Though many people have heard about the political and cultural differences that exist between those in red states and blue states, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, there may also be traffic safety differences. According to a website that recently went online, red states have significantly higher fatal traffic accident rates than blue states.
Though some people may dive into this data and try and extract a political reason for the difference, most experts agree that the difference is simply geography. Many red states have higher speed limits than blue states given the increased percentage of open, rural roadways as opposed to dense, urban population centers. Moreover, red states often see drivers having to travel longer distances and go further to find a hospital or emergency services. Blue state residents are also more apt to use public transportation, thus further dropping their chance of being killed on the road.
In fact, public transportation usage dramatically drops the rate of road fatalities, so much so that many people have used the statistics to argue for an increase in government spending on rail projects. Nearly all of the least fatal states have comprehensive public transportation systems which keep residents from driving much of the time. It’s interesting to view traffic fatalities as a political issue, and the website FairWarning.org, which was created to deal with consumer safety issues, has used the data as a springboard for a larger conversation.
The site revealed that the 10 highest death rates, per 100,000 people, occurred in states that voted for Mitt Romney in the recent election (including Alabama). Even more surprising is that fully 17 out of the 18 deadliest traffic accident states voted Republican in 2012. The 10 states with the highest traffic death rates per 100,000 population are: Wyoming, Mississippi, Arkansas, Montana, Alabama, Oklahoma, Kentucky, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.
Nine out of the 10 states with the least traffic fatalities per capital voted for President Obama in 2012. These include: the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Washington, Illinois, California, Minnesota and Alaska.
The gap between the best and the worst states is stark. Wyoming saw 27.46 deaths per 100,000. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the District of Columbia had only 3.97 deaths per 100,000, only one-seventh the rate of fatal accidents as Wyoming.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and are in need of the assistance of an experienced Huntsville car wreck lawyer, please contact one of Martinson & Beason’s skilled Alabama auto accident lawyers today.
Source: “Red states have more traffic fatalities than blue ones, but why?,” by James Rainey, published at LATimes.com.