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States with the fewest motor vehicle deaths in 2021

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Source: Canva

The United States is living through a car crash epidemic born out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CoPilot analyzed preliminary data from the National Safety Council, released on March 2, 2022, to determine the 10 states with the fewest motor vehicle deaths in 2021. States are ranked according to the number of deaths per 100,000 people, and ties are broken by the state’s total number of motor vehicle deaths. Population estimates were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, released on July 1, 2021.

Americans drove an estimated 13% fewer miles in 2020, likely due to stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, yet the country experienced an astounding 24% jump in the rate of road-related deaths over the year before, according to the NSC. The jump represents the largest year-over-year increase calculated by the NSC in 96 years, which representatives say highlights the dire need for the U.S. to prioritize road safety.

The NSC, along with more than 1,500 fellow organizations, in January 2021 sent a letter to the Biden administration calling for a commitment to zero roadway fatalities by 2050. NSC’s Road to Zero Coalition suggests this goal could be met by taking actions such as banning all cell phone use, lowering speed limits, reinstating or passing motorcycle helmet laws, and adopting bicyclist and pedestrian safety programs in communities across the country.


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Motor vehicle deaths in America since 1999

Current statistics around traffic deaths show the highest rates since the 1940s. These numbers come on the heels of nearly 60 years of reduced fatalities, thanks to the introduction of reduced speed limits, lowered rates of drunken driving, and a variety of other safety measures. In 2019, the country saw the fewest number of motor vehicle fatalities since the 1920s.

Motor vehicle fatalities by state

On the forthcoming list, just two states—Alaska and Rhode Island—saw a decrease in motor vehicle deaths from 2020 to 2021. Keep reading to see which states had the fewest motor vehicle deaths in 2021.

Source: Canva

#10. Minnesota

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 497 (8.7 deaths per 100k in Minnesota)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 395
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: +26%

Source: Canva

#9. Alaska

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 64 (8.7 deaths per 100k in Alaska)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 65
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: -2%

Source: Canva

#8. New Hampshire

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 119 (8.6 deaths per 100k in New Hampshire)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 108
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: +10%

Source: Canva

#7. Washington

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 643 (8.3 deaths per 100k in Washington)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 546
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: +18%

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#6. New Jersey

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 690 (7.4 deaths per 100k in New Jersey)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 587
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: +18%

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#5. Hawaii

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 94 (6.5 deaths per 100k in Hawaii)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 86
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: +9%

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#4. Massachusetts

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 414 (5.9 deaths per 100k in Massachusetts)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 342
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: +21%

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#3. Rhode Island

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 64 (5.8 deaths per 100k in Rhode Island)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 73
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: -12%

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#2. Washington D.C.

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 39 (5.8 deaths per 100k in Washington D.C.)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 36
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: +8%

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#1. New York

  • 2021 motor vehicle deaths: 1,054 (5.3 deaths per 100k in New York)
  • 2020 motor vehicle deaths: 963
  • Change in fatalities between 2020-2021: +9%

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