States with the Highest Car Accident Rate

Which States Have the Highest Car Accident Rate in the United States?

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Which States Have the Highest Car Accident Rate in the United States?

Car accidents are frequent in the United States, and they are often deadly or produce serious injuries. Regardless of where you’re located, if you need an attorney due to injuries you suffered in a car accident, Morgan & Morgan is always available to help. We have attorneys throughout the United States, so we can help connect you with an experienced personal injury attorney anywhere. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free and confidential consultation.

States With the Highest Car Accident Rate in the U.S.

The number of car accidents varies greatly between states, and their frequency can be affected by a variety of factors. Some contributing factors can include the topography of the state, the population numbers, the amount of vehicles on the roads, local travel speeds, and weather. In 2019, the top states with the greatest car accident rates are as follows:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Maine
  3. Maryland
  4. Rhode Island
  5. New Hampshire

All of these states are in the same general region on the East Coast. The East Coast is known for having some of the busiest roads, especially for commuters. Often, the most car accidents occur during rush hour, typically between 4pm and 7pm. 
Most fatal car accidents are side-impact, single-vehicle, multiple-vehicle, or caused by head-on crashes. When it comes to fatalities, the Northeast typically does not end up at the top of the list. Looking at fatal car crashes, states with highest car accident rate in the us include the following:

  1. Texas
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. North Carolina

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Car accidents happen frequently and can result in devastating consequences. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:

1. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents. Many actions can qualify as distracted driving, such as texting, talking on the phone or to passengers, and eating food. In general, distracted driving simply means that the driver is not focusing their full attention on the road, and this can lead to dangerous consequences.

2. Speeding and Reckless Driving

Another leading cause of car accidents is speeding and reckless driving. Drivers who are going significantly over the speed limit can find themselves in car accidents, especially on a winding road. The faster a driver goes, the less time they have to react. 

Reckless driving may include speeding, but it also encompasses actions such as tailgating another driver, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, and cutting other drivers off. These unexpected and dangerous actions can lead to potentially fatal car accidents.

3. Drunk Driving or Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving can be particularly insidious because it often leads to more fatal or serious car accidents. Even if a driver has only had a few drinks and feels fine, their likelihood of getting into a car accident increases with every drink they consume. This happens even if their blood alcohol level is within the legal limit.

Driving under the influence of any drug, including marijuana, cocaine, and psychedelics, can also increase the driver’s likelihood of getting into a car accident. Any time a drug is consumed, a driver should not attempt to get behind the wheel.

4. Inclement Weather

High winds, rain, snow, and ice can all lead to states with the highest car accident rate in the U.S. Most accidents due to inclement weather are caused by rain and wet roads, but drivers who live in states that often get frequent snow, such as Colorado, Michigan, and Alaska, are at risk for even more dangerous accidents due to the slippery conditions.

5. Night Driving

Driving at night doubles a motorist’s likelihood of getting into a car accident. Even with powerful headlights, it can be difficult to see the road ahead and the periphery. Night driving combined with other factors such as distracted or reckless driving can prove fatal.

6. Wrong Way Driving

Some drivers do not notice road signs and end up driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Additionally, highway ramps can be a common place where wrong way driving occurs. Other drivers typically do not expect wrong way drivers, and accidents can easily occur.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

    Car accident lawsuits can be difficult to navigate on your own. Insurance companies may attempt to compensate you for less than you really deserve, so it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can negotiate on your behalf. Some insurance companies will not pay out for future medical expenses, so you may not be receiving the compensation you need if you have a lifelong injury from your accident.

    Additionally, even if you know that the accident was not your fault, the at-fault driver may be telling their own insurance company something different. Even if you do not have sufficient evidence in the form of photographs of the accident, a lawyer can help gather other necessary evidence in order to win your case.

  • What Compensation Can I Get?

    Typically, you can receive compensation in the form of economic damages. These may include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and loss of earning potential. 

    You can also receive noneconomic damages. This can include compensation for pain and suffering, and mental anguish, depending on the severity of the injuries you incurred. This type of compensation can be difficult to calculate, but a quality attorney will have the necessary knowledge to demand appropriate compensation. 

    You may also be able to receive punitive damages if the driver’s negligence was particularly egregious. Punitive damages are to punish the defendant, and they do result in additional compensation for you.

  • What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

    If you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to understand the statute of limitations in the state you are in if you file a personal injury lawsuit, as the statutes differ from state to state. 

    States such as Louisiana and Tennessee have just a one-year statute of limitations for you to file lawsuit after the date of your accident. 

    On the opposite side, states such as Maine, Minnesota, and North Dakota allow individuals up to 6 years to file for a lawsuit. 

    Most states fall in between these extremes, with most allowing 2-3 years. An experienced attorney will be knowledgeable about the statute of limitations in your state, which could reduce some stress.

  • Who Do I Sue?

    You may be wondering who you are able to sue. In most cases, you would sue the at-fault driver. Their insurance company would likely be paying you the settlement.

    However, in no-fault states, your insurance company is required to pay for your medical expenses regardless of who is at fault. No-fault states include Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

    You may also be able to sue the owner of the vehicle if the owner is different from the driver who caused your accident. Additionally, in accidents such as truck accidents where the truck driver is employed by a company, you may be able to sue the employer of the driver. These types of lawsuits depend on a variety of circumstances, and a lawyer will be able to help figure out the most appropriate person to sue.

  • What About Comparative and Contributory Negligence?

    You may not be aware of your state’s laws in terms of comparative and contributory negligence, but these are important to know before you decide to file a lawsuit.

    States such as Alaska and California follow pure comparative negligence. This allows the plaintiff to receive damages from the defendant even if they were partly at fault for the accident. The jury will determine the percentage of fault, which is subtracted from the total compensation. In pure comparative negligence, then, a driver who is 10% at fault for the accident and has a verdict of $20,000 would receive $18,000.

    Other states follow a slightly more complicated modified comparative negligence model. Some states, such as Colorado and Maine, allow a plaintiff to only recover damages if they are less than 50% responsible for the accident. In some states such as Hawaii and Iowa, the plaintiff cannot receive compensation if they are found more responsible (51% or more) than the defendant. 

    South Dakota follows their own rule, called “slight/gross” negligence. In this rule, the plaintiff’s and defendant’s degrees of fault are only considered when the plaintiff’s negligence is considered slight and the defendant’s negligence is deemed gross. If the plaintiff’s fault is deemed greater than slight, they cannot receive damages.

    In states that follow rules of contributory negligence, the plaintiff may not receive damages if they are deemed any percentage at fault, even just 1%. The only states that follow this rule are Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

  • Morgan & Morgan Can Help

    If you are reeling from a car accident and you do not know what to do, you are not alone. Hiring an experienced lawyer who can recover appropriate damages and build a case for you is crucial. That’s where Morgan & Morgan comes in. We have been handling car accident cases for decades, and we will do whatever it takes to help you win yours. Over the course of our career, we have recovered more than $20 billion dollars for our clients. We have lawyers all across the country, so if you’re in any states with the highest car accident rate in the U.S., we can help you. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation. 

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