No place is safe with drunk drivers on the road, but statistics show that some places are more dangerous than others.
According to a study by CarInsuranceComparison.com, the world’s best place to compare car insurance, nearly 29 million admitted to driving under the influence in the United States in 2013. Every day another 27 people die in drunk-driving crashes nationally.
The report ranked states by percentage of fatalities per 1 million people, DUI arrests, and other factors, and the results are surprising. Here are the three most dangerous states for drunk driving and related laws:
3. North Dakota
For the second year in a row, North Dakota ranked in the top three most dangerous states based on the matrix. It ranked second in DUI arrests and cost per fatality, pushing its score up to the top tier.
With a nickname like the “Peace Garden State,” it is troubling that North Dakota was number one on the list last year. The study explained that its methodology, which includes factors such as DUI penalties and drunk-driving laws, is intended to show where “you’re most likely to run into a drunk driver.”
Holding steady at the second spot, Wisconsin continues to rank high in the annual report. Its fatality rate is an ominous number 3 among all states, while its cost per fatality ranks significantly lower.
On balance, the Badger State is doing its part to fight drunk-driving with laws and education. The state Department of Transportation admits the problem is prevalent, but promotes it campaign for Zero in Wisconsin with advertising and an app.
Jumping up to the most dangerous state for drunk driving in 2016, Hawaii was number 14 on the list in 2015. But a rash of crashes on the Big Island may have skewed the statistics.
Police reported 27 fatal crashes — 19 involving impairment — there in 2016, almost twice the number from the previous year. On an island with with about 180,000 people, it made a big difference in the Aloha State.
The insurance report noted that Utah did not make its top ten list this year, but is trying to lower its blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05. That would be the lowest limit in America, and would probably increase its DUI convictions.