Driving in busy cities, especially during rush hour, can come with an increased risk of collisions. In terms of deadly crashes, however, a recent study has found that states with more rural roads – rather than cities roads – tend to have greater rates of fatal wrecks.

This study, which was headed up by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan, focused on analyzing the incidence of traffic deaths per capita per state, based on various federal crash data.

And what they found was that states with higher concentrations of rural roads tended to have higher speed limits and tended to see higher rates of deadly crashes on these roads.

Top 15 Deadliest States for Drivers, According to this Study

In analyzing fatality rates across the states, researchers also ranked every state in the U.S. to provide a snapshot of which states tend to have deadlier versus safer roads for drivers. According to this ranking, the top 15 states that are the deadliest for motorists include:

  1. States with More Rural Roads Tend to Have Higher Traffic Fatality Rates, Study Finds

    States with More Rural Roads Tend to Have Higher Traffic Fatality Rates, Study Finds


  2. North Dakota
  3. Mississippi
  4. West Virginia
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Alabama
  7. Arkansas
  8. South Carolina
  9. South Dakota
  10. Tennessee
  11. Louisiana
  12. Wyoming
  13. New Mexico
  14. Kentucky
  15. Idaho

At the other end of the spectrum, the top 5 states that were the safest for motorists (based on the per capita traffic-related fatality rates) included:

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New Jersey
  4. New York
  5. Rhode Island.

Colorado was ranked 18th in terms of safest roads for motorists.

Commenting on these findings, Researcher Sivak has stated that, “speed is likely to be among the most important causative factors [in the incidence of fatal collisions].”

Some have cautioned, however, that speed alone should not be the only causative factor considered, as weather conditions, age of motorists and total miles driven (per capita) should also be factored into a ranking of the deadliest versus safety states for motorists.

Contact an Experienced Denver Car Accident Attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C.

If you have been injured in a traffic crash, you can turn to a Denver car accident attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. for experienced help advocating your rights and pursuing justice. At Bell & Pollock, our lawyers are proud to be champions of the people, providing victims of negligence with superior legal representation to help them maximize their financial recovery.

To find out more about how we can help you, call us at (303) 795-5900 or email our firm using the contact form on this page to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you will receive clear, honest legal advice about your case, your rights and your best options for moving forward.

From our offices conveniently located in Denver, Greenwood Village, and Steamboat Springs, our lawyers provide the highest quality legal services to injured people throughout the Denver metro area, Arapahoe County, Routt County and the state of Colorado.