Competition between the states can be fun. Ranking the states by things like best pizza or prettiest national parks is harmless fun and a way for readers to learn more about the country.
Then there are more serious state-by-state rankings — ones you would not want your home state to appear at the top of. Unfortunately, a study ranking the U.S. states by how safe and pleasant it is to drive in them placed Missouri in the 6th-worst slot.
One of the lowest-rank states for driving
The study was conducted by the website WalletHub based on factors related to road quality, the number of fatalities in traffic accidents, and how much average precipitation falls each year. The study also considered things not directly related to auto accident risk, such as gas prices and the rate of car thefts.
Overall, WalletHub ranked Missouri 45th, better than just five states. Among other things, the study criticized Missouri’s infrastructure and traffic congestion. Meanwhile, neighboring states Kansas and Oklahoma both made the top ten.
Connection to car accident danger
Many of the factors considered in the study have little impact on the risk of car crashes. But a poorly maintained infrastructure, such as poorly lit or overly narrow roads, can contribute to collisions. So can traffic congestion. Traffic jams can lead to rear-end accidents when drivers speed or drive while distracted.
A well-maintained road system that can handle the population’s demands can reduce fatalities and injuries. But negligence and mistakes by drivers are the ultimate causes of preventable car wrecks. Bad drivers who hurt people with their unreasonable errors or outright recklessness must be held accountable for the harm they cause.