State by state | 2009

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 provide a way of examining motor vehicle deaths relative to a state's population. However, many factors can affect these rates, including amounts and types of travel, 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).

Fatal crash totals

There were 30,797 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2009 in which 33,808 deaths occurred. This resulted in a national motor vehicle death rate of 11 deaths per 100,000 people. Motor vehicle death rates varied among states from a low of 4.8 deaths per 100,000 people in the District of Columbia, to a high of 24.6 deaths per 100,000 people in Wyoming.

States with lowest and highest rates of motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people, 2009

Population, fatal motor vehicle crashes, motor vehicle crash deaths, and motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by state, 2009
State Population Fatal crashes Deaths
Num Num Death rate
Alabama 4,708,708 774 848 18.0
Alaska 698,473 59 64 9.2
Arizona 6,595,778 710 807 12.2
Arkansas 2,889,450 523 585 20.2
California 36,961,664 2,816 3,081 8.3
Colorado 5,024,748 437 465 9.3
Connecticut 3,518,288 210 223 6.3
Delaware 885,122 101 116 13.1
District of Columbia 599,657 28 29 4.8
Florida 18,537,969 2,369 2,558 13.8
Georgia 9,829,211 1,172 1,284 13.1
Hawaii 1,295,178 99 109 8.4
Idaho 1,545,801 199 226 14.6
Illinois 12,910,409 832 911 7.1
Indiana 6,423,113 632 693 10.8
Iowa 3,007,856 339 372 12.4
Kansas 2,818,747 348 386 13.7
Kentucky 4,314,113 730 791 18.3
Louisiana 4,492,076 726 821 18.3
Maine 1,318,301 153 159 12.1
Maryland 5,699,478 513 547 9.6
Massachusetts 6,593,587 308 334 5.1
Michigan 9,969,727 806 871 8.7
Minnesota 5,266,214 371 421 8.0
Mississippi 2,951,996 631 700 23.7
Missouri 5,987,580 786 878 14.7
Montana 974,989 198 221 22.7
Nebraska 1,796,619 205 223 12.4
Nevada 2,643,085 223 243 9.2
New Hampshire 1,324,575 97 110 8.3
New Jersey 8,707,739 549 583 6.7
New Mexico 2,009,671 319 361 18.0
New York 19,541,453 1,067 1,156 5.9
North Carolina 9,380,884 1,208 1,314 14.0
North Dakota 646,844 116 140 21.6
Ohio 11,542,645 944 1,021 8.8
Oklahoma 3,687,050 647 738 20.0
Oregon 3,825,657 331 377 9.9
Pennsylvania 12,604,767 1,143 1,256 10.0
Rhode Island 1,053,209 76 83 7.9
South Carolina 4,561,242 817 894 19.6
South Dakota 812,383 112 131 16.1
Tennessee 6,296,254 918 989 15.7
Texas 24,782,302 2,776 3,071 12.4
Utah 2,784,572 217 244 8.8
Vermont 621,760 69 74 11.9
Virginia 7,882,590 695 757 9.6
Washington 6,664,195 453 492 7.4
West Virginia 1,819,777 324 356 19.6
Wisconsin 5,654,774 505 561 9.9
Wyoming 544,270 116 134 24.6
U.S. Total 307,006,550 30,797 33,808 11.0

Deaths by road user

In 2009, the types of motor vehicle crash deaths varied across states. For example, Wyoming had the lowest percentage of deaths involving car occupants (27 percent) and the highest percentage of deaths involving occupants of SUVs and pickups (55 percent). In contrast, New Jersey had relatively high proportions of car occupant deaths (46 percent) and pedestrian deaths (27 percent), and a relatively low percentage of deaths involving SUV or pickup occupants (11 percent).The highest percentage of motorcyclist deaths occurred in Hawaii (28 percent), and the percentage of pedestrian deaths was highest in the District of Columbia (48 percent).

Motor vehicle crash deaths by road user type and state, 2009
State Passenger car occupants Pickup and SUV occupants Large truck occupants Motorcyclists Pedestrians Bicyclists Total*
Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 386 46 269 32 14 2 74 9 64 8 6 1 848
Alaska 21 33 19 30 0 0 7 11 9 14 2 3 64
Arizona 235 29 210 26 8 1 118 15 120 15 25 3 807
Arkansas 226 39 210 36 13 2 68 12 36 6 5 1 585
California 1,275 41 622 20 27 1 383 12 563 18 99 3 3,081
Colorado 151 32 145 31 10 2 85 18 47 10 10 2 465
Connecticut 107 48 40 18 1 0 43 19 26 12 1 0 223
Delaware 48 41 28 24 0 0 13 11 15 13 6 5 116
District of Columbia 9 31 1 3 0 0 3 10 14 48 0 0 29
Florida 931 36 565 22 21 1 387 15 466 18 107 4 2,558
Georgia 491 38 411 32 28 2 133 10 150 12 21 2 1,284
Hawaii 34 31 18 17 2 2 30 28 16 15 3 3 109
Idaho 81 36 81 36 1 0 34 15 10 4 7 3 226
Illinois 442 49 177 19 3 0 125 14 111 12 20 2 911
Indiana 324 47 171 25 15 2 90 13 50 7 7 1 693
Iowa 166 45 103 28 11 3 49 13 21 6 2 1 372
Kansas 160 41 136 35 2 1 44 11 22 6 5 1 386
Kentucky 348 44 265 34 19 2 83 10 41 5 5 1 791
Louisiana 313 38 263 32 8 1 101 12 107 13 13 2 821
Maine 76 48 38 24 1 1 23 14 11 7 0 0 159
Maryland 240 44 94 17 4 1 66 12 113 21 11 2 547
Massachusetts 157 47 56 17 3 1 51 15 48 14 6 2 334
Michigan 394 45 180 21 2 0 102 12 118 14 19 2 871
Minnesota 188 45 98 23 5 1 50 12 42 10 10 2 421
Mississippi 318 45 220 31 9 1 46 7 58 8 10 1 700
Missouri 416 47 261 30 10 1 81 9 68 8 2 0 878
Montana 72 33 89 40 7 3 24 11 15 7 1 0 221
Nebraska 102 46 83 37 4 2 14 6 9 4 3 1 223
Nevada 83 34 65 27 3 1 40 16 35 14 6 2 243
New Hampshire 43 39 36 33 0 0 21 19 8 7 1 1 110
New Jersey 266 46 63 11 4 1 64 11 157 27 13 2 583
New Mexico 115 32 141 39 9 2 40 11 39 11 3 1 361
New York 474 41 156 13 8 1 153 13 306 26 29 3 1,156
North Carolina 635 48 318 24 15 1 141 11 146 11 16 1 1,314
North Dakota 70 50 51 36 3 2 7 5 4 3 1 1 140
Ohio 504 49 195 19 9 1 166 16 85 8 19 2 1,021
Oklahoma 271 37 275 37 25 3 106 14 31 4 11 1 738
Oregon 142 38 118 31 5 1 52 14 35 9 8 2 377
Pennsylvania 592 47 255 20 14 1 203 16 134 11 15 1 1,256
Rhode Island 32 39 13 16 0 0 18 22 16 19 0 0 83
South Carolina 393 44 270 30 10 1 91 10 89 10 11 1 894
South Dakota 59 45 46 35 3 2 16 12 4 3 0 0 131
Tennessee 429 43 310 31 20 2 117 12 70 7 9 1 989
Texas 1,093 36 1,049 34 56 2 424 14 344 11 48 2 3,071
Utah 97 40 77 32 8 3 29 12 19 8 5 2 244
Vermont 43 58 11 15 2 3 8 11 5 7 0 0 74
Virginia 370 49 190 25 15 2 72 10 73 10 11 1 757
Washington 204 41 134 27 9 2 67 14 61 12 9 2 492
West Virginia 148 42 129 36 7 2 25 7 21 6 0 0 356
Wisconsin 248 44 154 27 1 0 81 14 38 7 7 1 561
Wyoming 36 27 74 55 3 2 13 10 2 1 2 1 134
U.S. Total 14,058 42 8,983 27 457 1 4,281 13 4,092 12 630 2 33,808
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Crash types

Nationwide, 53 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2009 occurred in single-vehicle crashes. The highest proportions of single-vehicle crashes occurred in Wyoming (70 percent) and South Dakota (71 percent).

Passenger vehicle occupant deaths by crash type and state, 2009
State Single-vehicle Multiple-vehicle All crashes*
Num % Num % Num
Alabama 364 55 299 45 663
Alaska 18 45 22 55 40
Arizona 251 54 211 46 462
Arkansas 244 55 203 45 447
California 981 51 942 49 1,926
Colorado 161 53 140 46 304
Connecticut 97 65 53 35 150
Delaware 35 43 45 56 81
District of Columbia 5 50 5 50 10
Florida 788 52 727 48 1,516
Georgia 458 50 460 50 920
Hawaii 34 65 18 35 52
Idaho 93 57 71 43 164
Illinois 292 46 338 54 630
Indiana 250 50 250 50 502
Iowa 136 50 138 50 274
Kansas 167 55 134 45 301
Kentucky 313 50 307 50 620
Louisiana 333 58 245 42 579
Maine 55 47 61 52 117
Maryland 173 50 172 50 346
Massachusetts 132 61 83 39 215
Michigan 250 42 338 57 589
Minnesota 122 41 174 59 296
Mississippi 352 63 209 37 561
Missouri 357 52 330 48 687
Montana 101 62 63 38 164
Nebraska 87 47 100 53 187
Nevada 86 57 66 43 152
New Hampshire 39 49 40 51 79
New Jersey 148 44 189 56 337
New Mexico 151 58 110 42 261
New York 304 47 339 53 643
North Carolina 528 55 434 45 963
North Dakota 64 52 58 48 122
Ohio 360 50 356 50 717
Oklahoma 302 55 251 45 553
Oregon 152 57 116 43 268
Pennsylvania 404 47 455 53 859
Rhode Island 29 63 17 37 46
South Carolina 406 60 266 40 673
South Dakota 77 71 31 29 108
Tennessee 440 59 310 41 750
Texas 1,112 52 1,047 48 2,159
Utah 92 52 86 48 178
Vermont 28 51 27 49 55
Virginia 345 61 225 39 570
Washington 191 57 146 43 338
West Virginia 168 59 116 41 284
Wisconsin 222 54 187 46 409
Wyoming 77 70 33 30 110
U.S. total 12,374 53 11,043 47 23,437
*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: 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 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 2009, BAC was reported for 71 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers. Hawaii reported BACs for 97 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers, while Mississippi reported BACs for 23 percent. Among the 34 states and the District of Columbia with reporting rates of at least 70 percent, Hawaii had the highest estimated percentage of fatally injured drivers with BACs of 0.08 percent or higher (68 percent), and New Hampshire had the lowest (21 percent).

Estimated number and percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BAC ≥ 0.08 percent by state, 2009
State Drivers killed with known BAC results Total drivers killed Estimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08
Num % Num Num %
Alabama 291 57 507 * *
Alaska 18 78 23 7 29
Arizona 157 56 281 * *
Arkansas 284 84 338 106 32
California 1,092 87 1,249 467 37
Colorado 177 79 223 79 35
Connecticut 87 76 114 51 44
Delaware 30 55 55 * *
District of Columbia 5 83 6 4 60
Florida 702 66 1,066 * *
Georgia 399 58 686 * *
Hawaii 36 97 37 25 68
Idaho 85 78 109 31 28
Illinois 399 90 445 145 32
Indiana 238 64 369 * *
Iowa 55 27 206 * *
Kansas 124 57 217 * *
Kentucky 358 75 476 116 24
Louisiana 276 65 425 * *
Maine 84 90 93 26 28
Maryland 227 86 264 78 29
Massachusetts 68 43 158 * *
Michigan 294 71 417 125 30
Minnesota 184 90 205 51 25
Mississippi 97 23 421 * *
Missouri 395 80 491 175 36
Montana 115 90 128 49 38
Nebraska 115 79 146 45 31
Nevada 81 84 96 27 29
New Hampshire 50 93 54 12 21
New Jersey 201 81 247 63 26
New Mexico 160 94 171 69 40
New York 333 75 442 127 29
North Carolina 439 62 704 * *
North Dakota 70 85 82 37 45
Ohio 462 87 529 174 33
Oklahoma 348 88 396 132 33
Oregon 167 88 190 61 32
Pennsylvania 480 75 643 218 34
Rhode Island 17 55 31 * *
South Carolina 392 78 501 233 46
South Dakota 57 79 72 29 40
Tennessee 167 31 543 * *
Texas 917 59 1,552 * *
Utah 55 50 111 * *
Vermont 41 91 45 16 36
Virginia 343 82 417 143 34
Washington 213 93 230 106 46
West Virginia 199 95 210 65 31
Wisconsin 282 94 301 121 40
Wyoming 58 84 69 29 43
U.S. total 11,924 71 16,791 5,861 35
*Cells with missing data have insufficient reporting of BAC results by state
for reliably estimating percent of fatally injured drivers with BAC ≥ 0.08 percent

Restraint use

Based on daytime observational surveys conducted by the states, the rate of seatbelt use among front seat passenger vehicle occupants in 2009 ranged from 68 percent in Wyoming to 98 percent in Michigan. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2010. Seat belt use in 2009 — use rates in the states and territories. Report no. DOT HS-811-324. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. When examining restraint use among fatally injured motor vehicle occupants, it is important to note that percentages 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.

State Population Num Num Death rate
Alabama 4,708,708 774 848 18.0
Alaska 698,473 59 64 9.2
Arizona 6,595,778 710 807 12.2
Arkansas 2,889,450 523 585 20.2
California 36,961,664 2,816 3,081 8.3
Colorado 5,024,748 437 465 9.3
Connecticut 3,518,288 210 223 6.3
Delaware 885,122 101 116 13.1
District of Columbia 599,657 28 29 4.8
Florida 18,537,969 2,369 2,558 13.8
Georgia 9,829,211 1,172 1,284 13.1
Hawaii 1,295,178 99 109 8.4
Idaho 1,545,801 199 226 14.6
Illinois 12,910,409 832 911 7.1
Indiana 6,423,113 632 693 10.8
Iowa 3,007,856 339 372 12.4
Kansas 2,818,747 348 386 13.7
Kentucky 4,314,113 730 791 18.3
Louisiana 4,492,076 726 821 18.3
Maine 1,318,301 153 159 12.1
Maryland 5,699,478 513 547 9.6
Massachusetts 6,593,587 308 334 5.1
Michigan 9,969,727 806 871 8.7
Minnesota 5,266,214 371 421 8.0
Mississippi 2,951,996 631 700 23.7
Missouri 5,987,580 786 878 14.7
Montana 974,989 198 221 22.7
Nebraska 1,796,619 205 223 12.4
Nevada 2,643,085 223 243 9.2
New Hampshire 1,324,575 97 110 8.3
New Jersey 8,707,739 549 583 6.7
New Mexico 2,009,671 319 361 18.0
New York 19,541,453 1,067 1,156 5.9
North Carolina 9,380,884 1,208 1,314 14.0
North Dakota 646,844 116 140 21.6
Ohio 11,542,645 944 1,021 8.8
Oklahoma 3,687,050 647 738 20.0
Oregon 3,825,657 331 377 9.9
Pennsylvania 12,604,767 1,143 1,256 10.0
Rhode Island 1,053,209 76 83 7.9
South Carolina 4,561,242 817 894 19.6
South Dakota 812,383 112 131 16.1
Tennessee 6,296,254 918 989 15.7
Texas 24,782,302 2,776 3,071 12.4
Utah 2,784,572 217 244 8.8
Vermont 621,760 69 74 11.9
Virginia 7,882,590 695 757 9.6
Washington 6,664,195 453 492 7.4
West Virginia 1,819,777 324 356 19.6
Wisconsin 5,654,774 505 561 9.9
Wyoming 544,270 116 134 24.6
U.S. Total 307,006,550 30,797 33,808 11.0

Nine states had at least 50 percent restraint use among fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants (California, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington). All of these states had at least 88 percent restraint use in the general front seat population.

States' rates of observed daytime front seatbelt use and number and percent
of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants by restraint use and state, 2009
State Percent of observed seatbelt use Restraint use of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants
Restrained Unrestrained Unknown Total
Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 90 264 40 379 57 20 3 663
Alaska 86 19 48 12 30 9 22 40
Arizona 81 160 35 242 52 60 13 462
Arkansas 74 157 35 247 55 43 10 447
California 95 1,153 60 643 33 130 7 1,926
Colorado 81 125 41 168 55 11 4 304
Connecticut 86 58 39 70 47 22 15 150
Delaware 88 35 43 40 49 6 7 81
District of Columbia 93 2 20 4 40 4 40 10
Florida 85 625 41 847 56 44 3 1,516
Georgia 89 354 38 454 49 112 12 920
Hawaii 98 16 31 27 52 9 17 52
Idaho 79 67 41 90 55 7 4 164
Illinois 92 299 47 265 42 66 10 630
Indiana 93 241 48 206 41 55 11 502
Iowa 93 126 46 124 45 24 9 274
Kansas 77 110 37 171 57 20 7 301
Kentucky 80 265 43 353 57 2 < 1 620
Louisiana 75 193 33 351 61 35 6 579
Maine 83 50 43 50 43 17 15 117
Maryland 94 192 55 129 37 25 7 346
Massachusetts 74 60 28 112 52 43 20 215
Michigan 98 303 51 199 34 87 15 589
Minnesota 90 128 43 118 40 50 17 296
Mississippi 76 180 32 380 68 1 < 1 561
Missouri 77 220 32 418 61 49 7 687
Montana 79 57 35 102 62 5 3 164
Nebraska 85 59 32 108 58 20 11 187
Nevada 91 69 45 75 49 8 5 152
New Hampshire 69 30 38 49 62 79
New Jersey 93 182 54 144 43 11 3 337
New Mexico 90 137 52 124 48 261
New York 88 344 53 211 33 88 14 643
North Carolina 90 494 51 418 43 51 5 963
North Dakota 82 39 32 77 63 6 5 122
Ohio 84 268 37 399 56 50 7 717
Oklahoma 84 211 38 307 56 35 6 553
Oregon 97 151 56 96 36 21 8 268
Pennsylvania 88 310 36 447 52 102 12 859
Rhode Island 75 9 20 31 67 6 13 46
South Carolina 82 249 37 381 57 43 6 673
South Dakota 72 28 26 76 70 4 4 108
Tennessee 81 286 38 424 57 40 5 750
Texas 93 1,046 48 948 44 165 8 2,159
Utah 86 81 46 85 48 12 7 178
Vermont 85 23 42 28 51 4 7 55
Virginia 82 234 41 323 57 13 2 570
Washington 96 176 52 129 38 33 10 338
West Virginia 87 93 33 152 54 39 14 284
Wisconsin 74 149 36 232 57 28 7 409
Wyoming 68 31 28 78 71 1 < 1 110

Rural versus urban

Sixty-three percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2009 occurred in rural areas. All the passenger occupant deaths in New Hampshire occurred on rural roads compared with 10 percent in Massachusetts and zero deaths in the District of Columbia.

Number and percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants by land use and state, 2009
State Urban Rural Unknown Total
Num % Num % Num % Num
Alabama 203 31 407 61 53 8 663
Alaska 17 42 23 58 0 0 40
Arizona 197 43 265 57 0 0 462
Arkansas 80 18 367 82 0 0 447
California 960 50 966 50 0 0 1,926
Colorado 108 36 196 64 0 0 304
Connecticut 123 82 27 18 0 0 150
Delaware 28 35 53 65 0 0 81
District of Columbia 10 100 0 0 0 0 10
Florida 757 50 712 47 47 3 1,516
Georgia 396 43 524 57 0 0 920
Hawaii 30 58 22 42 0 0 52
Idaho 25 15 139 85 0 0 164
Illinois 335 53 295 47 0 0 630
Indiana 202 40 300 60 0 0 502
Iowa 43 16 231 84 0 0 274
Kansas 34 11 267 89 0 0 301
Kentucky 99 16 521 84 0 0 620
Louisiana 227 39 352 61 0 0 579
Maine 7 6 110 94 0 0 117
Maryland 198 57 148 43 0 0 346
Massachusetts 193 90 22 10 0 0 215
Michigan 291 49 298 51 0 0 589
Minnesota 89 30 207 70 0 0 296
Mississippi 147 26 414 74 0 0 561
Missouri 222 32 465 68 0 0 687
Montana 7 4 157 96 0 0 164
Nebraska 24 13 163 87 0 0 187
Nevada 66 43 86 57 0 0 152
New Hampshire 0 0 79 100 0 0 79
New Jersey 282 84 55 16 0 0 337
New Mexico 54 21 207 79 0 0 261
New York 239 37 404 63 0 0 643
North Carolina 226 23 737 77 0 0 963
North Dakota 3 2 119 98 0 0 122
Ohio 217 30 499 70 1 < 1 717
Oklahoma 148 27 405 73 0 0 553
Oregon 38 14 230 86 0 0 268
Pennsylvania 377 44 482 56 0 0 859
Rhode Island 28 61 10 22 8 17 46
South Carolina 9 1 664 99 0 0 673
South Dakota 6 6 102 94 0 0 108
Tennessee 284 38 466 62 0 0 750
Texas 856 40 1,292 60 11 1 2,159
Utah 56 31 122 69 0 0 178
Vermont 4 7 50 91 1 2 55
Virginia 218 38 350 61 2 < 1 570
Washington 88 26 243 72 7 2 338
West Virginia 75 26 209 74 0 0 284
Wisconsin 121 30 288 70 0 0 409
Wyoming 12 11 98 89 0 0 110
U.S. total 8,459 36 14,848 63 130 1 23,437


References