The fatality rate is an important overall measure of each state’s road performance.
The overall fatality rate measures fatalities on all roadways in the state. The nation’s highway fatality rate improved from 1.18 in 2016, the last time this assessment was completed, to 1.13 in 2018.
The fatality rate had 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 2018, 36,529 fatalities were reported, fewer than the 37,434 fatalities reported in 2016, as VMT (vehicle-miles of travel) increased to 3.24 trillion from 3.17 trillion in 2018.
For 2018, Massachusetts reported the overall lowest fatality rate, 0.54, while South Carolina reported the highest, 1.83.
Most states (35 of 50) reported a decrease in their fatality rate compared to 2016, led by Iowa, Kentucky, and Idaho, which improved by 0.25, 0.23, and 0.17 points, respectively. Four states saw their fatality rates stay the same. Eleven states saw their fatality rates increase, led by West Virginia, South Dakota, and Rhode Island, reporting a 0.13, 0.12, and 0.1 point increase, respectively.
Overall Fatality Rate (Per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles Traveled)
|2018 Rank||State||Fatality Rate Per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles|