Most Dangerous States to Drive

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45. Alaska
> Road deaths per 100,000:
6.9
> Total roadway fatalities in 2013: 51
> Pct. of residents using seatbelt: 86%

The car accident fatality rate of 6.9 deaths for every 100,000 residents on Alaskan roads is much lower than the national rate of 10.3 fatalities for every 100,000 residents. Despite better outcomes across the state, vehicle occupants in Alaska have slightly worse habits on the road than residents nationwide. While about 87% of Americans use a seatbelt, 86% of Alaska residents choose to buckle up.

Deadly accidents are often more likely to occur on rural roads than on urban ones, and many of the safest states are the ones with the smallest shares of rural driving. In Alaska, however, 48% of all driving is done in rural areas, one of the highest such shares of any of the safest states.

44. Minnesota
> Road deaths per 100,000:
7.1
> Total roadway fatalities in 2013: 387
> Pct. of residents using seatbelt: 95%

With 7.1 deaths for every 100,000 residents, fatal accidents on the road are much less common in Minnesota than they are across the United States, where the corresponding rate is 10.3 deaths per 100,000 residents. Vehicle occupants in Minnesota have demonstrably better habits on the road. While about 87% of Americans use a seatbelt, 95% of Minnesota residents do.

Driving in rural areas is more dangerous than driving in urban areas, and many of the safest states are ones with the least amounts of rural driving. Minnesota, however, is an exception. Roughly 41% of miles traveled in Minnesota are on rural roads, a significantly higher share than the 32% share of rural driving across the country.

43. Hawaii
> Road deaths per 100,000:
7.3
> Total roadway fatalities in 2013: 102
> Pct. of residents using seatbelt: 94%

With 7.3 deaths on the road for every 100,000 residents, Hawaii is one of the safest states in the country to drive. Drivers and passengers in Hawaii have safer habits than those in most states. Nationwide, 87% of Americans choose to wear a seatbelt. In Hawaii, 94% choose to do so. Drivers are often more likely to get into fatal car crashes in rural areas than in urban ones. Only 18% of vehicle miles traveled in Hawaii are on rural roads, which may partially account for it being one of the safest states for driving.

42. Utah
> Road deaths per 100,000:
7.6
> Total roadway fatalities in 2013: 220
> Pct. of residents using seatbelt: 82%

Nationally, 87% of vehicle occupants use a seat belt. In Utah however, only 82% choose to buckle up. Despite slightly worse habits, with 7.6 deaths on the road for every 100,000, Utah is one of the safest states in the country to drive. Urban roads are safer than rural roads and only 27% of all driving in Utah takes place in rural areas. Nationally, 32% of all driving is rural.

41. Illinois
> Road deaths per 100,000:
7.7
> Total roadway fatalities in 2013: 991
> Pct. of residents using seatbelt: 94%

With 7.7 deaths for every 100,000 residents, fatal road accidents are significantly less common in Illinois than they are across the country, where 10.3 deaths occur per 100,000 residents. Many states with the least vehicle deaths per capita have the highest shares of drivers and passengers wearing seatbelts. Illinois motorists are no different. While about 87% of Americans use a seatbelt, 94% of Illinois residents buckle up. Urban roads are safer than rural roads and only 24% of all driving in Illinois takes place in rural areas. Nationally, 32% of all driving is rural.