Policy Study

Fatality Rates — 23rd Annual Highway Report

Fatality Rate Per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles
2017 Annual Highway Report

Fatality Rates per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles - Highway Report 2017 Placeholder
Fatality Rates per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles - Highway Report 2017
1 to 10 Very Good 11 to 20 Good 21 to 30 Average 31 to 40 Bad 41 to 50 Very Bad 

Fatality rates are an important overall measure of each state’s road performance. The nation’s highway fatality rate worsened from 1.10 in 2013, the last time this assessment was completed, to 1.13 in 2015, (Table 16, Fatality Rate per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles, 2015, Figure 7). This uptick bucks a decades-long downward trend in fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles, possibly due to distracted driving. In 2015, 35,069 fatalities were reported, more than the 32,699 fatalities reported in 2013, as VMT (vehicle-miles of travel) increased to 3.09 trillion from 2.98 trillion in 2013. Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, for the first nine months of 2016, the fatality rate was 1.15, which continues this reversal of the long-term trend.

For 2015, Massachusetts reported the lowest fatality rate, 0.52, while South Carolina reported the highest, 1.89. Most states (26 of 50) reported an increase in their fatality rate compared to 2013, led by Wyoming, South Carolina and Oregon, which worsened 0.58, 0.32 and 0.31 points, respectively. Two states’ rates were unchanged and 22 states saw their fatality rate decrease, with West Virginia and Rhode Island reporting rate decreases of 0.37 and 0.26 points, respectively.

Fatality Rate Per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles
RankNamePercent
1Massachusetts0.52
2Rhode Island0.57
3Minnesota0.72
4New Jersey0.75
5Vermont0.78
6Connecticut0.84
7New Hampshire0.87
8New York0.88
9Maryland0.89
10Virginia0.91
11Wisconsin0.91
12Hawaii0.91
13Utah0.93
14California0.95
15Illinois0.95
16Washington0.95
17Iowa0.96
18Ohio0.98
19Michigan0.98
20Indiana 1.04
21Maine1.07
22Colorado1.08
23New Mexico1.09
24Kansas1.13
25Pennsylvania1.19
26Missouri1.21
27Georgia1.21
28Nebraska1.22
29North Carolina1.23
30Oregon1.24
31Tennessee1.25
32Nevada1.25
33Alabama1.26
34Delaware1.27
35Alaska1.29
36Idaho1.3
37North Dakota1.31
38Oklahoma 1.35
39West Virginia1.35
40Texas1.36
41Arizona1.37
42Florida1.42
43South Dakota1.43
44Louisiana1.51
45Wyoming1.51
46Arkansas1.52
47Kentucky1.56
48Mississippi1.7
49Montana1.81
50South Carolina1.89
Weighted Average1.13

View national trends and state-by-state performances by category: