New research by 1-800 Injured shows that Tennessee roads rank as some of the most dangerous in the country. For the study, states were ranked based on an index of fatality rates per 100,000 people, per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, and per 100,000 licensed drivers to determine a “Road Danger Rating”.

Tennessee’s Road Danger Rating came in at 8.23 and ranked 9th out of 30 states used in the study.

The three states with the most dangerous roads, according to the study, are Mississippi (9.93 Road Danger Rating), Arkansas (9.59 Road Danger Rating), and South Carolina (9.59 Road Danger Rating).

The five other states that ranked higher than Tennessee with the most dangerous roads include Montana (9.12 Road Danger Rating), New Mexico (8.98 Road Danger Rating), Kentucky (8.71 Road Danger Rating), Louisiana (8.64 Road Danger Rating), and Wyoming (8.44 Road Danger Rating).

Tennessee also ranked 9th in a separate section of the study that focused on road fatalities per 100,000 people. Compared to its 2020 population of 6,910,840, there were 1,217 motor vehicle fatalities in the same year, giving the Volunteer State a fatality rate of 17.61.

Mississippi has the highest road fatality rate compared to its population, with 25.39 deaths per 100,000 people. In second place is Wyoming, where there are as many as 22.02 deaths per 100,000 people in the state. Arkansas had the third-highest number of road deaths compared to population, with 21.19 fatalities per 100,000 people.

Meanwhile, Tennessee ranked 11th in another section of the study that focused on road fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled and 9th in a section that focused on road fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers.

In addition, Tennessee ranked 24th in a section comparing states by worst road quality.

According to the Tennessee Traffic Fatalities Report by the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there were 1,327 total traffic fatalities throughout the state in 2021.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Tennessee Mountain Highway” by Brent Moore. CC BY-NC 2.0.