State by state | 2012

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 and per vehicle miles traveled provide a way of examining motor vehicle deaths relative to the population and amount of driving. However, many factors can affect these rates, 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 30,800 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2012 in which 33,561 deaths occurred. This resulted in national motor vehicle crash death rates of 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.14 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The fatality rate per 100,000 people ranged from a low of 2.4 in the District of Columbia to a high of 24.3 in North Dakota. The death rates per 100 million vehicle miles traveled ranged from 0.42 in the District of Columbia to 1.86 in North Dakota.

Population, vehicle miles traveled, fatal motor vehicle crashes, motor vehicle crash deaths and motor vehicle crash death rates per state, 2012
StatePopulationVehicle miles traveled (millions)Fatal crashesNumber of deathsDeaths per 100,000 populationDeaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled
Alabama 4,822,023 64,914 809 865 17.9 1.33
Alaska 731,449 4,593 54 59 8.1 1.28
Arizona 6,553,255 59,574 742 825 12.6 1.38
Arkansas 2,949,131 32,953 497 552 18.7 1.68
California 38,041,430 320,784 2,632 2,857 7.5 0.89
Colorado 5,187,582 46,606 433 472 9.1 1.01
Connecticut 3,590,347 31,197 221 236 6.6 0.76
Delaware 917,092 9,028 108 114 12.4 1.26
District of Columbia 632,323 3,568 14 15 2.4 0.42
Florida 19,317,568 191,855 2,247 2,424 12.5 1.26
Georgia 9,919,945 108,454 1,126 1,192 12.0 1.10
Hawaii 1,392,313 10,066 115 126 9.0 1.25
Idaho 1,595,728 15,937 169 184 11.5 1.15
Illinois 12,875,255 103,234 886 956 7.4 0.93
Indiana 6,537,334 76,485 718 779 11.9 1.02
Iowa 3,074,186 31,274 330 365 11.9 1.17
Kansas 2,885,905 30,021 368 405 14.0 1.35
Kentucky 4,380,415 48,061 694 746 17.0 1.55
Louisiana 4,601,893 46,513 652 722 15.7 1.55
Maine 1,329,192 14,248 151 164 12.3 1.15
Maryland 5,884,563 56,221 456 505 8.6 0.90
Massachusetts 6,646,144 54,792 333 349 5.3 0.64
Michigan 9,883,360 94,754 873 938 9.5 0.99
Minnesota 5,379,139 56,685 349 395 7.3 0.70
Mississippi 2,984,926 38,851 507 582 19.5 1.50
Missouri 6,021,988 68,789 762 826 13.7 1.20
Montana 1,005,141 11,660 192 205 20.4 1.76
Nebraska 1,855,525 19,093 190 212 11.4 1.11
Nevada 2,758,931 24,189 235 258 9.4 1.07
New Hampshire 1,320,718 12,720 101 108 8.2 0.85
New Jersey 8,864,590 73,094 553 589 6.6 0.81
New Mexico 2,085,538 25,533 338 365 17.5 1.43
New York 19,570,261 127,726 1,085 1,168 6.0 0.91
North Carolina 9,752,073 103,772 1,222 1,292 13.2 1.25
North Dakota 699,628 9,131 147 170 24.3 1.86
Ohio 11,544,225 111,990 1,024 1,123 9.7 1.00
Oklahoma 3,814,820 47,464 642 708 18.6 1.49
Oregon 3,899,353 33,373 305 336 8.6 1.01
Pennsylvania 12,763,536 99,204 1,211 1,310 10.3 1.32
Rhode Island 1,050,292 7,901 62 64 6.1 0.81
South Carolina 4,723,723 48,730 806 863 18.3 1.77
South Dakota 833,354 9,002 118 133 16.0 1.48
Tennessee 6,456,243 70,751 928 1,014 15.7 1.43
Texas 26,059,203 237,440 3,021 3,398 13.0 1.43
Utah 2,855,287 26,222 200 217 7.6 0.83
Vermont 626,011 7,141 70 77 12.3 1.08
Virginia 8,185,867 80,974 716 777 9.5 0.96
Washington 6,897,012 56,955 409 444 6.4 0.78
West Virginia 1,855,413 18,963 318 339 18.3 1.79
Wisconsin 5,726,398 54,402 549 615 10.7 1.13
Wyoming 576,412 9,245 112 123 21.3 1.33
U.S. total 313,914,040 2,946,132 30,800 33,561 10.7 1.14

Deaths by road user

In 2012, the types of motor vehicle crash deaths varied across states. For example, North Dakota had one of the lowest percentages of deaths involving car occupants (28 percent) and the highest percentage of deaths involving occupants of SUVs and pickups (46 percent). In contrast, New Jersey had relatively high proportions of car occupant deaths (38 percent) and pedestrian deaths (26 percent), and a relatively low percentage of deaths involving SUV or pickup occupants (14 percent).  The highest percentage of motorcyclist deaths occurred in the  District of Columbia, Hawaii, and New Hampshire (27 percent), and the percentage of pedestrian deaths was highest in the District of Columbia (47 percent).

Motor vehicle crash deaths by road user type and state, 2012
StatePassenger car occupants Pickup and SUV occupantsLarge truck occupants Motorcyclists Pedestrians Bicyclists Total*
Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%
Alabama 386 45 260 30 13 2 96 11 77 9 9 1 865 100
Alaska 24 41 14 2400 7 12 8 14 1 2 59 100
Arizona 240 29 228 28 10 1 136 16 122 15 18 2 825 100
Arkansas 211 38 185 34 16 3 69 12 44 8 6 1 552 100
California 1,061 37 506 18 33 1 426 15 612 21 123 4 2,857 100
Colorado 150 32 137 29 11 2 77 16 76 16 13 3 472 100
Connecticut 110 47 40 17 1 0 39 17 36 15 4 2 236 100
Delaware 44 39 17 15 3 3 17 15 27 24 4 4 114 100
District of Columbia 3 20 1 700 4 27 7 4700 15 100
Florida 793 33 444 18 25 1 460 19 476 20 120 5 2,424 100
Georgia 477 40 347 29 21 2 115 10 167 14 17 1 1,192 100
Hawaii 26 21 27 2100 34 27 26 21 2 2 126 100
Idaho 62 34 71 39 2 1 22 12 13 7 2 1 184 100
Illinois 410 43 196 21 10 1 144 15 138 14 29 3 956 100
Indiana 345 44 162 21 19 2 122 16 59 8 15 2 779 100
Iowa 147 40 108 30 10 3 56 15 20 5 3 1 365 100
Kansas 155 38 139 34 19 5 42 10 26 6 7 2 405 100
Kentucky 309 41 233 31 12 2 99 13 49 7 6 1 746 100
Louisiana 246 34 217 30 18 2 75 10 118 16 23 3 722 100
Maine 87 53 36 22 1 1 23 14 9 5 1 1 164 100
Maryland 227 45 91 18 3 1 72 14 96 19 5 1 505 100
Massachusetts 145 42 54 1500 49 14 72 21 15 4 349 100
Michigan 418 45 195 21 10 1 129 14 129 14 19 2 938 100
Minnesota 177 45 86 22 6 2 55 14 38 10 7 2 395 100
Mississippi 243 42 212 36 12 2 39 7 48 8 4 1 582 100
Missouri 376 46 220 27 18 2 96 12 84 10 6 1 826 100
Montana 66 32 90 44 4 2 29 14 8 4 1 0 205 100
Nebraska 88 42 69 33 8 4 22 10 15 700 212 100
Nevada 93 36 54 21 5 2 38 15 54 21 3 1 258 100
New Hampshire 43 40 27 2500 29 27 8 700 108 100
New Jersey 224 38 85 14 13 2 77 13 156 26 14 2 589 100
New Mexico 103 28 113 31 8 2 62 17 61 17 7 2 365 100
New York 418 36 182 16 8 1 167 14 297 25 45 4 1,168 100
North Carolina 523 40 292 23 20 2 154 12 197 15 27 2 1,292 100
North Dakota 48 28 79 46 8 5 16 9 7 400 170 100
Ohio 532 47 245 22 15 1 162 14 115 10 18 2 1,123 100
Oklahoma 231 33 280 40 24 3 80 11 65 9 5 1 708 100
Oregon 104 31 93 28 1 0 49 15 55 16 10 3 336 100
Pennsylvania 602 46 268 20 18 1 203 15 163 12 16 1 1,310 100
Rhode Island 25 39 21 3300 8 12 5 8 2 3 64 100
South Carolina 324 38 236 27 8 1 108 13 123 14 13 2 863 100
South Dakota 49 37 48 3600 25 19 2 200 133 100
Tennessee 441 43 315 31 17 2 138 14 67 7 8 1 1,014 100
Texas 1,115 33 1,117 33 101 3 442 13 478 14 56 2 3,398 100
Utah 84 39 61 28 2 1 31 14 28 13 3 1 217 100
Vermont 35 45 17 22 2 3 11 14 10 1300 77 100
Virginia 344 44 197 25 25 3 77 10 98 13 11 1 777 100
Washington 165 37 95 21 8 2 82 18 72 16 12 3 444 100
West Virginia 151 45 89 26 5 1 31 9 31 9 1 0 339 100
Wisconsin 281 46 128 21 10 2 111 18 45 7 11 2 615 100
Wyoming 40 33 55 45 8 7 12 10 6 500 123 100
U.S. total 13,001 39 8,482 25 591 2 4,667 14 4,743 14 722 2 33,561 100

Crash types

Nationwide, 52 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2012 occurred in single-vehicle crashes. The highest proportion of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in single-vehicle crashes occurred in Montana (75 percent).

Passenger vehicle occupant deaths by crash type and state, 2012
StateSingle-vehicle Multiple-vehicle All crashes*
Number%Number%Number%
Alabama 353 54 300 46 653 100
Alaska 13 33 26 67 39 100
Arizona 261 55 212 45 473 100
Arkansas 211 53 187 47 398 100
California 801 50 787 50 1,588 100
Colorado 163 56 127 44 290 100
Connecticut 79 52 74 48 153 100
Delaware 34 56 27 44 61 100
District of Columbia 1 25 3 75 4 100
Florida 607 48 652 52 1,259 100
Georgia 434 52 398 48 832 100
Hawaii 21 38 34 62 55 100
Idaho 85 63 50 37 135 100
Illinois 307 50 305 50 612 100
Indiana 249 48 267 52 516 100
Iowa 124 48 134 52 258 100
Kansas 152 51 146 49 298 100
Kentucky 317 58 230 42 547 100
Louisiana 243 52 222 48 465 100
Maine 77 62 47 38 124 100
Maryland 139 44 180 56 319 100
Massachusetts 130 64 72 36 202 100
Michigan 294 47 328 53 622 100
Minnesota 115 42 157 58 272 100
Mississippi 299 65 164 35 463 100
Missouri 337 56 263 44 600 100
Montana 118 75 40 25 158 100
Nebraska 83 52 78 48 161 100
Nevada 77 52 72 48 149 100
New Hampshire 45 64 25 36 70 100
New Jersey 157 50 158 50 315 100
New Mexico 130 59 91 41 221 100
New York 309 49 316 51 625 100
North Carolina 482 58 351 42 833 100
North Dakota 62 47 70 53 132 100
Ohio 370 47 422 53 792 100
Oklahoma 273 52 247 48 520 100
Oregon 99 50 100 50 199 100
Pennsylvania 455 52 422 48 877 100
Rhode Island 33 67 16 33 49 100
South Carolina 334 59 234 41 568 100
South Dakota 57 58 42 42 99 100
Tennessee 434 57 330 43 764 100
Texas 1,082 48 1,176 52 2,258 100
Utah 70 48 75 52 145 100
Vermont 31 60 21 40 52 100
Virginia 335 61 216 39 551 100
Washington 129 49 134 51 263 100
West Virginia 136 56 106 44 242 100
Wisconsin 227 54 191 46 418 100
Wyoming 55 57 41 43 96 100
U.S. total 11,429 52 10,366 48 21,795 100

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 U.S. 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 2012, BAC was reported for 69 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers. Vermont reported BACs for 98 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers, while Hawaii reported BACs for 6 percent. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia had BAC reporting rates of at least 70 percent. The sole driver killed in the District of Columbia had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.  Montana had the next highest estimated percentage of fatally injured drivers with BACs of 0.08 percent or higher (50 percent), and Alaska had the lowest (20 percent).

Estimated number and percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BAC ≥ 0.08 percent by state, 2012
StateDrivers killed with known BAC resultsTotal drivers killedEstimated drivers killed with BACs ≥ 0.08
Number%NumberNumber%
Alabama 45 9 498
Alaska 23 92 25 5 20
Arizona 248 81 307 99 32
Arkansas 249 82 303 85 28
California 909 84 1,083 359 33
Colorado 158 78 202 63 31
Connecticut 68 60 113
Delaware 33 75 44 16 38
District of Columbia 1 100 1 1 100
Florida 550 61 902
Georgia 370 59 632
Hawaii 2 6 33
Idaho 61 64 96
Illinois 379 87 436 157 36
Indiana 258 67 385
Iowa 64 34 189
Kansas 112 51 220
Kentucky 308 74 417 90 22
Louisiana 205 61 335
Maine 80 88 91 24 27
Maryland 210 90 233 72 31
Massachusetts 76 49 155
Michigan 349 74 473 139 29
Minnesota 157 81 195 67 34
Mississippi 106 31 347
Missouri 373 80 464 168 36
Montana 102 90 113 57 50
Nebraska 101 81 124 46 37
Nevada 86 91 95 39 41
New Hampshire 52 88 59 16 28
New Jersey 192 86 222 69 31
New Mexico 124 89 139 45 32
New York 344 77 444 122 28
North Carolina 469 77 612 209 34
North Dakota 84 89 94 42 45
Ohio 395 66 594
Oklahoma 361 93 390 133 34
Oregon 133 93 143 46 32
Pennsylvania 480 71 673 217 32
Rhode Island 32 82 39 13 34
South Carolina 362 82 440 188 43
South Dakota 62 94 66 21 32
Tennessee 282 49 576
Texas 803 52 1,542
Utah 64 63 101
Vermont 39 98 40 17 42
Virginia 337 80 422 126 30
Washington 167 88 189 69 37
West Virginia 174 94 185 47 25
Wisconsin 267 91 295 105 36
Wyoming 41 62 66
U.S. total 10,947 69 15,842 5,180 33

Restraint use

Based on daytime observational surveys conducted by the states, the rate of safety belt use among front seat passenger vehicle occupants in 2012 ranged from 69 percent in New Hampshire to 97 percent in Washington. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2013. Seat belt use in 2012 — use rates in the states and territories. Report no. DOT HS-811-809. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. When examining restraint use among fatally injured motor vehicle occupants in all seating positions, 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.  Nine states had at least 50 percent restraint use among fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants (California, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington). 

States' rates of observed daytime front seat safety belt use and number and percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants by restraint use and state, 2012
State and percent of observed safety belt use Restrained fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants Unrestrained fatally injured passenger vehicle occupantsUnknown fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants Total fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants
Number%Number%Number%Number
Alabama 90 258 40 355 54 40 6 653
Alaska 88 17 44 19 49 3 8 39
Arizona 82 165 35 254 54 54 11 473
Arkansas 72 149 37 226 57 23 6 398
California 96 998 63 490 31 100 6 1,588
Colorado 81 125 43 158 54 7 2 290
Connecticut 87 65 42 53 35 35 23 153
Delaware 88 29 48 25 41 7 11 61
District of Columbia92 00 410000 4
Florida 87 606 48 577 46 76 6 1,259
Georgia 92 394 47 370 44 68 8 832
Hawaii 93 16 29 31 56 8 15 55
Idaho 79 59 44 72 53 4 3 135
Illinois 94 289 47 280 46 43 7 612
Indiana 94 247 48 214 41 55 11 516
Iowa 92 120 47 112 43 26 10 258
Kansas 80 118 40 164 55 16 5 298
Kentucky 84 234 43 312 57 1 <1 547
Louisiana 79 193 42 241 52 31 7 465
Maine 84 49 40 75 6000 124
Maryland 91 176 55 110 34 33 10 319
Massachusetts 73 66 33 98 49 38 19 202
Michigan 94 320 51 224 36 78 13 622
Minnesota 94 127 47 103 38 42 15 272
Mississippi 83 167 36 293 63 3 <1 463
Missouri 79 155 26 394 66 51 8 600
Montana 76 41 26 114 72 3 2 158
Nebraska 79 43 27 102 63 16 10 161
Nevada 91 75 50 63 42 11 7 149
New Hampshire 69 20 29 50 7100 70
New Jersey 88 153 49 150 48 12 4 315
New Mexico 91 97 44 107 48 17 8 221
New York 90 363 58 205 33 57 9 625
North Carolina 88 419 50 355 43 59 7 833
North Dakota 81 40 30 90 68 2 2 132
Ohio 82 299 38 417 53 76 10 792
Oklahoma 84 199 38 288 55 33 6 520
Oregon 97 116 58 62 31 21 11 199
Pennsylvania 84 257 29 499 57 121 14 877
Rhode Island 78 27 55 19 39 3 6 49
South Carolina 91 218 38 313 55 37 7 568
South Dakota 67 30 30 61 62 8 8 99
Tennessee 84 303 40 402 53 59 8 764
Texas 94 1,105 49 944 42 209 9 2,258
U.S. total 86 9,704 45 10,397 48 1,694 8 21,795
Utah 82 55 38 77 53 13 9 145
Vermont 84 17 33 34 65 1 2 52
Virginia 78 245 44 299 54 7 1 551
Washington 97 146 56 102 39 15 6 263
West Virginia 84 75 31 137 57 30 12 242
Wisconsin 80 177 42 202 48 39 9 418
Wyoming 77 42 44 51 53 3 3 96

Rural versus urban

Nationwide, 61 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2012 occurred in rural areas. The percentage of passenger vehicle occupant deaths on rural roads was 100 percent in Maine,  94 percent in Montana, and 91 percent in South Dakota compared with 18 percent in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 15 percent in New Jersey, and none in the District of Columbia.

Number and percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants by land use and state, 2012
StateUrban Rural UnknownTotal
Number%Number%Number%Number
Alabama 231 35 410 63 12 2 653
Alaska 8 21 31 7900 39
Arizona 213 45 260 5500 473
Arkansas 75 19 323 8100 398
California 770 48 818 5200 1,588
Colorado 112 39 178 6100 290
Connecticut 97 63 54 35 2 1 153
Delaware 22 36 39 6400 61
District of Columbia 4 1000000 4
Florida 721 57 538 4300 1,259
Georgia 371 45 461 5500 832
Hawaii 22 40 33 6000 55
Idaho 20 15 115 8500 135
Illinois 323 53 289 4700 612
Indiana 135 26 381 7400 516
Iowa 43 17 215 8300 258
Kansas 44 15 254 8500 298
Kentucky 86 16 461 8400 547
Louisiana 216 46 249 5400 465
Maine 00 124 10000 124
Maryland 190 60 126 39 3 1 319
Massachusetts 166 82 36 1800 202
Michigan 310 50 311 50 1 <1 622
Minnesota 73 27 199 7300 272
Mississippi 131 28 332 7200 463
Missouri 229 38 370 62 1 <1 600
Montana 10 6 148 9400 158
Nebraska 34 21 127 7900 161
Nevada 91 61 58 3900 149
New Hampshire 30 43 40 5700 70
New Jersey 266 84 48 15 1 <1 315
New Mexico 45 20 175 79 1 <1 221
New York 215 34 410 6600 625
North Carolina 212 25 621 7500 833
North Dakota 15 11 117 8900 132
Ohio 301 38 472 60 19 2 792
Oklahoma 144 28 376 7200 520
Oregon 43 22 156 7800 199
Pennsylvania 361 41 516 5900 877
Rhode Island 40 82 9 1800 49
South Carolina 58 10 510 9000 568
South Dakota 9 9 90 9100 99
Tennessee 300 39 464 6100 764
Texas 968 43 1,290 5700 2,258
Utah 68 47 77 5300 145
Vermont 6 12 46 8800 52
Virginia 261 47 272 49 18 3 551
Washington 79 30 184 7000 263
West Virginia 54 22 188 7800 242
Wisconsin 137 33 281 6700 418
Wyoming 12 12 84 8800 96
U.S. total 8,371 38 13,366 61 58 <1 21,795

References