5 percent. Among states with reporting rates of at least 70 percent, Wisconsin (47 percent) had the highest estimated percentage of fatally injured drivers with BACs of 0.08 percent or higher, and Nebraska (26 percent) had the lowest.

Estimated number and percent of fatally-injured passenger vehicle drivers with BACs ≥ 0.08 percent by state, 2006
StatePassenger vehicle drivers
Known BAC resultsDeathsEstimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08
Num%Num%
Alabama27538718**
Alaska123931**
Arizona29558511**
Arkansas2977937712132
California1,627911,79158132
Colorado17669256**
Connecticut139871606239
Delaware345068**
District of Columbia88010440
Florida770541,413**
Georgia38040958**
Hawaii4485522446
Idaho9163145**
Illinois5568664424738
Indiana28559480**
Iowa7933241**
Kansas10339266**
Kentucky35869518**
Louisiana24645550**
Maine92871063230
Maryland281833409829
Massachusetts125224**
Michigan38469553**
Minnesota217832638432
Mississippi23441573**
Missouri5148262421434
Montana116831396144
Nebraska130881473826
Nevada159792017035
New Hampshire6992752432
New Jersey185742516827
New Mexico197942096732
New York38164597**
North Carolina52562847**
North Dakota5583662842
Ohio6119067820931
Oklahoma3768743112228
Oregon206892317332
Pennsylvania6267781128936
Rhode Island2994311033
South Carolina39469570**
South Dakota86841024443
Tennessee19327717**
Texas515301,744**
Utah5439138**
Vermont5498551833
Virginia4227755118233
Washington2799030912139
West Virginia164752186429
Wisconsin3628940519047
Wyoming75741023534
U.S. Total13,7726421,4977,12333
*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 2006 varied by state. South Dakota (18 percent) had the lowest percentage of fatally injured belted occupants, and Alaska had the highest (61 percent). States with high proportion of unknowns include Connecticut (21 percent), Massachusetts (21 percent) and Maine (19 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, 2006
StateBeltedUnbeltedUnknownTotal
Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama3693857058364975
Alaska286117371246
Arizona273324665411914858
Arkansas13326304607314510
California1,5545691633284102,754
Colorado13938226613<1368
Connecticut914571354221204
Delaware5150504922103
District of Columbia95363521217
Florida781381,155579852,034
Georgia5073964550147111,299
Hawaii37403942171893
Idaho844011655105210
Illinois376414364810011912
Indiana26040306479114657
Iowa16149128393912328
Kansas1384019957123349
Kentucky2283347367..701
Louisiana2623543458466742
Maine473465472719139
Maryland2545617338245451
Massachusetts7927157536221298
Michigan42355251339412768
Minnesota1464118451308360
Mississippi2142855072..764
Missouri2372756464779878
Montana65311426752212
Nebraska773313659177230
Nevada13343147473210312
New Hampshire222271725598
New Jersey1484020455216373
New Mexico1534517050185341
New York4164937244607848
North Carolina57649533457261,181
North Dakota323461651194
Ohio3844249755253906
Oklahoma242413495861597
Oregon20358107314011350
Pennsylvania3463259955147131,092
Rhode Island12263574..47
South Carolina2593445559527766
South Dakota261811175117148
Tennessee3743855756646995
Texas1,250491,1354417272,557
Utah1014785393014216
Vermont344735484573
Virginia2743645259365762
Washington2435319743153455
West Virginia9431160525418308
Wisconsin2023729655438541
Wyoming5334966274156
U.S. Total12,6004115,503512,373830,476

Rural versus urban

Sixty-one percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2006 occurred in rural areas. The state with the greatest proportion of passenger vehicle occupant deaths on rural roads was North Dakota (97 percent).

Number and percent of fatally-injured passenger vehicle occupants by land use and state, 2006
StateUrbanRuralUnknownTotal
Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama2953066668141975
Alaska153331670046
Arizona379444795600858
Arkansas108214027900510
California1,511551,24345002,754
Colorado135372336300368
Connecticut16882361800204
Delaware3837656300103
District of Columbia17100000017
Florida1,034518904411052,034
Georgia5254061647158121,299
Hawaii434650540093
Idaho49231617700210
Illinois51857393431<1912
Indiana264403936000657
Iowa61192678100328
Kansas57162928400349
Kentucky147215547900701
Louisiana345463975400742
Maine1391259011139
Maryland23352217481<1451
Massachusetts25887401300298
Michigan25533512671<1768
Minnesota92262687400360
Mississippi183245817600764
Missouri237276417300878
Montana842049600212
Nebraska44191868100230
Nevada177571354300312
New Hampshire434455560098
New Jersey298806517103373
New Mexico57172848300341
New York427504215000848
North Carolina3062687574001,181
North Dakota3391970094
Ohio261296457100906
Oklahoma110184878200597
Oregon81232697700350
Pennsylvania48645603553<11,092
Rhode Island4698120047
South Carolina81116858900766
South Dakota1171379300148
Tennessee320324754820020995
Texas947371,609631<12,557
Utah70321466800216
Vermont3470960073
Virginia27436486642<1762
Washington158352976500455
West Virginia3511217705618308
Wisconsin164303777000541
Wyoming1171459300156
U.S. Total11,4013718,51761558230,476

References