The 25 Worst States for Distracted Driving

Does your state top the distracted driving list?

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American drivers are paying attention to many things other than the road. They’re devouring breakfast burritos, applying makeup and, of course, texting, tweeting and looking up directions on their smartphones. But driving while distracted can be dangerous for everyone on the road. From minor fender benders to fatal accidents, these incidents have a huge impact on drivers across the country. In 2017, there were 3,166 fatalities involving distracted driving in the United States.

MoneyGeek analyzed which states have the highest rates of distracted driving using federal statistics. States were ranked based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to calculate the fatality rate based on distracted-driving deaths per billion miles driven.

While you might expect the worst places for distracted driving to be notoriously grid-locked parts of the country, the top three states are known for their wide-open spaces. These 25 states ranked highest for hazardous distracting driving.

25. Delaware

Delaware

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 15
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 20,646.29
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.73

24. Alaska

Alaska

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 8
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 11,006.04
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.73

23. North Carolina

North Carolina

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 182
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 240,303.62
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.76

22. Nebraska

Nebraska

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 32
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 41,976.75
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.76

21. Alabama

Alabama

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 112
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 141,844.45
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.79

20. Wyoming

Wyoming

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 16
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 20,223.11
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.79

19. Arizona

Arizona

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 112
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 131,214.09
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.85

18. Virginia

Virginia

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 151
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 170,599.05
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.89

17. Wisconsin

Wisconsin

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 118
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 131,209.14
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.9

16. New York

New York

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 245
    • 2017–2018 miles driven: 247,242.24
      Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 0.99

15. Missouri

Missouri

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 153
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 152,506.32
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1

14. Florida

Florida

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 451
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 440,641.54
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1.02

13. Colorado

Colorado

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 124
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 107,335.71
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1.16

12. Oklahoma

Oklahoma

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 111
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 94,835.27
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1.17

11. South Carolina

South Carolina

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 141
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 112,297.92
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1.26

10. Idaho

Idaho

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 47
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 35,009.52
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1.34

9. Texas

Texas

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 758
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 555,018.17
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1.37

8. West Virginia

West Virginia

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 54
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 38,519.66
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1.4

7. New Jersey

New Jersey

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 251
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 155,047.51
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 1.62

6. Washington

Washington

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 259
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 123,786.58
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 2.09

5. Hawaii

Hawaii

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 57
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 21,635.39
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 2.63

4. Louisiana

Louisiana

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 268
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 99,266.33
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 2.7

3. Kentucky

Kentucky

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 279
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 98,782.94
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 2.82

2. Kansas

Kansas

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 201
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 64,448.60
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 3.12

1. New Mexico

New Mexico

  • 2017–2018 total distracted driving deaths: 273
  • 2017–2018 miles driven: 56,968.47
  • Distracted driving fatality rate (per billion miles traveled): 4.79

A veteran business journalist, Jeff Ostrowski writes for MoneyGeek and the Palm Beach Post in Florida. Ostrowski is proud to say he knows how to use a financial calculator to amortize a mortgage.