Deadliest highways in America are located in these 3 states, report finds

New research has pinpointed the deadliest stretches of road in America, highlighting three states where highways prove particularly perilous. 

Using data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), ConsumerAffairs found that there were 63 driving deaths in the "safest" state in 2023 and nearly 4,500 in the "least safe" state. 

This underscores a significant difference in the effectiveness of safety measures and driving habits across regions.

Which highways are the most dangerous? Let’s "drive" in. 

Where should you stay off the highway?

According to the results, drivers may want to stay off the road in Texas. 

RELATED: Nationwide study: Dangerous driving on US roads has reached 'alarming highs'

Out of the 79,000 miles of Texas highways, there were 4,068 fatal crashes that produced 4,498 deaths in 2021. 


Traffic backs up on southbound highway 35 in Austin, Texas. (Credit: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers via Getty Images)

ConsumerAffairs said the Lone Star State also led the country with 2,175 alcohol-related fatalities. Breaking it down, a third of the drivers involved in fatal crashes in Texas had blood alcohol levels (BAC) of .01 or higher.

California and Florida ranked second and third in highest crash fatalities, mainly due to distracted driving. Georgia ranked fourth and North Carolina fifth.

Most dangerous highways

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

Separately, the data also found Mississippi as one of the deadliest states for young drivers.

"Mississippians are twice as likely to die in a car crash than the average American and more than four times as likely to die in a car crash than residents of Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York or Rhode Island," ConsumerAffairs data analysts Alexus Bazen and Michael Dempster, said in a statement. 

Mississippi’s high fatal crash involvement rate was largely among drivers under 21. One reason may be that to get a driver’s license in the state, you can score one without needing to take a physical driving test.

Seat belts are an issue, too. In Mississippi, seat belt usage rates are the second lowest in the country, right after Massachusetts, the report revealed.

Safest states to drive in

Despite these results, vehicle fatalities were down 4.5% year over year nationwide from January through September 2023.

The data found Rhode Island to be the safest state to drive in. 

While the state shares the national standard blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08, it has a lower threshold (0.05) for DUI penalties aimed at younger drivers.

ConsumerAffairs found that many states with a low number of crash-related deaths were states that also had the strictest driving standards.

Vermont also ranked high in the category, thanks in part to lower speed limits on most roads compared to national averages.

Safest highway states

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Alaska
  3. Vermont
  4. Hawaii
  5. North Dakota

New York and Massachusetts ranked second and third in fewest annual crash fatalities based on the percentage of the population. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.