Kentucky is more dangerous than states with more traffic deaths 

People often wonder how dangerous it is to drive in their home state. Perhaps they think that drivers in other states are more hazardous when they travel, so they wonder where they rank. There are a few different ways to look at this. The first is by looking at the total number of fatal car accidents in that state. 

If you do this, a state like Kentucky looks relatively safe. There were 709 fatal car accidents in a single year, per a recent study. This makes Kentucky look much safer than states like Florida, where there were more than 3,000 fatal accidents, or even Michigan, where there were more than 1,000 fatal accidents in the same year.

Fatal accidents per capita

But looking at the totals is an inaccurate way to distinguish how safe the roads are. Remember that states have very different populations, so you should expect fewer fatal accidents in states that have fewer people. If you adjust and look at the number of fatalities per capita – such as the number of fatal accidents per 100,000 drivers in the state – then you get a better sense of which ones are safe and which are not.

This is when things start to look bleak for Kentucky. There are so few people in the state that 709 fatal accidents put them at a rate of 17.3 fatalities for 100,000 residents. Michigan may have more total deaths, but the rate is far lower, at 10.8 fatalities for 100,000 residents. The same is true in Florida. Despite a massive 3,098, total fatalities, that’s only a rate of 15.4 fatalities per 100,000 people – roughly two less than Kentucky.

Understanding that you face risks on the road is important, but you can’t always avoid other dangerous drivers. If one of them injures you or you lose a loved one, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.


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