Not all states are the same when it comes to deaths from driving under the influence.
Drunk driving poses a very real danger – around the world, and in the United States. But as with most things, not all states are equal in this matter.
Based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safewise has revealed the states in our union that have the highest and lowest rates of death by impaired driving. And the figures are startling: while one state had just 1.38 deaths per 100,000 people from drunk driving, the bottom had five and a half that number.
The worst state for drunk-driving deaths was Wyoming, which recorded 7.59 deaths per 100,000 people due to impaired motor-vehicle operation. South Carolina was next with 6.22, followed by North Dakota (6.08), New Mexico (5.74), and Alabama (5.49). At the opposite end of the spectrum, New Jersey took pride of place with 1.38 deaths per 100,000 people. Just across the river, New York followed with 1.48, joined in the Top Five by Minnesota (1.52), Utah (1.70) and Massachusets (1.74).
So what makes one state more dangerous in this regard than others? The answer may come down to the local laws and how they're enforced.
SafeWise notes that 80 percent of those worst-ranked states have no minimum jail time for first-time offenders. And the same proportion mandate no alcohol-abuse assessment for a DUI conviction.
What's particularly intriguing is how much these figures can change. Wyoming ranked eighth worst last year and now stands as the worst. Montana, meanwhile, was worst last year, but now ranks in 27th place. These figures are based on 2017 statistics, so it'll be interesting to see how they'll have changed over the course of the year now drawing to a close.