Car accidents by state

The number of fatal car accidents varies from state to state and has a lot to do with population size. Here are the facts and figures behind the annual number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in all 50 U.S. states.

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Published July 22, 2020

The number of car accident deaths varies greatly across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. There are a number of factors that can affect the statistics when comparing motor vehicle fatalities on a state by state basis, including weather, types of vehicles involved, number of passengers, travel speeds, topography, and more.

It’s also important to factor in a state’s population when examining the number of car accident fatalities in each state. Using data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, we compared the number of motor vehicle fatalities in every state, taking into account each state’s total population.

List of car accidents by state

Car accidents can happen everywhere, no matter what state you live in. In 2018, there were 33,654 fatal car accidents across the United States. The table below is a state-by-state breakdown of fatal motor vehicle crashes and motor vehicle crash deaths per all 50 states and Washington D.C. as of 2018, according to the IIHS.

StateState populationFatal crashesDeaths
Alabama4,887,871876953
Alaska737,4386980
Arizona7,171,6469161,010
Arkansas3,013,825472516
California39,557,0453,2593,563
Colorado5,695,564588632
Connecticut3,572,665276294
Delaware967,171104111
District of Columbia702,4553031
Florida21,299,3252,9153,133
Georgia10,519,4751,4071,504
Hawaii1,420,491110117
Idaho1,754,208212231
Illinois12,741,0809481,031
Indiana6,691,878774858
Iowa3,156,145291318
Kansas2,911,505366404
Kentucky4,468,402664724
Louisiana4,659,978716768
Maine1,338,404128137
Maryland6,042,718474501
Massachusetts6,902,149343360
Michigan9,995,915905974
Minnesota5,611,179349381
Mississippi2,986,530597664
Missouri6,126,452848921
Montana1,062,305168182
Nebraska1,929,268201230
Nevada3,034,392300330
New Hampshire1,356,458134147
New Jersey8,908,520525564
New Mexico2,095,428350391
New York19,542,209889943
North Carolina10,383,6201,3211,437
North Dakota760,07795105
Ohio11,689,4429961,068
Oklahoma3,943,079603655
Oregon4,190,713450506
Pennsylvania12,807,0601,1031,190
Rhode Island1,057,3155659
South Carolina5,084,1279701,037
South Dakota882,235110130
Tennessee6,770,0109741,041
Texas28,701,8453,3053,642
Utah3,161,105237260
Vermont626,2996068
Virginia8,517,685778820
Washington7,535,591497546
West Virginia1,805,832265294
Wisconsin5,813,568530588
Wyoming577,737100111
U.S. Total327,167,43433,65436,560
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Car accident statistics by state

In 2018, the number of motor vehicle fatalities varied widely across all 50 states. Texas had the highest number of fatal crashes, 3,305, and Washington D.C. had the lowest, 30.

Population size is an important factor — Texas’ population is nearly 40 times than that of Washington D.C., and Texans may be driving longer distances than D.C. drivers.

Insurance companies know that more people on the road can lead to more car accidents, which is part of the reason why drivers who live in big cities or dense areas often pay more for car insurance than drivers who live in less population-dense locales.

49% - Percentage of motor vehicle fatalities involving an SUV or pickup in Wisconsin in 2018

36,560 - Total number of fatalities from car accidents in all 50 states in 2018

53% - Percentage of deaths in single vehicle crashes nationwide in 2018

90% - Percentage of seat belt use by front seat occupants nationwide in 2018

$15,506 - The average cost per bodily injury claim in 2013

13% - Percentage of all U.S. drivers who were uninsured in 2015, that’s one in eight drivers

45% - Percentage of motor vehicle deaths that occured in rural areas nationwide in 2018

90% - Percentage of motor vehicle deaths in South Dakota that took place on rural roads in 2018

Data sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Insurance Research Council

Insurance Editor

Kara McGinley

Insurance Editor

Kara McGinley is an Insurance Editor at Policygenius. She previously worked as a freelance writer and a copywriter for various startups. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, Mask Magazine, and more.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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