Motor-Vehicle Deaths by State
When exploring motor-vehicle fatality trends among states, several different fatality rate estimates are available to assess relative risk. The first option is to calculate the number of total motor-vehicle deaths among state residents per 100,000 population. This population rate estimate is most valuable when assessing the risk of motor-vehicle death for residents in a particular state. The second option is to calculate the number of traffic deaths occurring in a state per 100 million vehicle miles. This analysis is most appropriate when assessing the risk of traffic deaths in a particular state. The third option is to calculate the number of traffic deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles. This rate calculation helps control for differences in the number of vehicles registered among states. The three rate calculations provide different perspectives of fatality risk among states.
In 2019, Massachusetts had the lowest death rate per 100,000 population and Mississippi had the highest. However, when assessing fatality risk per 100 million miles traveled, Massachusetts had the lowest rate and South Carolina had the highest. Finally, when comparing fatality risk per 10,000 registered vehicles, Rhode Island had the lowest rates, while Mississippi had the highest.
- Data Table
Source: Motor-vehicle traffic deaths are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All motor-vehicle deaths are from the National Center for Health Statistics; motor-vehicle mileage and registration are from the Federal Highway Administration; population data are from the U.S. Census Bureau.