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
State Population Fatal motor vehicle crashes Motor vehicle crash deaths
Num Num Rate
Alabama 4,599,030 1,074 1,208 26.3
Alaska 670,053 71 74 11.0
Arizona 6,166,318 1,113 1,288 20.9
Arkansas 2,810,872 596 665 23.7
California 36,457,549 3,835 4,236 11.6
Colorado 4,753,377 485 535 11.3
Connecticut 3,504,809 283 301 8.6
Delaware 853,476 133 148 17.3
District of Columbia 581,530 33 37 6.4
Florida 18,089,888 3,097 3,374 18.7
Georgia 9,363,941 1,557 1,693 18.1
Hawaii 1,285,498 144 161 12.5
Idaho 1,466,465 239 267 18.2
Illinois 12,831,970 1,136 1,254 9.8
Indiana 6,313,520 817 899 14.2
Iowa 2,982,085 386 439 14.7
Kansas 2,764,075 427 468 16.9
Kentucky 4,206,074 837 913 21.7
Louisiana 4,287,768 886 982 22.9
Maine 1,321,574 171 188 14.2
Maryland 5,615,727 593 651 11.6
Massachusetts 6,437,193 404 430 6.7
Michigan 10,095,643 1,003 1,085 10.7
Minnesota 5,167,101 456 494 9.6
Mississippi 2,910,540 812 911 31.3
Missouri 5,842,713 971 1,096 18.8
Montana 944,632 226 263 27.8
Nebraska 1,768,331 226 269 15.2
Nevada 2,495,529 387 432 17.3
New Hampshire 1,314,895 116 127 9.7
New Jersey 8,724,560 711 772 8.8
New Mexico 1,954,599 424 484 24.8
New York 19,306,183 1,351 1,456 7.5
North Carolina 8,856,505 1,429 1,559 17.6
North Dakota 635,867 101 111 17.5
Ohio 11,478,006 1,141 1,238 10.8
Oklahoma 3,579,212 669 765 21.4
Oregon 3,700,758 417 477 12.9
Pennsylvania 12,440,621 1,409 1,525 12.3
Rhode Island 1,067,610 72 81 7.6
South Carolina 4,321,249 966 1,037 24.0
South Dakota 781,919 172 191 24.4
Tennessee 6,038,803 1,164 1,287 21.3
Texas 23,507,783 3,070 3,475 14.8
Utah 2,550,063 249 287 11.3
Vermont 623,908 77 87 13.9
Virginia 7,642,884 866 963 12.6
Washington 6,395,798 575 630 9.9
West Virginia 1,818,470 372 410 22.5
Wisconsin 5,556,506 670 724 13.0
Wyoming 515,004 169 195 37.9
U.S. Total 299,398,484 38,588 42,642 14.2

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
State Passenger car occupants Pickup and SUV occupants Large truck occupants Motorcyclists Pedestrians Total motor vehicle deaths*
Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 553 46 401 33 18 1 103 9 78 6 1,208
Alaska 24 32 21 28 1 1 9 12 9 12 74
Arizona 452 35 384 30 20 2 136 11 167 13 1,288
Arkansas 267 40 236 35 25 4 75 11 31 5 665
California 1,838 43 870 21 35 1 498 12 717 17 4,236
Colorado 199 37 163 30 16 3 74 14 59 11 535
Connecticut 163 54 37 12 1 0 53 18 36 12 301
Delaware 70 47 31 21 1 1 11 7 27 18 148
District of Columbia 17 46 0 0 0 0 1 3 17 46 37
Florida 1,293 38 710 21 34 1 540 16 546 16 3,374
Georgia 762 45 503 30 32 2 151 9 148 9 1,693
Hawaii 59 37 31 19 0 0 21 13 31 19 161
Idaho 106 40 102 38 0 0 37 14 8 3 267
Illinois 635 51 258 21 24 2 131 10 138 11 1,254
Indiana 412 46 195 22 27 3 97 11 73 8 899
Iowa 224 51 101 23 12 3 57 13 25 6 439
Kansas 206 44 137 29 14 3 64 14 23 5 468
Kentucky 455 50 234 26 23 3 93 10 52 6 913
Louisiana 398 41 335 34 11 1 94 10 96 10 982
Maine 98 52 41 22 4 2 23 12 10 5 188
Maryland 334 51 111 17 8 1 84 13 94 14 651
Massachusetts 226 53 64 15 6 1 48 11 61 14 430
Michigan 529 49 226 21 11 1 111 10 136 13 1,085
Minnesota 244 49 104 21 10 2 66 13 38 8 494
Mississippi 404 44 297 33 18 2 55 6 56 6 911
Missouri 568 52 300 27 20 2 92 8 76 7 1,096
Montana 103 39 109 41 8 3 26 10 12 5 263
Nebraska 134 50 96 36 4 1 18 7 9 3 269
Nevada 187 43 122 28 6 1 46 11 52 12 432
New Hampshire 67 53 29 23 0 0 21 17 6 5 127
New Jersey 282 37 88 11 13 2 87 11 165 21 772
New Mexico 159 33 173 36 13 3 41 8 69 14 484
New York 621 43 191 13 25 2 192 13 312 21 1,456
North Carolina 757 49 406 26 15 1 138 9 173 11 1,559
North Dakota 53 48 40 36 3 3 4 4 4 4 111
Ohio 672 54 194 16 24 2 156 13 96 8 1,238
Oklahoma 333 44 258 34 33 4 63 8 46 6 765
Oregon 193 40 97 20 11 2 43 9 47 10 477
Pennsylvania 754 49 320 21 33 2 187 12 166 11 1,525
Rhode Island 40 49 6 7 2 2 16 20 15 19 81
South Carolina 482 46 264 25 12 1 107 10 125 12 1,037
South Dakota 87 46 60 31 6 3 22 12 7 4 191
Tennessee 620 48 359 28 29 2 136 11 91 7 1,287
Texas 1,305 38 1,195 34 81 2 344 10 379 11 3,475
Utah 123 43 87 30 6 2 24 8 29 10 287
Vermont 50 57 20 23 3 3 10 11 0 0 87
Virginia 490 51 256 27 20 2 69 7 82 9 963
Washington 306 49 141 22 10 2 78 12 66 10 630
West Virginia 187 46 111 27 9 2 36 9 20 5 410
Wisconsin 362 50 168 23 4 1 92 13 55 8 724
Wyoming 65 33 84 43 12 6 17 9 6 3 195
U.S. Total 18,968 44 10,766 25 753 2 4,697 11 4,784 11 42,642
*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
State Single-vehicle Multiple-vehicle All crashes*
Num % Num % Num
Alabama 522 54 452 46 975
Alaska 22 48 24 52 46
Arizona 407 47 450 52 858
Arkansas 288 56 222 44 510
California 1,290 47 1,462 53 2,754
Colorado 203 55 165 45 368
Connecticut 106 52 98 48 204
Delaware 40 39 62 60 103
District of Columbia 6 35 11 65 17
Florida 868 43 1,165 57 2,034
Georgia 644 50 655 50 1,299
Hawaii 48 52 45 48 93
Idaho 124 59 86 41 210
Illinois 464 51 448 49 912
Indiana 338 51 318 48 657
Iowa 153 47 175 53 328
Kansas 182 52 167 48 349
Kentucky 345 49 356 51 701
Louisiana 399 54 342 46 742
Maine 79 57 60 43 139
Maryland 177 39 274 61 451
Massachusetts 172 58 126 42 298
Michigan 334 43 434 57 768
Minnesota 167 46 193 54 360
Mississippi 436 57 328 43 764
Missouri 460 52 415 47 878
Montana 139 66 73 34 212
Nebraska 106 46 124 54 230
Nevada 153 49 159 51 312
New Hampshire 54 55 44 45 98
New Jersey 174 47 199 53 373
New Mexico 210 62 131 38 341
New York 415 49 422 50 848
North Carolina 639 54 541 46 1,181
North Dakota 54 57 40 43 94
Ohio 423 47 479 53 906
Oklahoma 295 49 302 51 597
Oregon 187 53 163 47 350
Pennsylvania 582 53 509 47 1,092
Rhode Island 29 62 18 38 47
South Carolina 430 56 336 44 766
South Dakota 96 65 52 35 148
Tennessee 534 54 461 46 995
Texas 1,241 49 1,314 51 2,557
Utah 106 49 110 51 216
Vermont 45 62 28 38 73
Virginia 445 58 314 41 762
Washington 240 53 214 47 455
West Virginia 154 50 154 50 308
Wisconsin 300 55 241 45 541
Wyoming 94 60 62 40 156
U.S. Total 15,419 51 15,023 49 30,476
*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
State Passenger vehicle drivers
Known BAC results Deaths Estimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08
Num % Num %
Alabama 275 38 718 * *
Alaska 12 39 31 * *
Arizona 295 58 511 * *
Arkansas 297 79 377 121 32
California 1,627 91 1,791 581 32
Colorado 176 69 256 * *
Connecticut 139 87 160 62 39
Delaware 34 50 68 * *
District of Columbia 8 80 10 4 40
Florida 770 54 1,413 * *
Georgia 380 40 958 * *
Hawaii 44 85 52 24 46
Idaho 91 63 145 * *
Illinois 556 86 644 247 38
Indiana 285 59 480 * *
Iowa 79 33 241 * *
Kansas 103 39 266 * *
Kentucky 358 69 518 * *
Louisiana 246 45 550 * *
Maine 92 87 106 32 30
Maryland 281 83 340 98 29
Massachusetts 12 5 224 * *
Michigan 384 69 553 * *
Minnesota 217 83 263 84 32
Mississippi 234 41 573 * *
Missouri 514 82 624 214 34
Montana 116 83 139 61 44
Nebraska 130 88 147 38 26
Nevada 159 79 201 70 35
New Hampshire 69 92 75 24 32
New Jersey 185 74 251 68 27
New Mexico 197 94 209 67 32
New York 381 64 597 * *
North Carolina 525 62 847 * *
North Dakota 55 83 66 28 42
Ohio 611 90 678 209 31
Oklahoma 376 87 431 122 28
Oregon 206 89 231 73 32
Pennsylvania 626 77 811 289 36
Rhode Island 29 94 31 10 33
South Carolina 394 69 570 * *
South Dakota 86 84 102 44 43
Tennessee 193 27 717 * *
Texas 515 30 1,744 * *
Utah 54 39 138 * *
Vermont 54 98 55 18 33
Virginia 422 77 551 182 33
Washington 279 90 309 121 39
West Virginia 164 75 218 64 29
Wisconsin 362 89 405 190 47
Wyoming 75 74 102 35 34
U.S. Total 13,772 64 21,497 7,123 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 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
State Belted Unbelted Unknown Total
Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 369 38 570 58 36 4 975
Alaska 28 61 17 37 1 2 46
Arizona 273 32 466 54 119 14 858
Arkansas 133 26 304 60 73 14 510
California 1,554 56 916 33 284 10 2,754
Colorado 139 38 226 61 3 <1 368
Connecticut 91 45 71 35 42 21 204
Delaware 51 50 50 49 2 2 103
District of Columbia 9 53 6 35 2 12 17
Florida 781 38 1,155 57 98 5 2,034
Georgia 507 39 645 50 147 11 1,299
Hawaii 37 40 39 42 17 18 93
Idaho 84 40 116 55 10 5 210
Illinois 376 41 436 48 100 11 912
Indiana 260 40 306 47 91 14 657
Iowa 161 49 128 39 39 12 328
Kansas 138 40 199 57 12 3 349
Kentucky 228 33 473 67 . . 701
Louisiana 262 35 434 58 46 6 742
Maine 47 34 65 47 27 19 139
Maryland 254 56 173 38 24 5 451
Massachusetts 79 27 157 53 62 21 298
Michigan 423 55 251 33 94 12 768
Minnesota 146 41 184 51 30 8 360
Mississippi 214 28 550 72 . . 764
Missouri 237 27 564 64 77 9 878
Montana 65 31 142 67 5 2 212
Nebraska 77 33 136 59 17 7 230
Nevada 133 43 147 47 32 10 312
New Hampshire 22 22 71 72 5 5 98
New Jersey 148 40 204 55 21 6 373
New Mexico 153 45 170 50 18 5 341
New York 416 49 372 44 60 7 848
North Carolina 576 49 533 45 72 6 1,181
North Dakota 32 34 61 65 1 1 94
Ohio 384 42 497 55 25 3 906
Oklahoma 242 41 349 58 6 1 597
Oregon 203 58 107 31 40 11 350
Pennsylvania 346 32 599 55 147 13 1,092
Rhode Island 12 26 35 74 . . 47
South Carolina 259 34 455 59 52 7 766
South Dakota 26 18 111 75 11 7 148
Tennessee 374 38 557 56 64 6 995
Texas 1,250 49 1,135 44 172 7 2,557
Utah 101 47 85 39 30 14 216
Vermont 34 47 35 48 4 5 73
Virginia 274 36 452 59 36 5 762
Washington 243 53 197 43 15 3 455
West Virginia 94 31 160 52 54 18 308
Wisconsin 202 37 296 55 43 8 541
Wyoming 53 34 96 62 7 4 156
U.S. Total 12,600 41 15,503 51 2,373 8 30,476

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
State Urban Rural Unknown Total
Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 295 30 666 68 14 1 975
Alaska 15 33 31 67 0 0 46
Arizona 379 44 479 56 0 0 858
Arkansas 108 21 402 79 0 0 510
California 1,511 55 1,243 45 0 0 2,754
Colorado 135 37 233 63 0 0 368
Connecticut 168 82 36 18 0 0 204
Delaware 38 37 65 63 0 0 103
District of Columbia 17 100 0 0 0 0 17
Florida 1,034 51 890 44 110 5 2,034
Georgia 525 40 616 47 158 12 1,299
Hawaii 43 46 50 54 0 0 93
Idaho 49 23 161 77 0 0 210
Illinois 518 57 393 43 1 <1 912
Indiana 264 40 393 60 0 0 657
Iowa 61 19 267 81 0 0 328
Kansas 57 16 292 84 0 0 349
Kentucky 147 21 554 79 0 0 701
Louisiana 345 46 397 54 0 0 742
Maine 13 9 125 90 1 1 139
Maryland 233 52 217 48 1 <1 451
Massachusetts 258 87 40 13 0 0 298
Michigan 255 33 512 67 1 <1 768
Minnesota 92 26 268 74 0 0 360
Mississippi 183 24 581 76 0 0 764
Missouri 237 27 641 73 0 0 878
Montana 8 4 204 96 0 0 212
Nebraska 44 19 186 81 0 0 230
Nevada 177 57 135 43 0 0 312
New Hampshire 43 44 55 56 0 0 98
New Jersey 298 80 65 17 10 3 373
New Mexico 57 17 284 83 0 0 341
New York 427 50 421 50 0 0 848
North Carolina 306 26 875 74 0 0 1,181
North Dakota 3 3 91 97 0 0 94
Ohio 261 29 645 71 0 0 906
Oklahoma 110 18 487 82 0 0 597
Oregon 81 23 269 77 0 0 350
Pennsylvania 486 45 603 55 3 <1 1,092
Rhode Island 46 98 1 2 0 0 47
South Carolina 81 11 685 89 0 0 766
South Dakota 11 7 137 93 0 0 148
Tennessee 320 32 475 48 200 20 995
Texas 947 37 1,609 63 1 <1 2,557
Utah 70 32 146 68 0 0 216
Vermont 3 4 70 96 0 0 73
Virginia 274 36 486 64 2 <1 762
Washington 158 35 297 65 0 0 455
West Virginia 35 11 217 70 56 18 308
Wisconsin 164 30 377 70 0 0 541
Wyoming 11 7 145 93 0 0 156
U.S. Total 11,401 37 18,517 61 558 2 30,476

References