Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jan 3, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • The state of California has the highest car accident rate in the country
  • Vermont is the second least-populated state in the U.S. and it has the lowest amount of car accidents in the country
  • The three Ds – driving while under the influence, driving above the speed limit, and distracted driving are the main culprits of accident fatalities in all areas

Every five seconds, a car accident in the United States occurs, and seeing a list of car accidents by state may make you realize just how common it is where you live.

Unfortunately, car accident rates. can negatively impact your car insurance rate. You may be wondering how long car accidents affect your insurance and how the total number of accidents in your state impacts rates.

While the amount of car accidents you’ve had may impact your insurance rates only temporarily, your state’s total amount of annual car accidents could have a more long-term effect.

We’ve gathered the data to create a list of car accidents by state, so you can see where your state ranks. It may help explain why your friend in another state pays insurance rates that are vastly different from your own.

After viewing a list of car accidents by state, you may want to explore your insurance options. Enter your ZIP code and get a free auto insurance quote today.

Which state has the highest car accident rate?

With a total of 3,606 car crashes, the state of California has the highest car accident rate in the country. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a list of car accidents by county, it revealed the top five most affected regions in California.

1. Sacramento – With a population of 525,398, recent data shows that Sacramento county has reported as many as 169 accidents in one year.

2. San Diego – This region in California has over 1.39 million residents and has been one of the areas in California with the most car accidents with a total of 248 accidents in one year.

3. Riverside – This area is the most populous in California with 334,772 residents. It is also the 11th largest city in California and it has been most impacted by car accidents with a total of 277 reported in a year.

4. San Bernardino – San Bernardino is the largest county in the world and with a population of 214,706, it is no surprise that the area has experienced a total of 319 accidents in a year.

5. Los Angeles – With a population of 3.9 million residents, Los Angeles is the most populous county in the nation. With a crash total of 685, it also has the highest crash amount in the state.

StateCar Accidents in 2019Car Accidents in 2018
New Hampshire90147
New Jersey525563
New Mexico368392
New York876964
North Carolina1,2841,436
North Dakota91105
Rhode Island5359
South Carolina9221,036
South Dakota88130
West Virginia247294
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A list of car accidents by state and year shows us that the experience of all U.S. drivers isn’t created equal. In fact, even though the numbers have somewhat decreased since the year prior, some states are still more dangerous to drive in than others.

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Why is the car accident rate so high?

California is the most populous state in the United States of America. It also accounts for 11 percent of the country’s automobile deaths. While cities like Sacramento are known for having an abundance of hills, the Hollywood Hills is known for its narrow driving areas, and parts of town like Los Angeles have developed a reputation for its highly congested roads.

These are just some of several factors that play into what makes traveling on the road so challenging for California drivers.

Traffic Fatalities by State

According to OSHA’s Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes, car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury for all ages. In just half a year, more than 20,000 people have died on the roads in the United States. Unfortunately, the car accident fatality rate in California isn’t the only one that is rising. In South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana, traffic fatalities are also on the rise and it is due to a number of reasons, such as:

  • Drunk driving – Every state has a legal blood alcohol level and if you are driving and have proven to have exceeded this level, you are legally driving under the influence.
  • Driving dangerously above the speed limit  – Every street has a speed limit that must be abided by and drivers who are caught exceeding this level are speeding.
  • Distracted driving  – Texting and driving or partaking in another activity that may take your eyes off of the road is dangerous.

When World Population Review released a list of traffic fatalities by state, it provided a better perspective on just how serious traffic fatalities can truly be. According to the list, the 10 cities below have the highest traffic fatalities in the country.

  1. Texas – 3,305
  2. California – 3,259
  3. Florida – 2,915
  4. Georgia – 1,407
  5. North Carolina – 1,321
  6. Pennsylvania – 1,103
  7. Ohio – 996
  8. Tennessee – 974
  9. South Carolina – 970
  10. Illinois – 948

Did your state make the list? If so, you may want to see what options are available to lower your insurance rate.

Which state has the lowest car accident rate?

Vermont is the second least-populated state in the country. So it is no surprise to learn that this state’s car accident rate only rose up to around 44, the least amount of car accidents in the country.

Vermont has very few drivers on the road and unlike Los Angeles, it also has very little traffic. But due to its status of having the highest run-off-the-road rate in the country, even driving in a safe state like Vermont can be considered dangerous.

In fact, while many Vermont drivers don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic, they do, however, have a growing percentage of irresponsible drivers on the road that may cause an accident from being under the influence or driving while distracted.

Where does your state rank in the list of car accidents by state?

After reviewing the list of car accidents by state, how does your state rank? Have you been in a car accident and aren’t sure if you can get car insurance for a bad driving record? Or are you frustrated with car insurance rates even though you’re a good driver?

You’re not alone. Depending on the state you live in, the amount of car accidents in your state may already be impacting your insurance rate in ways you are not aware of.

After seeing a list of auto accidents by state, are you inspired to shop around for auto insurance rates? Enter your ZIP code and receive a quote.