Across the US, the roadway fatalities have dropped 22.7% since 2005. However, perception is the last thing you would like to do as a license driver is drive through Washington DC, when the US Congress is in session or drive down I-495 the Capital Beltway during rush hour. A recent study finds Washington, D.C., has the lowest fatality rate and North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia have the highest chance of a motorist becoming a road fatality statistic. Whether you’ll die in a traffic accident largely depends where you live, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute.
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute Research Professor Michael Sivak found a wide disparity in traffic fatality rates for individual states and the District of Columbia.
He concluded that if you drive in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., you have the lowest chance of dying in a traffic accident than any other state, while motorists in North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia have the highest chance of becoming a road fatality statistic.
West Virginia had the highest fatality rate in the U.S. in 2012 as measured in vehicle miles traveled, while North Dakota claimed that dubious honor when the numbers of deaths were compared with state population. Measured by the number of deaths in relation to state population, drivers in North Dakota were more than 10 times likelier to die in a traffic accident in 2012 than those in the District of Columbia.
California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington were all in the top 10 of the safest states using both measurements, while Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia were in the bottom 10. Sivak concluded that the northern Plains states and the South have the overall worst fatality rates.
The study didn’t focus on the reasons for the large gap in the safest and most dangerous states in which to drive, only the raw data. But Sivak noted that factors such as speed limits, topography, alcohol-enforcement policies, age distribution and proportion of urban versus rural areas could all be reasons for the wide differences, while higher speeds on rural roads, reduced visibility and the longer response time of emergency personnel could also be contributing factors.
So, next time you go to Washington DC you just might not hop on a train… but rent a car and take a drive!! If you or a loved one have been injured in an in an accident caused by the negligence of another, please give us a call today to schedule a consultation with a Norfolk, Newport News or Roanoke personal injury attorney, please visit the website and fill out the convenient online form.