In Which States Does Speeding Cause the Most Deaths?

WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich


Speeding is the number one cause of death in traffic accidents in the United States. Everyone seems to be rushing around without being mindful of the road conditions. The top five states where speeding causes the most traffic fatalities are South Carolina, New Mexico, Alabama, Montana, and New Hampshire. From January to June 2022, South Carolina has already had 517 traffic fatalities.

Why are so Many People Speeding?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding drivers’ reasons for exceeding the speed limit are:

  • Traffic jams
  • Running late
  • Anonymity
  • Disregard for other drivers and the law

Traffic laws, such as posted speed limits, are set for a reason. When speeding, the chance of traffic crashes increases, the stopping distance of your vehicle decreases, and the ability to avoid collisions with other people, bicyclists, and vehicles.

Heavy Traffic and Running Late

When there is heavy traffic, and you’re running late, you become frustrated and begin to drive more aggressively. So when there is a break in the traffic, drivers tend to speed up, change lanes a lot and become angry with other drivers around them. Distracted motorists are also one of the causes of many motor vehicle crashes.

Disregard for Others and Traffic Laws

When you’re driving, there is a feeling of being anonymous to other drivers. You don’t care what the other drivers think of you because you don’t know each other, and you will probably never see them again. This can make you do things that aren’t your normal driving behavior.

Then some drivers don’t have high regard for the laws. These drivers are always aggressive; they speed, slam on their brakes, tailgate, and weave in and out of lanes. These are the most dangerous drivers on the road and are the cause of many traffic accidents.

Does The Area of the State Matter Regarding the Fatality Rate in Auto Accidents?

Some think traffic fatalities occur more often in cities or urban areas due to speeding-related crashes. While urban areas have more car accidents with pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motor vehicles, there were more car crash deaths in rural areas.

Rural car accidents occur more often while driving on open roads. More people speed due to the lack of traffic, engage in drunk driving, and not wearing seat belt restraints.

Wide Open Spaces

The states with the most wide open spaces are the states that have the most deadly car crashes. Drivers tend to relax more when there is less traffic on the road. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the states with the most rural areas have the most auto accidents. You can pick up speed quickly on the open roads in Montana, Wyoming, and Mississippi.

City Driving

While the states that have more urban areas have fewer speeding-related crashes, they still have almost the same number of traffic fatalities. This is because more people are in smaller geographical areas, which causes traffic congestion and more pedestrians and bicyclists. The heavily populated areas of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Texas, and California also have high traffic deaths, but not necessarily due to high speeds.

Traffic Safety Facts

The number one cause of traffic fatalities is speeding. Driving under the influence is number two. You’re too impaired to drive if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds .08%. Surprisingly, the number three reason for traffic fatalities is swerving into other driver’s lanes and causing a collision.

Drive Friendly

In today’s world, many more motorists drive long hours on the same roads. Road expansion has not kept up with the population increase in most states. When we’re stuck in traffic, running late, and constantly checking our phones, our driving behavior becomes aggressive.

Too Busy

Many of us have scheduled too many activities in our lives. When this happens, we lose patience quicker. Driving to and from these many appointments causes us to drive more recklessly. Not only is it dangerous, but you can pay higher auto insurance premiums if caught speeding.

Put Down the Phone

Too many drivers these days use their phones while driving. Whether you’re talking, texting, or looking at maps, you should use the hands-free options in your vehicle if you must be on the phone. Distracted driving causes speeding and collisions and swerving into other drivers’ lanes.

You can avoid severe injury and traffic accidents by waiting to use your phone or allowing passengers in your vehicle to respond to your phone needs while driving.

Wear Your Seat Belt

Seat belt traffic laws were invented to protect your life in an accident. It’s the same as placing your child in a car seat for protection.


Most speeding-related deaths occur in rural areas in South Carolina, New Mexico, Alabama, Montana, and New Hampshire.

How many deaths are caused by speeding in the US?

Speeding killed 11,258 people from January to October 2022.

What is the average speed of a fatal crash?

If hit at 50 mph, 75% of pedestrians will die. The person in the passenger vehicle has a high chance of dying if the impact is while doing 70 mph.

The percentage of speeding-related fatalities in the US is 29%.

What are some of the contributing factors to speeding deaths?

Contributing factors can include disregard for other drivers, disregard for laws, running late, switching lanes erratically, and distracted driving.

What is the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the United States?

According to IIHS, the highest is 1.97 in South Carolina and .63 in Massachusetts, which is the lowest.

What is the second-highest traffic death rate in the US?

The second-highest cause of traffic death is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

South Carolina is the state with the most speed-related fatalities.

Finding the Best Rates on Auto Insurance in States where Speeding is Common

Always give yourself enough time to travel to your appointments and have patience with other drivers on the road. Put down your phone and concentrate on the task at hand. No one likes congested traffic, but it will only grow as our population grows. So slow down and save a life, maybe your own.

Find the best rates in your area by filling out our online rate form. You can get the rates of the top insurance companies and speak with a licensed auto insurance agent.