It is interesting to take a look at traffic crash death numbers for Maryland and the District of Columbia as compared to other states. As we have observed in the past, the District of Columbia is the safest place to drive in the United States. A review of FARS numbers (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) for 2010 reflects 24 fatal crashes and the lowest rate of traffic deaths per resident.
It is somewhat ironic therefore that an insurance industry study indicated that the District was the most traffic accident happy place in the country. So which is it? The bottom line is that the frequency of claims per capita is totally different from frequency of deaths per capita. The insurance industry is manifestly unhappy that D.C. accidents result in claims but they underreport the fact that the claims themselves are vastly less likely to be for wrongful death or serious injury.
Maryland also makes a strong appearance finishing with a rank of the state with the 13th fewest traffic crash deaths overall per capita with a 2010 total of 461. Maryland's incidence of crash fatalities is about 8.5% per 100,000 residents. The District, less than half of that number. How does that stack up with Wyoming, the deadliest state per capita? Wyoming residents experienced 27.48% traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents or almost 7 times the rate in the District and 3 times the rate in Maryland.
Peering further behind the numbers it is clear that the mountain West and the South are runaway leaders in traffic fatality rates with West coast and Northeast corridor the safest. Alcohol connections to crash deaths are particularly prominent in South Carolina, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota and Mississippi. In fact a review of the traffic fatality rates by state oddly reflect red state vs. blue state. 9 of the top 10 states for traffic crash deaths were Republican strongholds and 13 of the top 15. The 9 safest states or jurisdictions, all Democratic bastions.