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2019 marked the third year in a row where driving fatalities surpassed 40,000 across the United States, according to the National Safety Council’s preliminary estimates for 2019. Respectively, within the first quarter of the year alone there were approximately 8,110 fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Although these statistics encompass the United States as a whole, the Car Insurance Comparision indicated these fatalities, caused in part by speeding, ignoring traffic laws, carelessness and drunk driving, are more prevalent in some states.
Here are the top five states with the worst drivers according to Car Insurance Comparision which has annually conducted a study regarding the most dangerous driving states since 2011.
1. New Mexico
Taking the top spot for the second time since 2011 is New Mexico. In addition, the statistics revealed the state has remained among the top three most dangerous driving states since the study began.
As of September 2019, there were 314 fatalities in the state, an uptick from the 287 fatalities from the same time period in 2018 and 280 in 2017, according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
"Of the 314 roadway fatalities reported in the first nine months of 2019, 84 of those were attributed to alcohol involvement," the study read. "To break the numbers down further, this means that approximately 26.8 percent of roadway fatalities this year had alcohol to blame."
2. South Carolina
Sitting right behind New Mexico is the Palmetto State. This is the sixth time South Carolina has ranked among the top three worst driving states across the nation and the fourth time it has snagged No. 2.
In the first half of 2019, 500 people have been killed on the state's highways, which is down from 535 from the same period in 2018, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Roughly 164 of those 500 people who lost their lives in early 2019 were not wearing a seatbelt, the study revealed.
This is the fifth time the Grand Canyon State ranked in the top ten worst driving states. The last time the state broke into the top five worst states was in 2017 when it was in second place.
In 2018, the Arizona Governor’s Highway Safety Association discovered that 16 percent of all roadway deaths in the state were pedestrian fatalities, noting that distracted driving was one of the reasons.
The state also ranks as the fifth most dangerous for bicyclists, NHTSA reported.
The Pelican State comes in at No. 4 in 2019. However, the state was previously deemed the most dangerous in 2011, 2013 and 2016.
The state's motorists had a major issue in obeying traffic laws, such as traffic signals and seat belt laws, in 2011 and between 2015-2018, according to the study. What's more, another major law defied by drivers in the state are the required levels of insurance coverage.
The study revealed that 13 percent of drivers in the state don't have coverage.
Texas has comes in at No. 5 after sitting among the top four worst driving states in 2018. The state has the worst ranking for drunk driving.
The study says drunk driving was what pushed the state to a "prominent position" on the list in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2016, the state had the greatest number of fatalities due to drunk driving at 1,481.