Analyzing the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), business litigation and personal injury lawyers at Heninger Garrison Davis found that New Mexico has the highest rate of fatal crashes involving distracted drivers at 40.75%. With 174 out of 427 of traffic fatalities involving a distracted driver, New Mexico's proportion of fatal crashes involving distracted driving is more than five times greater than the national rate of 8.12% observed across U.S.
Unsurprisingly, the most common reported distractions nationwide were mobile phone related (384 cases), followed by being distracted by an outside person, object or event (267 cases), and being distracted by other occupants in the vehicle (151 cases).
Hawaii has the second most fatal crashes involving a distracted driver, with 28.72%, or 27 out of 94 total fatal crashes. This proportion of fatal crashes is more than three and a half times the national rate for crashes involving distracted drivers.
Kansas is third for fatal crashes involving drivers reported to be distracted, with 81 of its 381 total fatal crashes involving a distracted driver, a value of 21.26%. This is over two and a half times the national rate of 8.12%.
Louisiana, at 19.5%, has the fourth highest rate of fatal crashes involving distracted drivers. With 173 of its 887 total fatal crashes involving a distracted driver, Louisiana is 2.4 times higher than the national rate.
New Jersey’s sees 129 out of 669 fatal crashes involving a distracted driver, making it the fifth highest in the U.S., at a rate of 19.28%. This is more than 2.3 times the national rate for fatal crashes involving distracted drivers.
The remainder of the top ten states includes Washington (16.75%); Illinois (16.36%); Kentucky (16.35%); Virginia; (11.81%); and Idaho (10.66%).
Vermont and Alaska hold distinction as the lone states where zero traffic fatalities were attributed to distracted driving.