The safest places to drive in the USA are Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts. Among the most dangerous: Montana, Wyoming, Louisiana and Mississippi. Those conclusions are based on federal data of traffic fatalities per 100,000 population and per 100 million miles driven.
The primary reason for the difference: Urban roads are safer than rural roads.
Even in states with low overall road death rates, rural areas often have rates twice as high as urban ones. That’s because urban areas usually have roads with lower speed limits, more safety engineering features such as divided highways and faster access to emergency medical care than rural routes. Many rural deaths occur when vehicles leave the road and crash into trees or other obstructions.
That being said, Boston drivers, if you don’t know the unwritten rules, such as left turn on red, are pretty damn crazy.
What I really think drives perception of driving is how confusing the road system is to the driver. I’m familiar with both D.C. and Boston roads, and driving in both cities, even in places where the roads are narrow, not well marked, and so on doesn’t bother me. Meanwhile, New York City scares the hell out me, but friends who don’t mind driving in New York City are terrified of Boston.
Nonetheless, we’re the second safest, with NY being the third safest. Go urban hellholes!