Ever wonder which states are the safest to drive through? How about the most dangerous? Check out our top 10 lists and see if you need to reroute your next haul!
Let’s start off with the good news. South Dakota has the least amount of truck-involved accidents –- one for every 10 miles of road -- according to data from 2010 to 2012. Overdrive and RigDig Business Intelligence analyzed federally recordable data and ranked each state according to their statistics.
The top 10 states for truck crashes happen where traffic is the heaviest – the states east of the Mississippi River. Who came in dead last? New Jersey, with 12 crashes for every 10 miles.
The most dangerous states, after New Jersey, include:
- Indiana (10 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Pennsylvania (7 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Louisiana (7 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Delaware (7 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Kentucky(7 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Maryland (6 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Georgia (6 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Virginia (5 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Alabama (5 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
The safest states, after South Dakota, include:
- Montana (1 crash per 10 lane-miles)
- Nevada (2 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- New Mexico (2 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- North Dakota (2 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Utah (2 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Idaho (2 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Vermont (3 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Michigan (3 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
- Mississippi (3 crashes per 10 lane-miles)
Four crashes per 10 lane-miles make up the median rate for all states. Since the crash occurrence could vary by region, large carriers operating in less dense areas are likely to be compared to small entities operating in overcrowded regions.
However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates crash data by exposure. They use figures provided by the trucks for annual miles traveled and total power units, and none of that information is related to the region they are traveling.
Although drivers travel slower during rush hour, it still brings many crashes. However, fatalities are less likely to occur when traffic is heavy, and carriers are traveling slower. The states with less traffic produced more fatalities because trucks are traveling at a faster speed more of the time.
Top 10 states with most fatalities:
- Indiana (3.4)
- Alabama (2.6)
- Louisiana (2.5)
- Florida (2.4)
- Arkansas (2.3)
- West Virginia (2.2)
- Arizona (2.0)
- Kentucky (2.0)
- Georgia (1.9)
Top 10 states with the most injuries:
- New Jersey (85)
- Louisiana (68)
- Pennsylvania (54)
- Indiana (50)
- Florida (48)
- Delaware (42)
- Rhode Island (38)
- Maryland (37)
- New York (37)
- Kentucky (34)
Surprisingly, the state with the most crashes, New Jersey, ranks at number 31 out of 50 states for inspection intensity. Only three states listed in the top 10 of crash intensity (Indiana, Kentucky and Maryland), also ranked in the top 10 for inspection intensity.