• The National Safety Council found that vehicle fatalities per mile driven increased by 14% compared to March 2019.
  • Consumer Federation of America estimates a 50% drop in insurance claims during stay-at-home orders.
  • Open roads are leading to over 50% increase in highway speeding, making roads more lethal during stay-at-home orders.
  • QuoteWizard data shows Maine, California and South Carolina are the most accident-prone drivers in the country.
  • Hawaii, South Carolina and Delaware are considered to be the most lead-footed drivers in the country.

Stay-at-home orders around the country due to COVID-19 are clearing roads for drivers. Fewer drivers on the road is leading to a drastic drop in car accidents. The math is simple: fewer cars on the road means fewer car accidents. The Consumer Federation of America estimates a 50% drop in car insurance claims during shelter-in-place orders. Fewer car accidents are occurring during the pandemic, but there is evidence that roads are becoming more dangerous.

The National Safety Council found a 14% increase in vehicle fatalities per mile driven from March 2019 to March 2020. The total number of accidents has dropped around the country because people are driving less miles on the road. However, this increase in fatalities per mile driven indicates roads have become more deadly during COVID-19.

Why have roads become more deadly? Less traffic on the roads has given drivers the opportunity to go faster than usual. INRIX estimates a 50% increase in highway speeds around the country during stay-at-home orders. Drivers are speeding on open roads, which is leading to more severe car accidents. The 14% increase in fatalities per mile driven is the likely indicator that drivers are being more reckless on the open roads and therefore causing more severe accidents. A Washington Post article highlights a number of high-speed-related accidents across the country during stay-at-home orders.

We here at QuoteWizard wanted to see which states could have the most dangerous roads during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. To determine the states with the most dangerous roads, we analyzed driver history from insurance quote data to see which states are most accident prone and which states are most lead footed. Rankings determine the top 25 states with the highest rates of car accidents (accident prone) and highest rates of speeding tickets (lead footed).

We chose to look at the most accident-prone and lead-footed states because these driving behaviors can be amplified during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. States that are considered most accident prone could actually benefit from stay-at-home orders with fewer overall car accidents in places that typically see high rates of accidents.

On the flip side, states considered most lead footed could see more dangerous road conditions, with drivers stepping harder on the gas. As we see more speeding occur, we also see a higher rate of road fatalities per mile driven. The 14% increase in fatalities could be the best indicator of dangerous speeding in the country. What’s more is we see states on both our accident-prone and lead-footed rankings — Maine, South Carolina and Washington, for example, all appear near the top of both rankings. Having 15 states overlap on each ranking means we could see a third of states with drivers who tend to get in more accidents and love to speed, making the roads in those states significantly more dangerous.

Most accident prone states

Accident Rank State
1 Maine
2 California
3 South Carolina
4 Nebraska
5 Maryland
6 Georgia
7 Washington
8 Utah
9 Ohio
10 Vermont
11 Minnesota
12 New Jersey
13 North Carolina
14 Oregon
15 Virginia
16 Louisiana
17 Massachusetts
18 Connecticut
19 Idaho
20 Texas
21 New York
22 Iowa
23 New Hampshire
24 Tennessee
25 Indiana

Most lead footed states

Speeding Rank State
1 Hawaii
2 South Carolina
3 Delaware
4 Vermont
5 Idaho
6 Kansas
7 Wisconsin
8 Washington
9 Wyoming
10 Utah
11 New Hampshire
12 Ohio
13 Maine
14 Oregon
15 Minnesota
16 Virginia
17 Nebraska
18 Tennessee
19 Colorado
20 Missouri
21 Maryland
22 Alabama
23 North Carolina
24 North Dakota
25 South Dakota