Kentucky has some of the best roads in the country but is one of the most dangerous states to operate a motor vehicle in, according to a report released in August 2023 by a legal and medical referral company. After scrutinizing census data, information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and road surface ratings from the Federal Highway Administration, the researchers concluded that Kentucky’s roads were the eight best and yet sixth most dangerous in the nation.
Kentucky traffic accident statistics
The 2021 Traffic Collision Facts report from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet supports these findings. It reveals that one in every 22 Kentucky drivers was involved in a motor vehicle accident in 2021, one in 150 Kentucky residents was injured in a crash and one in every 5,526 Kentucky residents died on the state’s roads. The number of traffic fatalities in the Bluegrass State rose from 780 in 2020 to 806 in 2021, which is the highest annual car accident death toll since 834 road users died in 2016.
While the rise in road deaths in Kentucky was worrying in 2021, the figures from the rest of the country are even more grim. According to NHTSA, traffic accident fatalities across the country rose by an alarming 10.5% to 42,915. Experts believe that the increase in road fatalities in 2021 was caused by a surge in reckless behavior. Speeding, drunk driving and not buckling up may not be as dangerous in Kentucky as they are in other parts of the country because the roads in the Bluegrass State are in good condition. According to the USA’s Most Dangerous Roads report, only 3.22% of Kentucky’s road surfaces are rough enough to be considered poor.
Dangerous driving and poor roads
Traffic accident deaths rose in Kentucky in 2021, but the increase was even more pronounced in other parts of the country according to official data. Experts believe that a rise in dangerous driving is likely responsible for the higher traffic accident death toll, but bad driving habits may not be as deadly in Kentucky because the roads in the Bluegrass State are well maintained.