NHTSA crash test: Honda FitAs automakers work hard on next-generation self-driving technology to improve automotive safety, latest research has revealed just why it’s so important. A new study has identified traffic accident mortality rates by state – and while it’s good news for those from Washington D.C. and Rhode Island, things are less rosy for people in Wyoming or Mississippi. 

In order to evaluate road safety in the context of public health, the paper, published by the University of Michigan compared fatalities from road crashes to fatalities from five leading causes of death (heart diseases, cancer, lung diseases, strokes, and Alzheimer’s).

The death rate in the U.S. from all causes was found to be 844 per 100,000 population. Heart disease was the biggest killer at 197.2, followed closely by cancer at 185.4. Traffic deaths made up only 1.3 percent of the total number, or 10.9 per 100,000.

By state, Wyoming had the most traffic mortalities (24.7 per 100,000), followed by Mississippi (22.6), Montana (21.7), South Carolina (20.0), and Arkansas (17.8).

The states with the lowest rates of traffic mortality were Rhode Island (4.3), Massachusetts (4.5), New York (5.7), New Jersey (6.3), and Hawai’i (6.6).

The study noted that the federal district of Washington D.C. had the lowest rate overall at 3.4.

Crash data for the study was collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and public health data was collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fatality rates from road crashes by state – from best to worst

  1. District of Columbia: 3.4 (per 100,000 population)
  2. Rhode Island: 4.3
  3. Massachusetts: 4.5
  4. New York: 5.7
  5. New Jersey: 6.3
  6. Hawaii: 6.6
  7. Connecticut: 7.4
  8. Minnesota: 7.5
  9. Illinois: 7.8
  10. Washington: 7.9
  11. California: 8.1
  12. Maryland: 8.5
  13. New Hampshire: 8.6
  14. Alaska: 8.8
  15. Virginia: 9.0
  16. Vermont: 9.1
  17. Utah: 9.2
  18. Pennsylvania: 9.4
  19. Ohio: 9.6
  20. Michigan: 9.7
  21. Wisconsin: 9.8
  22. Colorado: 10.0
  23. Iowa: 10.2
  24. Oregon: 11.1
  25. Nevada: 11.2
  26. Maine: 11.7
  27. Kansas: 12.2
  28. Indiana: 12.4
  29. Texas: 12.8
  30. Nebraska: 13.0
  31. Idaho: 13.1
  32. Arizona: 13.1
  33. Delaware: 13.3
  34. North Carolina: 13.7
  35. Georgia: 14.0
  36. Missouri: 14.3
  37. New Mexico: 14.3
  38. Florida: 14.5
  39. Tennessee: 14.5
  40. West Virginia: 14.5
  41. South Dakota: 15.5
  42. Louisiana: 15.5
  43. Oklahoma: 16.4
  44. Kentucky: 17.2
  45. North Dakota: 17.3
  46. Alabama: 17.5
  47. Arkansas: 17.8
  48. South Carolina: 20.0
  49. Montana: 21.7
  50. Mississippi: 22.6
  51. Wyoming: 24.7

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