April 20, 2024 12:07 pm

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New data reveals the worst states for multiple-vehicle crashes – Washington ranks first

A new study has revealed in which states drivers are most likely to be involved in fatal road crashes with three or more vehicles – with Washington ranking top.

The study, conducted by Florida personal injury lawyers Anidjar & Levine, analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash data from the last five years, to identify the states where multiple-vehicle crashes make up the highest proportion of overall fatal crashes.  

There are many reasons why a crash takes place between more than two vehicles, including a chain reaction whereby an initial collision triggers a series of accidents, poor weather conditions making the road dangerous for multiple drivers, and unsafe lane changes.    

And the study revealed that Washington has the highest percentage of fatal car crashes involving multiple vehicles, reporting over 240 crashes involving three or more vehicles. This equates to 9.1% of the state’s total crashes – which is 22% higher than the national average (7.4%).  

Following Washington as the second-most dangerous state for multiple-vehicle crashes is Utah, as 8.9% of the state’s total 1,258 fatal crashes involve several vehicles. 

California was found to be the third-most dangerous area, with over 1.5k deadly incidents involving more than two vehicles. This equates to 8.4% of the state’s total fatal accidents. 

The fourth most dangerous state is Florida, with multiple-vehicle incidents making up 8.3% of total fatal road collisions. Following behind is Georgia, also with a fatal multiple-vehicle crash rate of8.3% – which is more than a tenth higher (12.3%) than the national average. 

Top 10 most dangerous states for multiple-vehicle crashes

State Fatal Crashes
More Than
Two Vehicles
Total Fatal
Proportion of
Washington 243 2,679 9.07%
Utah 112 1,258 8.90%
California 1,514 18,137 8.35%
Florida 1,277 15,342 8.32%
Georgia 615 7,413 8.30%
Colorado 240 2,945 8.15%
Arizona 388 4,772 8.13%
Nevada 125 1,545 8.09%
Maryland 207 2,567 8.06%
Texas 1,406 17,549 8.01%

On the opposite end of the scale, the state with the lowest proportion of fatal multiple-vehicle crashes is Montana, which has a rate of 1.9%, which is 74% below the national average.  

Following Montana, South Dakota had a percentage of 3.2%, while Mississippi ranks in third place with 4.9% of total fatal crashes involving more than two vehicles – which is still a third (34%) below the national average. 

Top 10 least dangerous states for multiple-vehicle crashes

State Fatal Crashes
More Than
Two Vehicles
Total Fatal
Proportion of
Montana 17 914 1.86%
South Dakota 18 572 3.15%
Mississippi 154 3,167 4.86%
Iowa 77 1,544 4.99%
North Dakota 24 473 5.07%
Minnesota 96 1,843 5.21%
Wyoming 29 541 5.36%
Hawaii 27 483 5.59%
New York 269 4,785 5.62%
Wisconsin 156 2,746 5.68%

Speaking on how to keep yourself safe from such accidents, a Anidjar & Levine spokesperson says: “Accidents can happen all year round, but over the festive period the roads can be more dangerous, as drivers contend with poor weather conditions and increased traffic congestion.  

“Ensuring you drive carefully and vigilantly is key to avoiding any accidents. Navigating the road is a shared responsibility, and making yourself aware of other drivers and road hazards is important – especially during stressful times like rush hour. 

“Perform regular maintenance checks, from tire pressure to brake health, and you could save yourself from an accident. Treat your vehicle with the care it needs, and you’ll be proactive in maintaining safety on the road. Also, make sure to always keep your eyes on the road.” 

SOURCE: All data was compiled by researchers at https://www.anidjarlevine.com/ and was sourced from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Motor Vehicle Crash data, between 2017-2021: https://www.nhtsa.gov/data.


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