Are You Driving on the Country's Deadliest Roads?

SafestStates_4K.jpg Map by Auto Insurance Center/Paul Dolan

I have moments, like most drivers probably do, when I think to myself that the drivers in my county might possibly be the worst (yeah, I’m talking to you Coloradans who love to speed around cars leaving parking spaces rather than wait politely for them to back out). And then I travel to another state for work and rethink things. Ever driven in New York City? I have no desire to ever attempt that again. The Auto Insurance Center has compiled data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to find the most dangerous — and the safest — states and counties for driving in the U.S. 

Related: If You’re Texting, You’re Not Driving

To come up with this list, data regarding the number of fatal crashes compared to the county’s population was analyzed. Check out the interactive maps to see how drivers in your area rate. 

As for the worst, Texas, I’m sorry to report that three counties rate in the top five most dangerous counties in the nation (Oldham County is fifth, Hudspeth County is third, and Kenedy County finishes at top of the list as the most dangerous county in the U.S.). Kenedy County has just 400 residents, yet during the past 20 years, 43 driving fatalities have happened there. 

Shockingly, Bronx County in New York actually rates as the fourth-safest county! Now that I think about it, it was the bike messengers who seemed to be the craziest “drivers” I encountered. The safest county in the U.S.? Nantucket County in Massachusetts, where speed limits are capped at 45 mph and a vacation-induced chill zone keeps drivers on the straight and narrow.

According to the data, the most dangerous state is Mississippi, followed by Wyoming, Montana, Alabama and West Virginia. On the flip side, Massachusetts ranks the safest state, followed by Washington, D.C., New York, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Regardless of where you find yourself driving in the most, it’s Distracted Driving Awareness week, so take a moment to look for ways to improve your county’s rating. Lock your phone inside your glove box or center console where you won’t be tempted to look at it, put your mascara on before you leave the house, save your breakfast on-the-go until you actually get to your office parking lot. Let’s refrain from becoming a statistic on next year’s map.


Photo of Kristin Varela
Former Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars. Email Kristin Varela

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