New Mexico Ranked as Worst State for Distracted Driving



Here are the major causes of distracted driving accidents, according to stats from NHTSA. - Graphic: Zutobi

Here are the major causes of distracted driving accidents, according to stats from NHTSA.


Zutobi, an online driver education resource, ranked each state from best to worst when it comes to distracted driving. The company looked at the latest numbers to identify the major causes of distracted driving, what the trends look like through recent years, and which states have the greatest distracted driving issues and the highest number of fatal road accidents.

Five percent of all drivers involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2022 were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Distracted driving occurs when the operator of the vehicle is trying to do something else besides driving. Since the driver’s attention is divided, distracted driving will boost the chance of a car accident or fatal crash. The most common driver distractions include other passengers in the vehicle, using a cell phone, adjusting audio or climate controls, eating or drinking, smoking, and daydreaming.

Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

Distracted driving continues to be a big reason for traffic accidents in the U.S., making up 8 percent of total fatal crashes. During 2022, 3,308 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, which represented a 6 percent decrease from 3,522 deaths in 2021, according to NHTSA. During the last five years, roughly 15,961 people have been killed because of distracted driving.

Men are nearly three times as likely to be involved in a fatal distracted driving accident compared to women. Male drivers were distracted in 2,201 fatal crashes in 2022, whereas women drivers were distracted in 844 fatal crashes during the same period. In addition, about 20 percent of distracted drivers were between the ages of 15 and 24.

Distracted Driving Stats by States

For the third year in a row, New Mexico has the highest distracted driving crude rate in the country. According to statistics by NHTSA, New Mexico reported 169 distracted driving crashes in 2022. The state reported 12.52 distracted driving deaths for every 100,000 drivers, and 40 percent of all fatal crashes in the state were due to distracted driving.

The second-highest distracted driving rate goes to Kansas, followed by New Jersey, Louisiana, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































State Total deaths in fatal crashes due to distracted driving Distracted driving deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers Percentage of fatal crashes involving distracted driving  Distracted driving crude rate
New Mexico 185 12.52 39.86% 100.0
Kansas 110 5.26 24.18% 51.35
New Jersey 183 2.83 26.48% 44.53
Louisiana 157 4.57 16.90% 39.44
Kentucky 128 4.29 17.46% 39.06
Hawaii 25 2.72 20.72% 36.88
Idaho 35 2.61 15.46% 29.80
Texas 495 2.71 11.09% 24.72
Washington 97 1.65 13.46% 23.48
Wyoming 12 2.79 8.47% 21.76

 

The states with the lowest distracted driving crude rate included: Connecticut, Mississippi, Alaska, Nevada, North Carolina, California, Minnesota, South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire. Rhode Island had the lowest rate at 0% and zero deaths in fatal crashes due to distracted driving.






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































State Total deaths in fatal crashes due to distracted driving Distracted driving deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers Percentage of fatal crashes involving distracted driving  Distracted driving crude rate
New Hampshire 6 0.51 4.38% 7.53
Iowa 13 0.55 4.23% 7.53
South Carolina 33 0.83 3.14% 7.24
Minnesota 18 0.43 4.31% 7.14
California 148 0.55 3.38% 6.42
North Carolina 49 0.63 3.07% 6.37
Nevada 11 0.51 2.87% 5.65
Alaska 2 0.39 2.67% 4.88
Mississippi 12 0.59 1.86% 4.69
Connecticut 8 0.31 2.46% 4.31

 

The large difference in distracted driving crashes could, in part, be attributed to different state guidelines on reporting distracted driving accidents. Additionally, it could be a result of work by local governments on tackling distracted driving through anti-text laws, awareness campaigns, and more.



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