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How dangerous is your state?

By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com
Friday, July 6, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

Do you live in a dangerous state?

The thought may never have crossed your mind. Most of us tend to associate danger with rough neighborhoods, treacherous traffic and icy mountain passes, not borders on a map.

But a new report, "Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report," published by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, attempts to change our shortsighted view of locality and mortality.

Injuries that result from accidents or violence are the third leading cause of death nationally and the No. 1 killer among the 1-to-44 age group. Each year, 50 million Americans are treated and 2.5 million hospitalized for injuries. Among children and teens, 9.2 million are treated in emergency rooms, and 12,000 die in accidents each year.

State safety laws play a key role in keeping us safe. They range from mandatory seat belts, motorcycle/bicycle helmets and child safety seats to statutes aimed at curbing drunk driving, prescription drug abuse, domestic violence, date assaults, school sports concussions, teen bullying and texting while driving. Collectively, they have an impact on health insurance, homeowners insurance and auto insurance rates.

The "Facts Hurt" partners, along with state safety officials, developed a set of 10 indicators to measure which states are doing the most to keep us safe. The results:

  • New York and California registered the highest score of 9 out of 10.
  • Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington scored 8 out of 10.
  • Nearly half the states (24) scored 5 out of 10 or lower.
  • Montana and Ohio scored the lowest at 2 out of 10.

Per capita, the western states of New Mexico, Montana, Alaska and Wyoming remain the most dangerous, while New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and California rank as safest.

As for the uphill climb ahead to save more lives, the report found that:

  • 29 states do not require bicycle helmets for all children.
  • 17 states do not require child or booster seats to age 8.
  • 31 states do not require helmets for all motorcycle riders.
  • 34 states and Washington, D.C., do not require mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers.
  • 18 states do not have primary seat belt laws.
  • 44 states scored a "B" or lower on a teen dating violence law review by the Break the Cycle organization.
  • 13 states do not have strong youth sport concussion safety laws.

For more information, see the report at http://www.rwjf.org/publichealth/product.jsp?id=74400.
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90 Comments
Susan
August 08, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Love all of the comments about the welfare and the illegals crippling our economy, why doesn't everyone else get it? And Obama's "57 states", funny how the media just swept that ignorant comment under the rug during the last elections, along with many others.

READY TO GET OUTTA HERE
July 22, 2012 at 11:24 am

FINALLY, SOME TRUTH IS WRITTEN ABOUT FLORIDA!!! BIG DADDY, YOU ARE RIGHT ON. MAJOR AMOUNTS OF DRUGS PASS THROUGH HERE, DRUG DEALS E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E IN THE OPEN, & THE SHOOTINGS GO ON AND ON. POLICE BEING LAID OFF D/T 'BUDGET CUTS' IN AREAS WHERE THE CRIME IS RIDICULOUSLY HIGH. THE PAY FOR FIREFIGHTERS HAS ALWAYS GONE UP AND UP, WHERE AS COPS MAKE DIDDLY-SQUAT. THEY'RE ASKING THEMSELVES, "IS THIS WORTH DYING FOR? LEAVE MY CHILDREN W/O FATHER BC SOME FRIENDS ARE WASTED & START STABBING OR SHOOTING AT EACH OTHER OVER A WOMAN? OR GET IN THE MIDDLE OF A DRUG DEAL GONE BAD?". AND THAT'S NOT EVEN THE GHETTO! LAW ENFORCEMENT ARE HATED, ESP THERE. YOU GOT SOME CRACKED OUT MOM WITH 10 KIDS AND THE 9 Y.O. SELLING WEED, CARRYING, AND TELLING L.E. TO GO 'F'THEMSELVES WHEN ASKED WHY HE'S OUT AT 3 A.M. WOULD YOU TRUST THE JUDGEMENT OF A 9 Y.O. ALCOHOL AND CRACK ADDICTED BORN KID TO NOT OPEN FIRE? IS THIS WORTH THESE L.E.'S LIVES? BUT OF COURSE THE BOARD OF TOURISM AND WHATEVER ORG TARGETS PEOPLE FROM ELSEWHERE TO RETIRE HERE, WILL CONTINUE TO MARKET THIS HELL HOLE FOR WHAT IT'S NOT! THIS STATE IS THE ARMPIT OF SOCIETY. IT'S CRAZY THAT PEOPLE WAIT THEIR WHOLE LIVES TO COME TO FL AND RETIRE. BEACHES? WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HIGH TOURIST AREAS SUCH AS DAYTON, FT. LAUDERDALE, OR MIAMI BEACHES, MOST ON EAST COAST'S AREN'T MAINTAINED (MORE 'BUDGET CUTS'). AND EDUCATION? WHAT A JOKE. WE RANK IN THE NATION SOMETHING LIKE 48 0R 50?!? AS IN THE LOWEST IN THE NATION! THESE POOR RETIREES MOVE TO CONDO'S ON THE BARRIER ISLANDS GO TO SHOP ON THE MAINLAND & ARE (MOSTLY) CLUELESS ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND THEM. A REPORT SHOWED THAT SOME MUCH SMALLER CITIES, NORTH OF MIAMI, HAVE OVER TWICE THE NUMBER OF GANG MEMBERS WHEN COMPARED TO MIAMI'S GANG #'S & POPULATION. THE INFLUX OF 'PILL-HEADS' TO FL BC IT'S "EASY" TO GET OPIATE'S D/T THE INFILTRATION OF 'PAIN CLINIC'" AND UNETHICAL DR'S WITH THEIR GET RICH QUICK 'PILL MILLS'. DOES MR AND MRS JOE BLOW SELLING THEIR HOUSE IN WISCONSIN TO RETIRE IN FL KNOW THE D.E.A. IS EVERYWHERE SHUTTING CLINICS AND PHARMACIES DOWN, TRYING TO GO AFTER PILL HEADS WHO SELL THE PERCOCET AND SOMA FOR BIG $. HOPE THEY DON'T HAVE A KNEE REPLACEMENT & ATTEMPT TO GET YOUR PAIN MEDS FILLED. ALL THE PHARMACIES IN YOUR COUNTY MIGHT NOT HAVE THE LICENSE TO EVEN ORDER NARCOTICS! YOU JUST HAVE TO SUFFER I GUESS. AND THE ILLEGAL ALIENS AND IMMIGRANTS! MY GOD, DON'T DRIVE, BC, MORE THAN LIKELY, THEY DON'T HAVE A DRIVERS LICENSE, LET ALONE INSURANCE! 40 YEARS OF THIS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH. REALITY IS NOTHING LIKE THE FL DISNEY PORTRAYS IT TO BE. GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!

Wendy Sears
July 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Face it; is anywhere safe !

REV Wright
July 20, 2012 at 1:21 am

The more Obama minorities, the more crime.

FACT

Frankie B
July 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Right on about the state of New Mexico, "The Land Of Enchantment" being unsafe. As a 31 year resident we have seen the States illegal immigrant population grow by leaps & bounds. With it comes the Gangs, the Drugs, killings, & well over 500,000 on the Wellfair rolls drawing GOV hand out's.[State Pop 1,970,000] "The Land Of Enchantment is a Beautiful State but it has also become "The Land of immigrant Hand Outs".

Capt Steve
July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

You have got to be kidding.

Look at what they are measuring, nanny laws. Seat belt law, helmet laws, child seat law, etc. Of course New York and California are tops. They have the most intrusive nanny laws of anybody.

As Ben Franklin said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

They are not looking at violence stats, just which states tell you what to do the most.

If they looked at crime rates, corruption, etc., I doubt New York, Calif., and New Jersey would be on top.

WhoMeToo
July 19, 2012 at 7:17 am

"New Jersey, New York, and California rank as safest"????

Are you kidding me..... Who is writing this C*R*A*P???

BIG Daddy .40 ACP
July 19, 2012 at 2:37 am

Why isnt anyone talking about Florida.. aka Flori-duh? This state HAS to be one of thee most unsafe State out of all Obamas "57 States". From Tampa south, every county here has atleast 1 if not multiple shootings daily! FL used to be the retiree capital of the world & now is a melting pot of Ex cons, pedophiles & Felons on the run attempting to blend in & hide in plain site! This place is def not a safe place to raise children!

catball
July 19, 2012 at 1:00 am

Kansas is not safe at all. The nightly news is just kill, kill, kill.