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What States Are Most Dangerous for Driving Pickups and SUVs?

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Besides crash-testing cars, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does a lot of statistical analyses of motor vehicle crashes. We recently came upon an IIHS' report that provides a state-by-state breakdown of crash fatalities by vehicle type. Based on 2016 data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the report compares fatalities caused by cars, pickup trucks/SUVs, large trucks, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For the purposes of PickupTrucks.com, we're looking at fatal crashes involving pickups/SUVs and cars by state.

The report shows that in eight states, the percentage of occupant deaths caused by pickup and SUV crashes was greater than the percentage of deaths by cars. Of course, they are the states where pickup truck and SUV ownership is quite high. Here are the eight states where it's safer to drive in cars than in pickups and SUVs followed by the percentage of occupant deaths per vehicle type:

State: Pickups and SUVs/Cars

  • Alaska: 42 percent/19 percent
  • Idaho: 43 percent/31 percent
  • Montana: 46 percent/29 percent
  • New Mexico: 38 percent/28 percent
  • North Dakota: 36 percent/32 percent
  • Oklahoma: 36 percent/31 percent
  • South Dakota: 41 percent/28 percent
  • Wyoming: 44 percent/18 percent

The full report can be found on the Topics page of the IIHS website.

Of course, the total number of deaths by vehicle type depends on many factors, one of which is a state's population. Statistically, pickup and SUV occupants are safer in the states marked in blue on the accompanying map compared to the states marked red, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the total number of deaths was lower in blue states than in red states.

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