Motor vehicle crashes ranked as the second-leading cause of unintentional, preventable deaths nationwide in 2017, according to the National Safety Council's annual report.
Since 2013, poisoning has been the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. followed by motor vehicle crashes and deaths due to falls.
Nationwide, California has the lowest rate of preventable death — 35 per 100,000 residents — while West Virginia has the highest, at 104.2 deaths per every 100,000 residents. Both rates are far below and above the national average, which is 52.2 per every 100,000 U.S. residents.
When the 2017 data is broken down by state, motor vehicle collisions were the top cause of preventable death in 11 states, the second cause of preventable death in 21 states, and the third cause in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
In 2017, the District of Columbia had the lowest motor vehicle death rate per 100,000 population, while Mississippi had the highest at 25.8.
Texas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Georgia all rank among the top ten states with the lowest preventable death rates per 100,000 population. Even so, motor vehicle collisions were the top cause of preventable fatalities in all four of those states.