Oklahoma One of Ten Most Dangerous Driving States
If you’re driving the roadways of Oklahoma, your odds of dying in a car crash are greater than if you’re traveling in Washington, D.C., or Massachusetts.
A recent study by Michael Sivak, a researcher at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, found that Southern and Great Plains states have the most dangerous roads in the nation, according to an autos.aol.com article.
Oklahoma ranked among the 10 states where motorists are at the greatest risk of a fatal accident, according to an analysis of both deaths per miles travelled and by population. Other dangerous driving states included Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia, South Carolina and Montana. The statistics showed that Massachusetts and the nation’s capital city are the safest in terms of deaths per miles traveled and by population.
Overall, the nation’s roads are safer than they were just a decade ago, with traffic-accident deaths declining 23 percent in the last seven years of statistical reporting.
In line with that trend, figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show roadway fatalities in Oklahoma have decreased from 750 in 2008 to 708 in 2012.
But Oklahoma roads remain particularly dangerous.
When fatalities were measured in terms of a state’s population size, Oklahoma had 18.56 deaths per 100,000 people. That was nearly double the national average of 10.69 deaths per 100,000 people. By comparison, the District of Columbia reported a death rate of 2.4 per 100,000 people and Massachusetts only 5.3.
Oklahoma totaled 14.79 deaths per 1 billion miles traveled—43rd among the 50 states. The national average was 11.3 deaths per billion miles traveled. Washington, D.C., had 4.2 deaths per 1 billion miles traveled and Massachusetts 6.24 per 1 billion miles traveled.
The study noted that among the variables that may affect fatalities rates are speed limits, topography, urban vs. rural roads, age distribution of drivers and alcohol-enforcement policies.
Even though fewer miles are traveled on rural roads than on urban streets and highways, 54 percent of traffic deaths took place on rural roads in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Oklahoma has a lot of rural roads.
High-speed crashes are more likely on rural roads, and can cause greater damage. Alcohol use on rural roads can be more likely, as well, along with reduced visibility and drowsy driving. The response time of ambulances and emergency personnel can be longer, too, in rural areas than in urban.
One of Oklahoma’s biggest problems from a highway safety standpoint could be the fact that I-40 runs through its midst, linking the West and East Coasts. Large tractor trailers and vehicles battle for position on the interstate as they cross the country.
Many accidents are preventable. When more motorists obey the speed limit, avoid driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs, put away cell phones and look out for other motorists, Oklahoma’s roads will be safer for all motorists.
If you are involved in a wreck, contact an experienced car-crash attorney who can help you determine if you are eligible to file a personal-injury claim. You could be due compensation to pay for damages, mental anguish and injuries, and you’ll need help navigating the legal system.
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