You might not guess it with some jerk doing the “Jersey slide” in front of you to exit the Turnpike from the left lane, but New Jersey, at least according to one study, is one of the safest states in which to drive. So, disregard the SUV with the Pennsylvania plates doing 45 in the left lane and enjoy the fact that only two states are safer.

This information comes from and they looked at the NHTSA’s most recently released data and used analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to find out the most dangerous states for driving. New Jersey ranks #48, making us one of the safest states.

Why does New Jersey rank so well? Here’s what gleaned:

– Fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles: 0.73 (-66% change since 1975)
– Total fatalities: 564 (-46.0% change since 1975)
– Percent of fatalities related to speeding: 20.2% (#41 highest of all states)
– Percent of fatalities with a driver over .08 BAC: 22.2% (#45 highest of all states)
– Deaths by road user type: 54.2% car, 26.1% light trucks, 3.5% large trucks, 14.3% motorcycles, 1.9% other or unknown

Some of the factors that may have contributed to New Jersey’s ranking include: “New Jersey’s seat belt use is just above the national average at 88%. The state prohibited handheld or hands-free use of phones and has one of the country’s strictest graduated license laws, which imposes restrictions on when a new driver can be on the road, and limits how many passengers he or she can have.”

Our neighbors in New York rank 46th, and Pennsylvania is the 22nd most dangerous state. The only two states safer than New Jersey are Minnesota (#49) and, reputation be damned, Massachusetts (#50).

So, what are the most dangerous states for driving? The absolute worst was determined to be South Carolina, followed by Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona, and West Virginia.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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