The 20 Safest States For SUV Drivers, In America (Hawaii Tops the List)

Patrick Oziegbe
Published On:

Safety is a top priority for many drivers, especially those with families. Buckle up for some surprising news that’ll have SUV drivers breathing a sigh of relief – especially if you’re cruising in Hawaii and California.

The sharp legal minds at Las Vegas’s H&P Law have poured over the NHTSA’s fatal crash data from a five-year stretch, 2017 to 2021, to bring you the inside track on which states are the safest for your sport utility vehicle. Ready for a road trip? Let’s hit the gas and explore the top 20 safest states for SUV drivers

Hawaii

Hawaii
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Hawaii is a popular destination for tourists, but driving here can be challenging for drivers, especially in SUVs. Imagine a place where the roads are almost as serene as the beaches. That’s Hawaii for you, leading the pack when it comes to driving safety for SUVs.

Picture this: a mere 16.84% of the 689 vehicles that met their fate on Hawaii’s roads were SUVs. And here’s something to ponder—2020 saw the islands at their safest, with only 114 fatal crashes painting a year of unprecedented tranquility on the highways. Hawaii is setting the benchmark, but what’s the secret to their success?

California

Los Angeles, California, USA
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

California takes the silver spot in the safety stakes, but the numbers tell an intriguing tale. Amid the sprawling highways that connect the Golden State’s bustling cities and serene coastlines, only 17.39% of the metal and might caught up in fatal encounters were SUVs. Out of a staggering 27,606 vehicles that faced fatal crashes, SUVs accounted for just 4,800 – painting a picture of resilience for the beloved road giants. So, what’s California’s secret to keeping more of its SUV drivers out of the danger zone?

Louisiana

Louisiana
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Stepping into the spotlight at third place is Louisiana, where the tale of SUV safety takes a twist. While 18.11% of vehicles entangled in fatal crashes were SUVs, the state has seen a concerning spike – a 50% jump in such dire incidents over the years examined. Yet, out of the 5,677 vehicles that met their end on Louisiana’s roads, only 1,028 were SUVs. It begs the question: what’s driving the numbers, and how can Louisiana navigate towards a safer future for its SUV drivers?

Iowa

Iowa
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Grabbing the fourth rung , according to H&P Law, is Iowa, where the prairie winds whisper tales of cautious driving. Here, 18.34% of vehicles that have danced with fate in fatal crashes were SUVs. Cast your gaze back to 2017, and you’ll find Iowa’s proudest moment in recent memory: a year that saw only 77 SUVs involved in fatal crashes—the state’s all-time low in the period we’re peering into. What’s the story behind Iowa’s impressive stats, and how is this heartland state keeping its SUV drivers safer?

Texas

Houston, Texas USA
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Landing at number five, Texas paints a complex picture on the canvas of road safety. With a heart-stopping 5,229 fatal SUV crashes, making up 18.88% of the state’s total vehicular tragedies, the Lone Star State holds a record that’s as vast as its skies—the highest count of vehicles in fatal crashes, reaching a dizzying 27,699. Yet, when you drill down into the data, just 5,229 of these were SUVs. As we delve deeper into the heart of Texas, we’re left to ponder: how does a state with such high stakes manage to keep so many of its SUV drivers out of harm’s way?

Mississippi

Mississippi
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Mississippi claims the sixth slot in our lineup, where the roads tell a story of survival against the odds. A mere 18.92% of vehicles that met their untimely end in fatal crashes wore the SUV badge. And if you rewind to 2019, you’ll discover a year that the Magnolia State can mark with a measure of pride: only 847 vehicles were claimed by fatal crashes, the lowest in recent years. What’s behind Mississippi’s ability to keep the number of SUVs in fatal crashes relatively low, and what lessons does 2019 hold for the road ahead?

Arizona & Tennessee

Tennessee
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Seventh place is a tie that binds two distinct landscapes: the desert vistas of Arizona and the rolling hills of Tennessee, both sharing the spotlight with SUVs accounting for 19.25% of vehicles in fatal accidents. In the Grand Canyon State, the tally stands at 1,414 fatal SUV crashes, while the Volunteer State counters with a close 1,590. It’s a dual narrative of caution and concern, where two states grapple with the same percentage, yet their stories unfold on entirely different terrains. What can these numbers tell us about the cross-country journey to safer roads?

North Dakota

North Dakota
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Snagging the eighth spot is North Dakota, where the open roads and sprawling prairies bear witness to a sobering statistic: 19.34% of vehicles in fatal crashes are SUVs. With a total of 135 SUVs involved in deadly encounters out of 698 vehicles, the Peace Garden State’s numbers prompt a closer look into the narrative of road safety. What makes North Dakota’s roads a challenge, and how does this ratio reflect the state’s efforts toward protecting its drivers?

Arkansas

Arkansas
©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Arkansas steps into the ninth position with a statistic that’s as clear as the Ozark mountain streams—19.36% of the 4,004 vehicles involved in fatal crashes were SUVs, totaling 775. In the Natural State, where every road can tell a story, this number speaks volumes about the SUVs traversing its diverse landscapes. But what’s the bigger picture behind these figures, and how is Arkansas working to ensure that every journey is as safe as possible for its SUV-driving residents?

Florida & Connecticut

Florida
St Johns Pass, FL: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Rounding out the top ten, Florida and Connecticut stand side by side, each with 19.39% of their vehicles involved in fatal crashes being SUVs. The Sunshine State, with its endless coastlines and bustling highways, recorded a staggering 4,708 fatal SUV accidents. Up in the Northeast, the Constitution State, with its blend of urban drives and quaint country roads, saw a significantly lower number, at 388. This striking contrast begs the question: what do these two vastly different states share that places them together in the realm of SUV safety?

Kentucky & South Dakota

South Dakota
Deadwood, SD: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Claiming the eleventh spot, Kentucky and South Dakota share a statistic that’s as eye-opening as a gallop across the bluegrass or a ride through the Badlands. In these two states, 19.41% of the vehicles ensnared in fatal crashes were SUVs. That’s 1,053 out of 5,425 vehicles that faced their final journey on the road. As we look at the heartland and the frontier, we must ask: What can be done to ensure that the next drive is safer for the SUV adventurers in Kentucky and South Dakota?

Oklahoma

Sapulpa Oklahoma
Route 66: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Twelfth place is where Oklahoma lands, with a slice of its roadways marked by cautionary tales. Out of the fatal crashes that have shaken the Sooner State, 933 involved SUVs, making up 19.43% of the total. Yet, there’s a glimmer of hope amidst the stats: 4,803 marks the lowest number of vehicles involved in fatal crashes Oklahoma has seen. This figure opens the door to questions about what Oklahoma is doing right and how it can continue to improve safety for all its drivers.

Georgia

Atlanta city USA
Atlanta City: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Lucky number thirteen may not be so fortunate for Georgia, where the peach state’s roads have seen 2,283 SUVs involved in fatal crashes, accounting for 19.54% of the total vehicular tragedies. With 11,684 vehicles overall meeting such a fate, it’s a number that beckons for a closer look. What’s the story behind Georgia’s roads, and how can the state navigate towards a safer tomorrow for those behind the wheel of an SUV?

Washington

Washington DC
US Capitol, WA: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Taking the fourteenth spot in our national rundown, Washington presents a mix of evergreen-covered safety and concern. Out of 4,145 vehicles that have faced their final moments on Washington’s roads, 814 were SUVs, which pencils out to 19.64%. As we delve into the heart of the Pacific Northwest, we’re left to ponder the nuances behind these numbers and what steps can be taken to ensure that every SUV journey in Washington is as safe as the state’s stunning landscapes.

Alabama & New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Santa Fe: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Shoulder to shoulder in the fifteenth slot, Alabama and New Mexico share a sobering commonality: 19.69% of their vehicles involved in fatal accidents are SUVs. In the Heart of Dixie, the count of such calamities reached 1,297, painting a stark picture amidst the southern charm. Meanwhile, in the Land of Enchantment, 553 fatal SUV crashes remind us of the risks even amidst the desert’s austere beauty. This statistic is more than a number—it’s a call to action for both states to pave the way toward safer roads for every SUV driver.

North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville, NC: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

North Carolina cruises into the sixteenth spot, where the tale of the tar heel state unfolds with a cautionary edge. Of the 10,681 vehicles that have met their end on North Carolina’s highways, 2,111 were SUVs, claiming 19.74% of the total. As we navigate through the land of blue skies and sprawling highways, these figures steer us toward a conversation about road safety and the measures that can be taken to protect those who call North Carolina’s roads their own.

Kansas

Kansas
Castle Rock, KS: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Seventeenth in line, Kansas stands with a stark statistic that cuts through the heartland’s amber waves of grain. Out of 2,927 vehicles that have faced their demise on Kansas’s roads, 587 were SUVs, making up 20.19% of the total. As the sunflowers bow their heads, we’re called to reflect on the stories these numbers tell and what Kansas might do to ensure that every SUV journey across its plains is a safe one.

Wyoming

Wyoming
Yellowstone, Wyoming: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Marking the eighteenth spot, Wyoming’s rugged terrain comes with a statistic as formidable as its mountains. Of the 782 vehicles that have tragically ended their journeys on Wyoming’s open roads, 158 were SUVs, accounting for a sliver over 20% of the total. In the state where the wild spirit of the West still roams, these numbers beckon us to look closer at the paths we take and how we can make them safer for the adventurers in their trusted SUVs.

Vermont

Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont: ©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Nineteenth on our list is Vermont, where the numbers are as crisp as the autumn air. In the Green Mountain State, 87 of the 430 vehicles involved in fatal crashes were SUVs, which translates to 20.23% of the total. Amidst the backdrop of maple forests and mountain trails, this figure prompts a deeper exploration into the safety of those navigating Vermont’s picturesque byways in their SUVs.

Missouri & Oregon

©Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Sharing the twentieth rung are Missouri and Oregon, states as different as jazz and indie rock but playing the same tune when it comes to SUV safety stats. Both states report that SUVs make up 20.39% of vehicles involved in fatal accidents. In the Show-Me State, the number hits a somber note with 1,371 fatal SUV crashes, while out in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon trails with 701. This shared statistic strikes a chord, prompting us to examine the safety measures that could harmonize the roadways for SUV drivers from the Great Plains to the rugged coast.

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