Policy Study

Overall Highway Fatality Rate

In 2016, 37,434 fatalities were reported, more than the 35,069 fatalities reported in 2015.

The fatality rate is an important overall measure of each state’s road performance. The nation’s highway fatality rate worsened from 1.13 in 2015, the last time this assessment was completed, to 1.18 in 2016 (Table 17, Overall Fatality Rate per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles, 2016, Figure 12). The fatality rate has increased over the last several years after a decades-long downward trend. While there is no one cause, distracted driving appears to be the biggest contributor. In 2016, 37,434 fatalities were reported, more than the 35,069 fatalities reported in 2015, as VMT (vehicle-miles of travel) increased to 3.17 trillion from 3.09 trillion in 2015. There were more fatalities in 2016 than in any year since 2007.

Overall Fatality Rate Per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles
24th Annual Highway Report

OVERALL FATALITY RATE PER 100 MILLION VEHICLE-MILES, 2016 - Highway Report 2019 Placeholder
OVERALL FATALITY RATE PER 100 MILLION VEHICLE-MILES, 2016 - Highway Report 2019
1 to 10 Very Good 11 to 20 Good 21 to 30 Average 31 to 40 Bad 41 to 50 Very Bad 

For 2016, Massachusetts reported the overall lowest fatality rate, 0.63, while South Carolina reported the highest, 1.86. Most states (31 of 50) reported an increase in their fatality rates compared to 2015, led by New Mexico, Alaska and Iowa, which worsened 0.36, 0.31 and 0.25 points, respectively. Two states’ rates were unchanged and 17 states saw their fatality rate decrease, with Montana and Wyoming reporting the largest rate decrease of 0.31 each.

Overall Fatality Rate per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles
RankStateFatality Rate per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles
1Massachusetts0.63
2Rhode Island0.64
3Minnesota0.66
4New Jersey0.78
5New York0.83
6Vermont0.84
7Maryland0.85
8Washington0.88
9Utah0.89
10Virginia0.90
11Connecticut0.93
12Wisconsin0.95
13Ohio0.95
14Indiana0.99
15New Hampshire1.01
16Illinois1.01
17Nebraska1.05
18California1.07
19Michigan1.07
20Maine1.09
21Hawaii1.13
22North Dakota1.16
23Colorado1.17
24Delaware1.17
25Pennsylvania1.17
26Wyoming1.20
27Iowa1.21
28South Dakota1.22
29Nevada1.22
30North Carolina1.24
31Georgia1.27
32Missouri1.28
33Kansas1.34
34Oregon1.35
35Tennessee1.35
36West Virginia1.38
37Texas1.39
38Oklahoma1.39
39New Mexico1.44
40Arizona1.46
41Idaho1.47
42Florida1.47
43Alabama1.50
44Montana1.51
45Arkansas1.52
46Louisiana1.54
47Alaska1.60
48Kentucky1.69
49Mississippi1.69
50South Carolina1.86
Weighted Average1.18
View national trends and state-by-state performances by category:

Full Study: 24th Annual Highway Report

24th Annual Highway Report’s State-by-State Summaries