NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — New research has identified a list of the top ten most dangerous states for drivers — and North Dakota is ranked surprisingly high.

Agruss Law Firm, a personal injury and consumer rights group, recently studied data over the past ten years from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine which states reported the highest percentage of driver deaths when compared to the state’s total population. Here are the top ten states that are considered the most dangerous for those on the road.

RankStateDriver Deaths Per 100,000 IndividualsTotal Driver Deaths, Past 10 yearsTotal Population
6North Dakota103.54787760,077
7West Virginia1,8531,805,832
10South Carolina93.474,7525,084,127

While six out of the ten most dangerous states for drivers are in the southern US, many of the higher-ranking entries are more northern — including North Dakota, neighboring Montana, and Wyoming.

During this study, it was revealed that North Dakota is ranked the sixth most dangerous state for drivers. For every 100,000 individuals in the state, there are 103.54 deaths on the road — 95% higher than the national average. While a major raise in fatalities (58-94) was reported between 2010 and 2011, eventually reaching an all-time high of 108 deaths in 2013, these numbers have been steadily declining, with only 64 deaths reported in 2019.

When analyzing the opposite of this discussion (the apparent least dangerous state for drivers), New York takes a surprising lead: while it reports a similar number of total fatalities as Mississippi, this is due to the state’s huge population. Only 22.02 deaths are averaged there, meaning drivers are far less likely to be killed in comparison to the total population percentage.

“Across the United States, we’re reliant on cars to get around. It’s therefore important to understand which states you are most likely to find yourself in a fatal accident,” states a spokesperson for Agruss Law Firm in a press release. “The study reveals that most of the most dangerous states are based in the south, with Mississippi taking the spot of most dangerous state for driving, based on the rate of 136.7 deaths per 100,000 people, which is 157% higher than the United States average. Around 400 drivers are killed on average each year in Mississippi and those numbers have not declined over the course of the 10-year study.”

The full study is available in this document.