A new study has revealed the states that have the highest proportion of fatal freeway accidents.
The study looked at data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2017 – 2021 to determine which states have the largest percentage of driver fatalities occurring on freeways.
Alaska takes first place on the list, with fatal freeway crashes accounting for 30.82% of all fatal traffic accidents statewide – almost double that of the national average of 16.04%. The data showed that 98 out of a total of 318 fatal road accidents occurred on the Alaskan freeways.
Second place goes to Wyoming, where fatal freeway accidents account for 26.25% of all fatal road accidents within the state – over 10% higher than the national average of 16.04%. A total of 541 fatal accidents occurred within the time period within Wyoming, with 142 of those occurring on freeways.
California ranks in at third place, with fatal freeway accidents accounting for over a quarter (25.7%) of all fatal accidents within the state – almost 10% higher than the national average of 16.04%. California saw the most fatal traffic accidents of all states nationwide, with a staggering 18,137 occurring from 2017 to 2021
Close behind in fourth place goes to Rhode Island. The state saw the smallest number of fatal road accidents, 313 in total. Of those 313 fatal accidents, 25.56% – similar to California being that fatal freeway accidents are almost 10% more than the national average of 16.04% (80) occurred on freeways within Rhode Island.
Connecticut ranks in at fifth place, with 24.74% of all fatal road accidents occurring on freeways. Connecticut saw a total of 1,338 fatal road accidents over the time period, with 331 of those occurring on a highway.
Texas comes in at sixth place, with 21.85% of all fatal road accidents occurring on freeways. The state the second-highest number of total fatal road accidents of all states behind California at 17,549, approximately 3,434 of those occurred on freeways.
The remainder of the top ten features Missouri in at seventh place, where fatal freeway accidents accounted for 21.73% of all fatal road accidents within the state.
New Jersey takes the eighth spot on the list, with 21.14% of all fatal road accidents occurring on freeways.
In ninth place is Massachusetts, where 20.61% of all fatal road accidents occurred on freeways.
Rounding out the list in tenth place is New Mexico, with 20.4% of all fatal road accidents occurring on freeways.
Maine’s Safe Freeways
Interestingly, Maine proved to be the state with the safest freeways nationwide, with only 57 (7.93%) out of a total of 719 fatal road accidents occurring on freeways.
On average, roughly 16.04% of all fatal road accidents occurred on freeways nationwide– just over one in six total fatal accidents.
The Need For Comprehensive Safety Measures
The study was conducted by personal injury lawyer Scott Vicknair who commented on the findings, saying:
“The findings highlight varying degrees of risk associated with freeway travel in different regions, shedding light on the need for comprehensive safety measures and heightened awareness campaigns. It underscores the importance of continued efforts to enhance road infrastructure and promote responsible driving behavior to reduce fatal accidents on freeways nationwide.”
The most recent data was scraped from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) between 2017 – 2021. Data was filtered by state to find the number of driver fatalities occurring on different road types. The total number of freeway fatalities was calculated as a proportion of total fatalities over the five-year period for each state.
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