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
StatePopulationFatal crashesDeaths
NumNumDeath rate
Alabama4,708,70877484818.0
Alaska698,47359649.2
Arizona6,595,77871080712.2
Arkansas2,889,45052358520.2
California36,961,6642,8163,0818.3
Colorado5,024,7484374659.3
Connecticut3,518,2882102236.3
Delaware885,12210111613.1
District of Columbia599,65728294.8
Florida18,537,9692,3692,55813.8
Georgia9,829,2111,1721,28413.1
Hawaii1,295,178991098.4
Idaho1,545,80119922614.6
Illinois12,910,4098329117.1
Indiana6,423,11363269310.8
Iowa3,007,85633937212.4
Kansas2,818,74734838613.7
Kentucky4,314,11373079118.3
Louisiana4,492,07672682118.3
Maine1,318,30115315912.1
Maryland5,699,4785135479.6
Massachusetts6,593,5873083345.1
Michigan9,969,7278068718.7
Minnesota5,266,2143714218.0
Mississippi2,951,99663170023.7
Missouri5,987,58078687814.7
Montana974,98919822122.7
Nebraska1,796,61920522312.4
Nevada2,643,0852232439.2
New Hampshire1,324,575971108.3
New Jersey8,707,7395495836.7
New Mexico2,009,67131936118.0
New York19,541,4531,0671,1565.9
North Carolina9,380,8841,2081,31414.0
North Dakota646,84411614021.6
Ohio11,542,6459441,0218.8
Oklahoma3,687,05064773820.0
Oregon3,825,6573313779.9
Pennsylvania12,604,7671,1431,25610.0
Rhode Island1,053,20976837.9
South Carolina4,561,24281789419.6
South Dakota812,38311213116.1
Tennessee6,296,25491898915.7
Texas24,782,3022,7763,07112.4
Utah2,784,5722172448.8
Vermont621,760697411.9
Virginia7,882,5906957579.6
Washington6,664,1954534927.4
West Virginia1,819,77732435619.6
Wisconsin5,654,7745055619.9
Wyoming544,27011613424.6
U.S. Total307,006,55030,79733,80811.0

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
StatePassenger car occupantsPickup and SUV occupantsLarge truck occupantsMotorcyclistsPedestriansBicyclistsTotal*
Num%Num%Num%Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama386462693214274964861848
Alaska21331930007119142364
Arizona2352921026811181512015253807
Arkansas2263921036132681236651585
California1,275416222027138312563189933,081
Colorado151321453110285184710102465
Connecticut107484018104319261210223
Delaware48412824001311151365116
District of Columbia931130031014480029
Florida9313656522211387154661810742,558
Georgia491384113228213310150122121,284
Hawaii34311817223028161533109
Idaho8136813610341510473226
Illinois4424917719301251411112202911
Indiana3244717125152901350771693
Iowa1664510328113491321621372
Kansas160411363521441122651386
Kentucky3484426534192831041551791
Louisiana3133826332811011210713132821
Maine7648382411231411700159
Maryland24044941741661211321112547
Massachusetts157475617315115481462334
Michigan3944518021201021211814192871
Minnesota1884598235150124210102421
Mississippi318452203191467588101700
Missouri416472613010181968820878
Montana7233894073241115710221
Nebraska102468337421469431223
Nevada83346527314016351462243
New Hampshire433936330021198711110
New Jersey26646631141641115727132583
New Mexico1153214139924011391131361
New York47441156138115313306262931,156
North Carolina635483182415114111146111611,314
North Dakota7050513632754311140
Ohio504491951991166168581921,021
Oklahoma271372753725310614314111738
Oregon142381183151521435982377
Pennsylvania592472552014120316134111511,256
Rhode Island3239131600182216190083
South Carolina393442703010191108910111894
South Dakota594546353216124300131
Tennessee42943310312021171270791989
Texas1,093361,0493456242414344114823,071
Utah9740773283291219852244
Vermont4358111523811570074
Virginia370491902515272107310111757
Washington2044113427926714611292492
West Virginia14842129367225721600356
Wisconsin248441542710811438771561
Wyoming362774553213102121134
U.S. Total14,058428,9832745714,281134,09212630233,808
*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
StateSingle-vehicleMultiple-vehicleAll crashes*
Num%Num%Num
Alabama3645529945663
Alaska1845225540
Arizona2515421146462
Arkansas2445520345447
California98151942491,926
Colorado1615314046304
Connecticut97655335150
Delaware3543455681
District of Columbia55055010
Florida78852727481,516
Georgia4585046050920
Hawaii3465183552
Idaho93577143164
Illinois2924633854630
Indiana2505025050502
Iowa1365013850274
Kansas1675513445301
Kentucky3135030750620
Louisiana3335824542579
Maine55476152117
Maryland1735017250346
Massachusetts132618339215
Michigan2504233857589
Minnesota1224117459296
Mississippi3526320937561
Missouri3575233048687
Montana101626338164
Nebraska874710053187
Nevada86576643152
New Hampshire3949405179
New Jersey1484418956337
New Mexico1515811042261
New York3044733953643
North Carolina5285543445963
North Dakota64525848122
Ohio3605035650717
Oklahoma3025525145553
Oregon1525711643268
Pennsylvania4044745553859
Rhode Island2963173746
South Carolina4066026640673
South Dakota77713129108
Tennessee4405931041750
Texas1,112521,047482,159
Utah92528648178
Vermont2851274955
Virginia3456122539570
Washington1915714643338
West Virginia1685911641284
Wisconsin2225418746409
Wyoming77703330110
U.S. total12,3745311,0434723,437
*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
StateDrivers killed with known BAC resultsTotal drivers killedEstimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08
Num%NumNum%
Alabama29157507**
Alaska187823729
Arizona15756281**
Arkansas2848433810632
California1,092871,24946737
Colorado177792237935
Connecticut87761145144
Delaware305555**
District of Columbia5836460
Florida702661,066**
Georgia39958686**
Hawaii3697372568
Idaho85781093128
Illinois3999044514532
Indiana23864369**
Iowa5527206**
Kansas12457217**
Kentucky3587547611624
Louisiana27665425**
Maine8490932628
Maryland227862647829
Massachusetts6843158**
Michigan2947141712530
Minnesota184902055125
Mississippi9723421**
Missouri3958049117536
Montana115901284938
Nebraska115791464531
Nevada8184962729
New Hampshire5093541221
New Jersey201812476326
New Mexico160941716940
New York3337544212729
North Carolina43962704**
North Dakota7085823745
Ohio4628752917433
Oklahoma3488839613233
Oregon167881906132
Pennsylvania4807564321834
Rhode Island175531**
South Carolina3927850123346
South Dakota5779722940
Tennessee16731543**
Texas917591,552**
Utah5550111**
Vermont4191451636
Virginia3438241714334
Washington2139323010646
West Virginia199952106531
Wisconsin2829430112140
Wyoming5884692943
U.S. total11,9247116,7915,86135
*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.

StatePopulationNumNumDeath 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
StatePercent of observed seatbelt useRestraint use of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants
RestrainedUnrestrainedUnknownTotal
Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama902644037957203663
Alaska861948123092240
Arizona8116035242526013462
Arkansas7415735247554310447
California951,153606433313071,926
Colorado811254116855114304
Connecticut86583970472215150
Delaware88354340496781
District of Columbia9322044044010
Florida8562541847564431,516
Georgia89354384544911212920
Hawaii981631275291752
Idaho796741905574164
Illinois9229947265426610630
Indiana9324148206415511502
Iowa931264612445249274
Kansas771103717157207301
Kentucky8026543353572< 1620
Louisiana751933335161356579
Maine83504350431715117
Maryland941925512937257346
Massachusetts746028112524320215
Michigan9830351199348715589
Minnesota9012843118405017296
Mississippi7618032380681< 1561
Missouri772203241861497687
Montana7957351026253164
Nebraska855932108582011187
Nevada916945754985152
New Hampshire693038496279
New Jersey931825414443113337
New Mexico901375212448261
New York8834453211338814643
North Carolina904945141843515963
North Dakota823932776365122
Ohio842683739956507717
Oklahoma842113830756356553
Oregon97151569636218268
Pennsylvania88310364475210212859
Rhode Island75920316761346
South Carolina822493738157436673
South Dakota722826767044108
Tennessee812863842457405750
Texas931,046489484416582,159
Utah8681468548127178
Vermont85234228514755
Virginia822344132357132570
Washington9617652129383310338
West Virginia879333152543914284
Wisconsin741493623257287409
Wyoming68312878711< 1110

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
StateUrbanRuralUnknownTotal
Num%Num%Num%Num
Alabama2033140761538663
Alaska174223580040
Arizona197432655700462
Arkansas80183678200447
California9605096650001,926
Colorado108361966400304
Connecticut12382271800150
Delaware283553650081
District of Columbia10100000010
Florida75750712474731,516
Georgia396435245700920
Hawaii305822420052
Idaho25151398500164
Illinois335532954700630
Indiana202403006000502
Iowa43162318400274
Kansas34112678900301
Kentucky99165218400620
Louisiana227393526100579
Maine761109400117
Maryland198571484300346
Massachusetts19390221000215
Michigan291492985100589
Minnesota89302077000296
Mississippi147264147400561
Missouri222324656800687
Montana741579600164
Nebraska24131638700187
Nevada6643865700152
New Hampshire00791000079
New Jersey28284551600337
New Mexico54212077900261
New York239374046300643
North Carolina226237377700963
North Dakota321199800122
Ohio21730499701< 1717
Oklahoma148274057300553
Oregon38142308600268
Pennsylvania377444825600859
Rhode Island2861102281746
South Carolina916649900673
South Dakota661029400108
Tennessee284384666200750
Texas856401,292601112,159
Utah56311226900178
Vermont4750911255
Virginia21838350612< 1570
Washington88262437272338
West Virginia75262097400284
Wisconsin121302887000409
Wyoming1211988900110
U.S. total8,4593614,84863130123,437


References