Simrin Law Group studied National Highway Traffic Safety Administration automotive crashes between 2017 and 2021 to find out how many fatal incidents were caused by road rage. They also looked at which states are prone to road rage incidents. Where does your state fall on the scale of the likeliness of road rage-related fatalities?
When painting a picture of Colorado, I see the majestic Rocky Mountains and a state that hosts some of the most sought-after adventures. But beneath the serene backdrop are roadways seemingly simmering with rage. The state’s angst on the roads landed them in the number one spot–with a mind-blowing 8.19% of fatal accidents involving some level of road rage.
You may want to think twice before laying on the horn if you pass through the Centennial State.
As a state known for its rich colonial history and picturesque New England charm, Connecticut presents quite a contrasting image on its roadways. With 7.56% of fatal accidents attributed to road rage, The Land of Steady Habits has taken a turn for the worse.
This juxtaposition of historic beauty against the backdrop of modern driving aggression has me asking myself: Is it time to consider a nostalgic return to the days of horse and carriage? After all, a slower pace might remedy the turbulent Connecticut roads.
Sometimes referred to as the “Crossroads of America” due to its pivotal location and extensive transportation network, Indiana now faces a different type of crossroads. With 7.34% of fatal accidents involving road rage as a factor, the Hoosier State ranks third highest in the nation –certainly not a competition that anyone’s hoping to win the bronze medal.
Perhaps the folks of Indiana need to stop driving like they’re trying to win the Indy 500.
Sweet home Alabamians are grappling with a less-than-charming statistic on their roadways, as the study attributes 5.61% of fatal accidents to road rage.
A number like that overshadows the state’s reputation for warm hospitality. If I were living in Alabama, I might consider spending more time at home and less time venturing out on the road.
Famed for its cheese and dairy farms, Wisconsin crashes into the number five spot, with 4.93% of fatal accidents linked to road rage. It’s a statistic that’s hard to digest – even for the Dairy State. It’s also an unexpected twist in the state’s narrative, revealing a jarring disconnect between its classic Midwestern charm and the behavior behind the wheel.
Your dream vacation in Hawaii could quickly become a nightmare if you misplay your hand on its island roads. Despite the laid-back island lifestyle, 4.80% of fatal accidents in the state are tied to road rage – quite the contrast to its tranquil and harmonious environment.
It shows that even in the most serene and peaceful corners of the world, folks can still manage to let anger get the best of them.
7. District of Columbia
While it’s not technically seen as one of the 50 states, our nation’s capital is an epicenter of history, cultural diversity, memorials, politics, and a low tolerance for traffic. With 4.37% of fatal accidents linked to road rage, it seems there’s more than political reform needing attention in Washington, DC.
Fortunately, between the Metro system, bike-share programs, and our favorite pair of sneakers, we can all experience what the city offers without risking a road rage altercation.
8. South Carolina
From Myrtle Beach’s lively boardwalk to the charming Charleston streets, the South Carolina surface radiates joy with an enchanting southern twist. But there’s a more profound, darker twist in the Palmetto State’s story screeching into the spotlight. With 3.70% of fatal accidents stemming from road rage, the state’s image of leisurely southern drives and friendly faces starts to become muddled.
Arkansas is home to sprawling mountains, scenic rivers, and intriguing cave adventures. It is a state that exemplifies the essence of tranquility through its bounty of natural wonders. It’s a place where folks enjoy a slower pace of life. But the state’s overall tranquility doesn’t always extend to its roadways, as 2.18% of fatal accidents in Arkansas tie back to a road rage incident. As is the case, Arkansans earned themselves a top ten spot for the highest rates of road rage-related deaths.
10. West Virginia
Nestled away in the Appalachian region, West Virginia boasts a terrain as rugged as it is breathtaking. The state’s sprawling mountains, undulating hills, and deep valleys sculpt both its landscape and its identity. But with 2.09% of fatal accidents in West Virginia attributed to road rage, the serene image of its winding mountain passes begins to blur.
However, automobile fatality incidents as a whole don’t go unnoticed, as West Virginia’s Highway Safety Improvement Program set an ambitious goal to halve the 5-year average number of fatalities by 2030. Hopefully, the plan includes addressing some of the less-than-desirable behavior on the road.
11. North Dakota
The sweeping plains and open roads of North Dakota tell a tale that’s both stunning and cautionary. While speed-related incidents are typically the state’s leading cause of motor vehicle fatalities, road rage was a factor in 1.74% of all fatal accidents.
It’s certainly not on the level of Colorado, but it’s still 1.74% higher than it could be if folks kept their cool behind the wheel. With lower population density and less congested roads, perhaps North Dakotans can erase this statistic by showing more love and forgiveness to fellow drivers.
Maine’s breathtaking coastlines and picturesque small towns conjure images of tranquil living and a close-knit community spirit. But even the state’s idyllic setting gives way to instances of road rage. 1.36% of road rage-related accidents ending in fatality still casts a negative ripple across the state’s otherwise serene atmosphere.
But Maine’s scenic drives and less crowded streets offer the opportunity to turn things around with patience and understanding.
As for any state in our nation, even one fatality or serious injury resulting from road rage is too many. Seeing that the Washington State Traffic Commission shares this sentiment is heartening.
In 2000, the commission unveiled an ambitious Target Zero initiative, aiming for a future without serious injuries or fatalities on the roads by 2030. With 1.21% of fatal automobile incidents due to road rage, there’s still work to be done.
14. New York
The New York attitude is synonymous with unwavering resilience and an unapologetic spirit–characteristics reflected in everything from the city’s towering skyscrapers to the tradesmen who built them. But with the Empire State’s brazen image comes a mere 1.17% of fatal accidents associated with road rage.
It’s a number I found shocking, as I’ve lived in the shadow of NYC most of my life. Perhaps the state has developed such a rigid shell that some road rage is business as usual.
15. New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state where the allure of New England’s charm is as enduring as the granite of its mountains. Yet 1.03% of fatal accidents in New Hampshire link back to road rage.
It’s a number that gently jolts the state’s otherwise relaxed vibe. Perhaps, in the case of New Hampshire, this statistic is more like an out-of-place ripple on a calm lake.
The First State established in our nation is also the first state on this list with a road rage fatality rate under 1%. In Delaware, road rage accounts for merely 0.90% of fatal accidents. Though modest, it’s a number that has room for improvement. Fortunately, Delaware set forth an ambitious “Toward Zero Deaths” initiative that underlines a dedicated effort to make their roads fatality-free.
Alaska’s rugged individualism and untamed beauty blend the perfect spirit of adventure. However, road rage incidents account for 0.86% of fatal accidents.
It’s a statistic I found to be at odds with the state’s expansive and wild nature, but a plan is in motion to regain order on the frigid Alaskan streets. Alaska’s Highway Safety Plan focuses on enhancing road safety through various measures, including improved road design, stricter enforcement of traffic laws, and public awareness campaigns. Perhaps the call for cooler heads on the road will prevail even in the coldest environments.
With their penchant for being “Minnesota nice,” it’s no surprise that automobile fatalities related to road rage are at a mere 0.75%. And while the number is relatively small compared to other states, Minnesota does have an approach to tackling safety on its roadways.
By emphasizing driver education, law enforcement, and improving road infrastructure, the Land of 10,000 Lakes hopes to thwart all negative energy on its roads.
If you bet on Nevada being on this list, congratulations. Surprisingly enough, only 0.75% of fatal accidents in the state are linked to road rage. Given the up-and-down nature of gambling, you would think more people would be hopping in their cars with a chip on their shoulder. So, while courtesy still sometimes takes a backseat on the road, it’s refreshing to know that most folks out there are keeping their cool, no matter how their luck turned out.
20. Rhode Island
Rhode Island might be small, but it’s got a big personality. And unfortunately, some of what makes up that personality is less-than-desirable road etiquette. However, this quaint New England gem of a state only sees road rage factor in a mere 0.68% of fatal accidents.
Rhode Island’s road safety initiatives focus on fostering safer driving habits through education, strict enforcement of traffic laws, and infrastructure improvements — a small state with big-time goals.
Montana’s open skies and boundless freedom epitomize the quintessential independent spirit of the American West. However, road rage is a notable concern even in Big Sky Country, contributing to 0.67% of fatal accidents on its seemingly endless roads.
To combat tragedy on its roadways, Montana’s highway safety initiatives focus on a combination of driver education, better road design, and stringent enforcement of traffic laws.
Chock full of sprawling wheat fields and iconic sunflower landscapes, Kansas embodies the heartland spirit of America. It’s a place where simplicity and hardworking values reign. Yet, amidst its vast, open spaces, road rage incidents play a part in 0.65% of fatal accidents.
The state’s response to building safer roadways includes targeted programs emphasizing driver awareness, improved roadway infrastructure, and law enforcement strategies to curb aggressive driving.
Arizona sees road rage factor in 0.47% of its fatal accidents, a small but significant figure in a state more associated with tranquil sunsets than highway fury.
Arizona’s road safety strategies focus on enhancing driver education, enforcing strict traffic laws, and upgrading road designs to promote safer travel. Arizonians face an interesting juxtaposition in the land of cacti and canyons, where the only thing that should be heating up is the southwestern sun, not the tempers of its drivers.
Tennessee’s rich musical heritage and Smoky Mountains resonate with the rhythms of country and blues. But in a state where harmony and hospitality are as deeply rooted as the melodies in Memphis, road rage hits a note slightly out of tune, contributing to 0.40% of fatal accidents.
Tennessee’s road safety efforts aim to address this through public education campaigns, stricter law enforcement, and roadway improvements. So, let’s try to align our travel tempo with patience and courtesy next time we pass through Tennessee.
While Georgia certainly is sweet, it’s not all peaches n’ cream on its roadways. Road rage in the state factors into 0.37% of fatal accidents, a minor but jarring contrast to the state’s otherwise gentle reputation.
Georgia’s road safety strategy focuses on comprehensive education, better enforcement of traffic laws, and infrastructure enhancements to promote safer driving.
How Does the Rest of the US Stack Up?
If you haven’t seen your state yet, consider yourself lucky. Here’s how the study ranked the rest of the states in road rage-related fatal accidents:
- Wyoming with 0.26%
- Utah with 0.25%
- Texas with 0.22%
- New Jersey with 0.19%
- Iowa with 0.17%
- Louisiana with 0.16%
- Ohio with 0.14%
- New Mexico with 0.11%
- Missouri with 0.09%
- Illinois with 0.06%
- Idaho with 0.06%
- North Carolina with 0.06%
- Maryland with 0.05%
- Virginia with 0.05%
- Kentucky with 0.04%
- Oregon with 0.03%
- Michigan with 0.03%
- Florida with 0.02%
- California with 0.02%
- Pennsylvania with 0.01%
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