New Mexico ranks No. 1 in the nation as the most dangerous state to drive in, according to a recent study from Car Insurance Comparison.
As of September 2019, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) reported 314 total traffic fatalities — a significant increase over the 287 and 280 reported in 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Moreover, 84 of the 2019 deaths — 26.8% of total roadway fatalities — were alcohol-involved collisions.
The study evaluates states based on their overall crash fatality rates as well as fatalities caused by factors such as drivers’ failure to obey laws, careless driving, drunk driving, and speeding.
South Carolina, which ranked as the second worst driving state, had the highest overall fatality rate.
Moreover, of the 500 people who lost their lives in roadway fatalities in the first half of 2019 in South Carolina, 164 — or 33% — were not wearing a seat belt.
Other states that ranked among the top five most dangerous places to drive include Arizona, which ranked third, followed by Louisiana and Texas.
Arizona’s worst roadway problem appears to be careless driving. This means that pedestrians and bicyclist fatalities comprise the most significant number of roadway deaths in the state. In 2018, for example, pedestrian deaths accounted for 16% of all roadway fatalities.
Failure to Obey was Louisiana’s worst ranking factor, according to the study. This indicates that drivers in the state have a major issue following key laws regarding licensing, traffic signals, and seat laws.
While Texas drivers scored pretty well when it came to speeding, drunken driving remains a consistent problem on the state’s roadways.