Kentucky Fatal Accident Study:

Kentucky’s Deadliest Roads and Fatal Accident Statistics

There were 2,052 fatal crashes in Kentucky between 2017 and 2019. MoneyGeek analyzed data about these accidents to determine which roads in Kentucky were deadliest and various factors contributing to these incidents.

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Last Updated: 4/29/2022
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MoneyGeek analyzed 2,052 fatal crashes that occurred in Kentucky between 2017 to 2019. Out of 166,971 miles of road in the state, our study examined 807 roads. Our analysis explored how various driving behaviors — such as distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving and winter weather — contributed to fatal crashes in Kentucky. We also broke down fatal accidents by month and county, including the deadliest road in each county.

Key Findings

  • US-25 from State Rd. Champ to Fariston Rd. is the deadliest stretch of road in Kentucky. From 2017 to 2019, nine fatal accidents occurred there.
  • 24% of fatal accidents were related to drunk driving, the most significant contributor in the state. Speeding contributed to 15% of accidents.
  • Distracted driving was involved in 18% of accidents. MoneyGeek ranked Kentucky as the third-worst state for distracted driving in our distracted driving study.
  • The month of August had the highest number of fatal accidents (209). July (202) and October (201) had the following two highest numbers of deadly crashes.
  • Jefferson County had more fatal accidents than any other county. Most of these occurred on US-31W.

10 Deadliest Road Stretches in Kentucky


  • DEADLIEST ROAD IN KENTUCKY
    US-25 from State Rd. Champ to Fariston Rd.
    London
    US-25 from State Rd. Champ to Fariston Rd.
    • Fatal Accidents:9
    • fatalities:9
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.9
    • distance:4.7 miles
  • SR-1747 from Shepherdsville Rd. to Paramount Park Dr.
    Louisville
    SR-1747 from Shepherdsville Rd. to Paramount Park Dr.
    • Fatal Accidents:9
    • fatalities:9
    • Crashes Per Mile:3.1
    • distance:2.9 miles
  • SR-1447 from N. Hurstbourne Pkwy. to Westport Terrace
    Louisville | Woodlawn Park | Saint Matthew
    SR-1447 from N. Hurstbourne Pkwy. to Westport Terrace
    • Fatal Accidents:8
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.2
    • distance:3.6 miles
  • US-25 from New Coleman Ln. to Spurr Rd.
    Lexington-Fayette | Lexington
    US-25 from New Coleman Ln. to Spurr Rd.
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.4
    • distance:4.9 miles
  • I-264 from River Park Dr. to Exit 8A
    Louisville | Shively
    I-264 from River Park Dr. to Exit 8A
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.5
    • distance:4.8 miles
  • US-31W from Argonne Ave. to Lower Hunters Trace
    Shively | Louisville
    US-31W from Argonne Ave. to Lower Hunters Trace
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:7
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.7
    • distance:4.1 miles
  • SR-1934 from Lower River Rd. to Smith Ln.
    Louisville
    SR-1934 from Lower River Rd. to Smith Ln.
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:7
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.6
    • distance:4.4 miles
  • SR-1865 from Palatka Rd. to Strader Ave.
    Louisville
    SR-1865 from Palatka Rd. to Strader Ave.
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:7
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.5
    • distance:2.8 miles
  • I-65 from Exit 71 to Exit 65
    Hart County
    I-65 from Exit 71 to Exit 65
    • Fatal Accidents:6
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.3
    • distance:4.5 miles
  • US-60 from Pisgah Pike to Frankfort St.
    Versailles
    US-60 from Pisgah Pike to Frankfort St.
    • Fatal Accidents:6
    • fatalities:6
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.3
    • distance:4.5 miles

Drunk Driving Involved in 24% of Fatal Accidents

Drunk driving was the top contributing factor in the state’s 2,052 fatal accidents. Between 2017 and 2019, 487 crashes in Kentucky involved drunk driving, surpassing the number of deadly crashes involving other factors like distracted driving, speeding and winter weather.

Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be at least 0.8 to be considered legally impaired in Kentucky. However, a BAC of .02 already diminishes your ability to drive, putting you and your passengers in danger.

There are considerable costs of drunk driving, even if they don't result in fatalities or accidents. Your license could be suspended, and you may even need to serve jail time. Having a driving under the influence (DUI) charge on your record also guarantees less affordable car insurance in Kentucky.

Speeding Is a Factor in 15% of Fatal Crashes

In Kentucky, there were 314 fatal crashes involving speeding between 2017 and 2019. That translates to roughly about 15% of all accidents in the state that resulted in death.

Driving above the legal speed limit has serious repercussions. Controlling your car becomes more challenging, and a sudden stop may not even be possible. Speeding also reduces the effectiveness of protective equipment inside and outside of your vehicle, meaning there’s a higher probability that it’ll lead to severe injuries or fatal crashes.

Distracted Driving Contributed to 18% of Fatal Accidents

From 2017 to 2019, 371 fatal accidents in Kentucky involved distracted driving — that’s 18% of crashes resulting in deaths.

While this factor didn’t contribute to as many deadly accidents as drunk driving, distracted driving is still a serious problem in Kentucky. MoneyGeek’s distracted driving study ranked Kentucky as the third-worst state in the country for distracted driving.

August Had More Fatal Accidents Than Any Other Month

MoneyGeek analyzed crash data based on when fatal crashes occurred and found that most deadly accidents happened in August. There were 209 fatal accidents recorded that month, translating to 10.2% of all crashes. July and October were the next-deadliest months, with 202 (9.8% and 201 (9.8%) accidents, respectively.

Average Fatal Accidents by Month
Month
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Winter Conditions
Speeding Related
% of Total

January

115

24

17

8

22

5.6%

February

153

32

31

1

29

7.5%

March

165

35

31

2

27

8.0%

April

154

44

28

2

26

7.5%

May

184

53

30

0

26

9.0%

June

171

33

31

0

26

8.3%

July

202

62

24

0

28

9.8%

August

209

48

59

0

35

10.2%

September

192

46

39

0

29

9.4%

October

201

45

35

0

24

9.8%

November

158

31

26

3

20

7.7%

December

148

34

20

2

22

7.2%

Driving Safely Protects You, Others and Your Wallet

Practicing safe driving behaviors doesn’t just help make Kentucky roadways safe for all drivers — it also allows you to save money in the long term. Getting into an accident is expensive, even if it doesn’t result in a fatality. Carrying an affordable full coverage car insurance policy provides you and your loved ones with financial protection in the event of a crash.

The average cost of full coverage car insurance in Kentucky is $1,405, but it may vary depending on where you live. For example, car insurance in Louisville, the state’s most populous city, costs an average of $1,610 per year. In comparison, auto insurance coverage in Lexington costs $1,201 annually. That’s a difference of $409.

Remember that these rates are only averages. Your premium may vary depending on your unique driver profile. When determining your premiums, insurers will factor in your age, driving history, and car model. Comparing car insurance quotes from multiple providers can help you find the cheapest rate available.

Fatal Accidents and Most Dangerous Roads: County Breakdown

The five counties in Kentucky with the highest number of fatal crashes contributed 493 incidents. That’s nearly one-quarter of all fatal accidents in the state.

From 2017 to 2019, 268 fatal crashes occurred in Jefferson County, making it the county with the most accidents resulting in deaths. Most of these happened on the US-31W and involved speeding (49) and drunk driving (65).

Fatal Accidents and Contributing Factors By County
County
Fatalities
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Speeding Related
Most Deadly Road (Fatal Accidents)

Jefferson

280

268

65

33

49

US-31W (19)

Fayette

100

89

27

6

18

US-25 (13)

Warren

55

47

12

2

7

I-65 (10)

Hardin

53

46

9

12

6

US-31W (9)

Laurel

47

43

13

11

6

US-25 (10)

Pike

46

42

10

10

9

US-23 (8)

Kenton

42

37

10

5

6

I-75 (5)

Boone

39

36

12

6

7

US-25 (5)

Christian

42

35

6

7

5

SR-9004 (5)

Pulaski

37

33

11

5

6

US-27 (6)

Bullitt

33

33

10

8

6

SR-44 (8)

Graves

31

31

4

7

3

US-45 (5)

Grayson

31

30

6

10

1

SR-9001 (6)

Nelson

37

30

5

5

4

SR-9002 (7)

Mccracken

34

30

6

5

8

US-60 (7)

Daviess

29

29

10

9

9

US-60 (7)

Floyd

28

27

1

6

5

US-23 (10)

Perry

29

26

6

3

1

SR-15 (6)

Muhlenberg

27

25

3

7

1

US-431 (7)

Campbell

31

24

7

4

4

US-27 (7)

Madison

25

24

8

4

5

I-75 (6)

Clark

25

24

3

4

5

I-64 (7)

Marshall

24

23

4

6

5

US-68 (6)

Barren

24

23

5

2

3

US-68 (7)

Meade

23

21

9

6

1

SR-79 (2)

Whitley

22

21

6

7

5

I-75 (4)

Oldham

22

20

2

3

3

I-71 (6)

Scott

19

19

3

3

2

I-75 (3)

Montgomery

19

19

3

2

7

US-460 (6)

Lawrence

21

19

6

4

2

US-23 (7)

Allen

18

18

5

3

1

SR-101 (4)

Bourbon

19

18

7

2

2

US-27 (4)

Knox

18

18

3

5

3

US-25E (3)

Letcher

19

18

5

2

0

US-119 (4)

Lincoln

20

17

4

5

3

US-150 (5)

Jessamine

17

16

2

3

2

SR-169 (4)

Henderson

16

16

1

5

3

US-41 (4)

Hart

18

16

2

2

3

I-65 (9)

Hopkins

18

16

2

2

4

I-69 (3)

Rockcastle

18

16

4

1

2

I-75 (8)

Franklin

20

16

4

7

2

I-64 (6)

Shelby

17

16

3

1

1

I-64 (4)

Lewis

18

16

5

3

1

SR-8 (4)

Taylor

19

16

1

6

5

SR-70 (5)

Breathitt

17

16

6

3

1

SR-15 (4)

Ohio

15

15

3

1

2

US-62 (3)

Carter

15

15

3

0

3

US-60 (5)

Jackson

16

14

1

6

1

US-421 (7)

Trigg

16

14

4

5

4

US-68 (7)

Logan

17

14

3

4

2

US-68 (7)

Boyle

14

14

5

4

2

US-150 (3)

Bell

18

14

2

1

3

US-25E (4)

Mercer

15

14

4

3

1

US-127 (5)

Woodford

14

13

3

4

1

US-60 (6)

Mccreary

15

13

2

4

1

US-27 (8)

Calloway

12

12

2

4

1

SR-121 (2)

Wolfe

14

12

2

1

2

SR-15 (3)

Greenup

14

12

2

2

0

US-23 (4)

Boyd

13

12

6

1

2

US-60 (4)

Marion

15

12

3

1

2

SR-527 (2)

Rowan

13

12

2

2

1

SR-32 (6)

Owen

14

11

4

2

1

SR-22 (2)

Breckinridge

11

11

2

4

0

US-60 (4)

Butler

11

11

3

3

1

SR-70 (3)

Clay

11

11

4

0

0

US-421 (4)

Gallatin

12

11

1

1

2

US-42 (4)

Magoffin

10

10

6

0

3

SR-40 (3)

Powell

12

10

2

4

0

SR-9000 (3)

Johnson

11

10

0

0

1

US-23 (4)

Mason

11

10

1

2

3

SR-8 (2)

Anderson

11

10

3

1

1

US-127 (3)

Crittenden

9

9

1

2

0

US-60 (4)

Clinton

9

9

0

2

1

US-127 (4)

Spencer

10

9

3

4

1

SR-155 (3)

Nicholas

9

9

1

4

2

US-68 (4)

Grant

9

9

2

1

0

US-25 (4)

Pendleton

10

8

1

2

0

US-27 (4)

Simpson

8

8

3

2

1

US-31W (2)

Russell

8

8

3

1

0

US-127 (2)

Washington

9

8

2

1

2

SR-55 (3)

Adair

9

8

3

1

2

SR-80 (2)

Mclean

9

8

3

2

1

SR-81 (2)

Harlan

8

8

0

2

1

SR-38 (3)

Carroll

8

8

0

1

1

I-71 (4)

Casey

8

8

5

0

2

US-127 (2)

Estill

8

8

1

1

0

SR-82 (4)

Ballard

8

7

2

1

1

SR-286 (2)

Union

9

7

3

1

2

US-60 (4)

Carlisle

7

7

1

1

1

US-51 (3)

Todd

9

7

2

0

0

Cr- Mt Sharon Rd (1)

Cumberland

9

7

1

3

1

SR-90 (4)

Elliott

7

7

5

1

1

SR-7 (4)

Garrard

8

7

4

3

1

US-27 (5)

Green

7

7

1

0

0

SR-61 (3)

Knott

7

7

3

1

1

SR-80 (2)

Larue

9

7

3

1

2

SR-210 (3)

Harrison

7

6

2

2

0

Cr- 279 Blackburn Rd (1)

Edmonson

8

6

1

2

2

Cr-Henry Meredith Rd (1)

Bath

6

6

2

0

1

I-64 (2)

Webster

11

6

0

1

1

SR-138 (2)

Wayne

6

6

2

1

1

SR-90 (2)

Lyon

8

6

1

2

1

I-24 (3)

Leslie

7

6

1

0

1

SR-9006 (2)

Fulton

6

6

2

0

3

US-51 (2)

Menifee

7

6

2

0

1

SR-1274 (2)

Henry

6

6

1

2

0

I-71 (2)

Hancock

7

6

1

1

0

US-60 (2)

Fleming

5

5

1

1

0

SR-11 (1)

Livingston

5

5

0

1

1

SR-453 (2)

Trimble

5

5

2

2

3

US-421 (2)

Metcalfe

5

5

0

1

0

SR-9008 (2)

Bracken

5

5

2

1

2

SR-10 (1)

Martin

5

5

1

1

0

SR-3 (2)

Morgan

5

5

2

1

0

US-460 (2)

Caldwell

4

4

0

0

1

Baldwin Ave (1)

Hickman

4

4

1

0

0

SR-1826 (1)

Owsley

3

3

1

0

0

SR-30 (2)

Monroe

3

3

0

2

0

SR-1366 (1)

Lee

2

2

0

0

0

SR-52 (2)

Methodology

Using 2017, 2018 and 2019’s fatality data, MoneyGeek analyzed information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) database. Currently, 2019 is the latest data available in the system.

About the Author


expert-profile

Doug Milnes is the head of marketing and communications at MoneyGeek. He has spent more than a decade in corporate finance performing valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies including OpenTable. He holds a master’s degree in Predictive Analytics (Data Science) from Northwestern University and is a CFA charter holder. Doug geeks out on building financial and predictive models and using data to make informed decisions.


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