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National Study Ranks Top Fatal Crash Causes By State

Drunk Driving Fatalities By State (Auto Insurance Institute)

A national study conducted by the Auto Insurance Institute ranks the top causes of fatal crashes for each state, with North Dakota leading the nation in one specific category… drunk driving.

Neighboring Montana and South Dakota also ranked in the top 5 states for drunk driving fatalities. The report suggests that lack of public transportation, compared to more urbanized areas, is one reason for North Dakota’s position at the top: “Drinkers are hard-pressed to catch a cab in North Dakota, let alone use public transportation.”

Despite this national infamy, drunk driving was not the leading cause of fatalities in North Dakota. Failure to yield the right of way ranked as the number one cause of fatal crashes in the state, according to the study. Nationally, North Dakota ranked the fourth most deadly state in the right of way category.

North Dakota also ranked just beyond the top five states for speeding-related fatalities. Not surprisingly, the study also revealed wind, snow, and rain as other top driving fatality causes.

Despite the state’s high rank in specific categories, another similar study by the Institute actually ranked North Dakota about average in safe roads, with Burleigh County ranking as one of the state’s safest counties. Counties in and around the Bakken region were among the state’s most dangerous.

Overall, Mississippi was ranked as the nation’s most dangerous roads, with Massachusetts ranking the safest.

See how North Dakota ranked in other categories and read the full report here.