CARSON CITY – It probably comes as no surprise to many Nevada motorists that the state is ranked in the Top 10 as one of the most dangerous in which to drive.
Nevada rounded out the top 10 states for dangerous driving with 1.56 fatalities for every 100 million miles driven, according to the report by carinsurancecomparison.com.
The online company, which recently reported on the top 10 most dangerous states to drive in, noted that the large volume of tourism in the state, particularly in Las Vegas, was a factor in the state’s high ranking.
Las Vegas saw nearly 39 million visitors in 2011, according to data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Tops was Montana at 2.12 fatalities for every 100 million miles driven. Massachusetts had the fewest fatalities.
The data came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which looks at fatalities and accidents on the roads and issues the state-by-state a report card.
The vast majority of states actually saw a drop in fatalities, with even the worst offenders seeing at least a tiny drop. According to The U.S. Census Bureau report of traffic fatalities by state, there has been a noticeable decrease in deaths per 100 million miles driven from 1990 to 2009.
The NHTSA reported in May that traffic fatalities on U.S. roads in 2011 fell to their lowest level since federal safety regulators started counting in 1949. The rate of fatalities per 100 million miles driven in the U.S. last year was 1.09, down from 1.11 in 2010 and down from 1.46 in 2005, the NHTSA said.
Unfortunately Nevada may move up in the rankings this year. Preliminary numbers reported in April showed that 57 traffic fatalities occurred on Nevada roads in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 11 deaths over the same time last year.
“One death on Nevada roads is absolutely too many, and we are working together to reach zero fatalities,” Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) Director Susan Martinovich said. “Safety stakeholders across the state are implementing strategies to save lives. But, traffic safety ultimately relies on each and every driver.”
Overall, Nevada traffic fatalities dropped to 246 in 2011 after reaching an all-time high of 432 in 2006 when the Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan was developed. The plan brings Nevada traffic and safety advocates together to implement strategies for cutting the yearly traffic fatality average in half by 2030, with the ultimate goal of zero traffic deaths on Nevada roads.