Alabama was the fourth most dangerous state for drivers in 2017, according to a report by Esurance.
The San Francisco-based insurance company used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine that Alabama has 19.4 crash fatalities per 100,000 residents. The state with the most auto accident fatalities per capita was Mississippi, with 23.1 deaths per 100,000 residents.
All 10 of the most dangerous states in the report have large rural areas. The study notes that the increase in fatal accidents in those states may be due to lower numbers of police patrolling roadways, higher speed limits in those rural areas, fewer street lamps and traffic lights, more livestock and wild animals crossing roads and rougher conditions of the roads themselves.
Alabama had 948 people killed in 857 fatal crashes in 2017, which was a 13 percent decrease from the previous year, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. The state DOT found that 60 percent of those who died in crashes in 2017 were not wearing seat belts.
Alabama’s rate of traffic fatalities per capita has remained almost unchanged since 2013, and 21-25-year-olds died in crashes in 2017 in larger numbers than any other age group.
The report notes a 13 percent increase in accident fatalities nationwide between 2013 and 2017, but some states have cut the number of roadways deaths during those years. New Hampshire, North Dakota, Montana and New York all saw reductions in fatal crashes of between 17 and 25 percent.
The four top states that saw the largest increases in fatal crashes between 2013 and 2017 were Alaska (54 percent increase), Washington D.C. (45 percent), Wyoming (42 percent) and Oregon (32 percent).