Dangerous Roads

An article in 24/7 Wall Street rates states by fatalities per 100,000 residents. New York had the least and Misssissippi had the most at over 20 in 2018. MS also allows drinking while driving, IIRC. Coincidence? Here’s the article.


“Most Dangerous Roads” fits as a headline and is misleading, but it works as click bait. “Highest per capita motor vehicle fatalities” is more accurate.

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MAGA… or something to that effect…


I think we have some Mississippi folks in the house, but even if we didn’t…it’s a lot more peaceful if we leave that stuff out of the discussion. Thanks.


I agree that it is click bait, and USA Today uses it as just that. They present it as a series of 50 photos while 24/7 Wall Street at least presents a list. That’s one reason I used the 24/7 reference instead of USA Today. Lucky for me home is near the bottom of the list.

And @VDCdriver, let’s not do any political trolling, OK?

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Yeah Florida #12 worst… That is why I sold my motorcycle!

A rural state will almost always fare much worse than an urban state with this kind of statistic. Two reasons:

  1. You increase the numerator, because a greater % of all trips taken in the state are on roads that are inherently more dangerous; e.g., high speed, two-lane, far from emergency services

  2. You decrease the denominator due to fewer residents. Plus, in rural states a much higher % of people have to drive versus walk/bike/use transit, so there’s an exposure factor at work

But all of this is somewhat moot, because the very factors I have stated above do make a state like Mississippi more dangerous for driving than NYC, if you define danger as the probability of getting injured or killed in a crash.

Source: Myself, I am a transportation engineering professor


Signage, shoulder-width, lane width, speed limits, management of construction zones, drainage, care of road surface, policing, all play a part I expect. I wonder how much money in $$/mile of roadway design, construction, maintenance & repair, Miss spends compared to New York?

Two things make NY top the list, Millions of people In NY City don’t own cars. Despite the assurances of the legislators when they passed the seat belt law that it would only a secondary offense, that has changed and it is now an offense you can and will be pulled over for. Enforcement is strict. I see that as far as seat belt use, the people of NH are exemplifying their state motto.

Here’s a chart showing how each state pays for roadway spending. New York pays 65% of the road budget using state and local taxes, user fees, and user taxes, and is rated #3 off all states in that %. Mississippi’s road budget is paid for other ways apparently (lottery?), as only 36% of the state’s road budget (rated #44) is paid by the resident’s taxes and fees above. Not exactly what I was looking for ($$$ spent on roads per miles driven) but it offers a possible explanation of part of the safety stat perhaps.

I wonder if you analyzed the data by fatalities per million miles driven how the states rank. It wouldn’t surprise me to find a 2-4 times difference between the miles driven per resident between the largest and smallest, which would factor into how many fatalities per resident.

But, yeah, this was a clickbait article. Some “analysis” disguised as some academic insight, but really just intended to get some traffic. Hey, it worked - I looked at it and a couple others on this board did as well.

It does show one thing that I love about our country, though. There are significant differences between our states. I see that as a good thing. If there’s something that you don’t like about where you live, you have a voice to change it. And if you can’t change it, or don’t have the desire or energy to try, you have the freedom to move to another place. You don’t need permission or a license or a blessing to do so.

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Well glad to hear from a professional. As far as click bait, if you haven’t noticed, the NYT has been having some money problems so they need every penny they can generate to stay afloat. Used to be a fine newspaper but now just a rag.

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Not sure this comparison tells you anything. Florida is a dangerous state to drive in yet the user fees pay a greater percentage of road repair than NY. Our roads and bridges are in fine shape (no freeze thaw) and NY’s roads are problematic at best.

Nearly everyone drives in Florida. There are no large cities laid out like NYC with the wheel-and-spoke mass transportation system. All were developed with the car in mind while NYC developed when there were no cars. More drivers, more miles, more accidents. It is that simple.

Mississippi doesn’t allow drinking and driving. Conversely, a 3rd offense dui is a felony. Source: I live in Mississippi.

We’ve got some crazy drivers for sure, but I always see more accidents when I drive in a large city (Memphis, for example) than I do when driving my normal route to work, etc. in rural MS. I’ll have to read the article, but I find it difficult to believe that it’s more dangerous to drive in a rural setting (which would encompass most of MS) vs. large metropolitan area in any state. I know I always feel relieved when I leave the Memphis traffic and can get a little space between my vehicle and others.

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Drivers in the rural areas of Colorado would drink a beer as they drive, not an uncommon thing. It wasn’t legal, but still done. Not recommending this mind you, but if you think about it, probably safer to sip a beer as you drive compared to stopping at a bar and drink the whole beer all at once, then get in your truck and drive.

This source says that driving with an open container of alcohol is not prohibited in MS, but there are DUI laws.

If your blood alcohol content is over .08%, you get a dui charge. Apparently, you can technically drive with an open container of alcohol, per that site. Definitely news to me.

I doubt it has any bearing on traffic accidents. If the police see you swilling a brew, I imagine they’ll pull you over just the same. Since you can’t drink in public in MS, I imagine they’ll consider a vehicle on a public road as “drinking in public”.

Should make the drive home from work more relaxing, though… Only kidding!

I also saw in Kansas that you can’t transport any alcoholic beverages. How do you get it home from the store?

I dunno, I’m going to question the accuracy of the Find Law information. In Minnesota it is known as open bottle. You cannot have an open bottle, even an empty one anywhere inside the car. Sealed are OK but nothing with a broken seal. I recycled all my statute books but maybe I’ll look on line. Been this way for as long as I can remember. Then add boat operation too, and if you have a CDL better not drink and run a snow mobile.

You can wade through the actual statute but here’s the lawyers idea. Open 24 hours.

Speeding is illegal, not a complete stop at a stop sign is illegal, there are a lot of laws broken on a daily basis. Where I live open bottles of wine etc. need to be out of the reach of the driver, a trunk is a good place if you need to transport it.

Speaking of “dangerous roads”, on a local community website a woman complained about a Honda Civic that supposedly passed her on the right recently. The problem with her complaint is that the road she mentioned is one lane in each direction, with no shoulders, and with a fairly deep rock-filled ditch on each side of the road.

The only way that anyone could have passed her on the right on that road is if the Civic was… somehow… able to rapidly drive through that rock-filled drainage ditch without losing control or getting mired, or if the complaining woman was herself driving on the wrong side of the road.

Sometimes we need to ignore complaints about other drivers…

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