12 Most Reckless States in America

6 min read
reckless states

Best Life compiled data from various sources, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, World Population Review, Big Rentz and a local Honda dealership, to find out which of the 50 states are the most reckless.

Continue reading to find out the top 12 states and see if yours made the list.

12. Arizona

Arizona
Source: Pixabay

Coming in at No. 12 is Arizona. Best Life gave this state a reckless index score of 54.26 based on the following data:

Speeding tickets per capita: 536.00
Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 3.3
Debt per capita: $1,900.42
Landfill trash per capita: 33.9 tons
Average life expectancy: 79.1

As you can see, Arizona’s debt per capita is quite high. In the fiscal year of 2019, the state had a debt of about $13.32 billion, with a forecasted debt of $16.16 billion by the fiscal year of 2025.

11. Nevada

Nevada
Source: Pixabay

It should come as no surprise that a state with a city nicknamed “Sin City” would be one of the most reckless states in America. As such, it was given a reckless index score of 54.55 based on the following criteria:

Speeding tickets per capita: 430.13
Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.6
Debt per capita: $1,019.78
Landfill trash per capita: 45.7 tons
Average life expectancy: 77.9

FUN FACT: In 2018, Las Vegas was rated the most sinful city in the land.

10. Ohio

Ohio
Source: Pixabay

Ohio has a reckless index score of 55.26. Its speeding tickets per capita is 466.07, its pedestrian fatalities per capita are 1.09, its debt per capita is $2,859.10, its landfill trash per capita is 48.8 tons and its average life expectancy is 76.6.

As you can see, it has the second-highest landfill trash per capita amount on this list. Incidentally, Ohio EPA ordered Penn-Ohio Waste to unload 180 rail cars after it was discovered that the construction and demolition debris landfill was operating without required permits. The company ceased all operations after it was issued notices of violations.

9. Delaware

Delaware
Source: Pixabay

Out of all the states on this list, Delaware has the most debt. According to data compiled by Best Life, Delaware’s debt per capita is $4,606.10. In the fiscal year of 2019, the state debt was about $5.21 billion. Delaware’s state debt is forecasted to be about $6.32 billion by the fiscal year of 2025.

Here is the other data compiled by Best Life:

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A
Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.38
Landfill trash per capita: 33.7 tons
Average life expectancy: 78.2
Reckless Index Score: 58.61

8. Kentucky

Kentucky
Source: Pixabay

A 2019 report from the United Health Foundation found that Kentucky is one of the least healthy states in the nation. It ranked No. 43 out of 50 in the following categories: behaviors, clinical care, community and environment, health outcomes and public and health policies.

According to an article published by the Louisville Courier Journal, the foundation said Kentucky’s challenges include a high percentage of physical inactivity, frequent mental distress, and a high cancer death rate.

Here is additional data on the state, compiled by Best Life:

Speeding tickets per capita: 268.83
Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.63
Debt per capita: $3,214.56
Landfill trash per capita: 43.9 tons
Average life expectancy: 75.0
Reckless Index Score: 61.89

7. Georgia

Georgia
Source: Pixabay

Georgia received a reckless index score of 63.98. The number of speeding tickets people get per capita, the number of pedestrian fatalities per capita, landfill trash per capita, average life expectancy and debt per capita were included in the score.

Here are the scores for each category:

Speeding tickets per capita: 825.76
Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.48
Debt per capita: $1,205.07
Landfill trash per capita: 33.7 tons
Average life expectancy: 77.2

DID YOU KNOW?
A landfill in a small Georgia town came under fire in 2019 after a small crack in the middle of the landfill widened into a 1,000-foot-long ravine, causing odors from exposed waste to spread into subdivisions and over family farms. What’s more, is that uncontrolled leachate flowed into a nearby creek.

The stench from the exposed waste was unbearable for nearby residents. “If the air [was] still and calm, it was enough to make you violently ill when you walked out the door,” resident Steve Brooks told Georgia Health News. “I swore if I’d lit a match outside, it would have blown up.”

6. Oregon

Oregon
Source: Pixabay

In Oregon, the number of speeding tickets per capita is 1,112.35. And, if you’ve been on any Oregon highways lately, that should come as no surprise. Around this time last year, Portland Police said they saw an increase in drivers speeding.

In the last week of March, they stopped 4 drivers going 100 miles an hour over the speed limit. When stopped, several drivers told police that they were speeding because they didn’t think anyone was out there enforcing the speed limit. Crazy, right? Anyway, here is the rest of the data compiled by Best Life:

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.91
Debt per capita: $2,950.65
Landfill trash per capita: 37.0 tons
Average life expectancy: 79.2
Reckless Index Score: 65.63

5. Indiana

Indiana
Source: Pixabay

The Hoosier State comes in at No. 5 on the list. It received a reckless index score of 66.76 based on rankings in the following categories:

Speeding tickets per capita: 435.72
Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.70
Debt per capita: $3,209.49
Landfill trash per capita: 56.1 tons
Average life expectancy: 77.0

FYI: Indianapolis leads the way in the state in pedestrian deaths. In fact, an op-ed published by IndyStar.com revealed that one in five Indiana pedestrian deaths in 2018 took place in Indianapolis. What’s more, is that most of those deaths could have been prevented.

4. New Mexico

New Mexico
Source: Pixabay

New Mexico comes in at No. 4 on the list of most reckless states in the U.S. Best Life gave “the Land of Enchantment” a reckless index score of 70.87. This score is based on the following data:

Speeding tickets per capita: 361.28
Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 3.96
Debt per capita: $3,352.81
Landfill trash per capita: 33.3 tons
Average life expectancy: 77.6

FUN FACT: New Mexico is known as “the Land of Enchantment” because, according to FWT Magazine, “you will become enraptured with its culture, architecture, scenery, and cuisine.”

3. Mississippi

Mississippi
Source: Pixabay

Mississippi received a reckless index score of 93.41. Its speeding tickets per capita is 817.44. Pedestrian fatalities per capita are 2.95. Debt per capita is $2,518.26. Landfill trash per capita is 35.3 tons. And, the average life expectancy for a Mississippi resident is 74.5 years.

Additionally, Mississippi has the highest infant mortality rate in the nation, coming in at No. 50. For example, the infant mortality rate in Mississippi in 2019 was 9.07.

Even back in 2012, Mississippi still had the highest infant mortality rate in the nation, with 8.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 6.0 deaths per 1,000 live births for the nation as a whole.

2. South Carolina

Us Map
Source: Pixabay

Coming in at No. 2 is South Carolina. This state has the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the nation. Its speeding tickets per capita is 1,105.68, pedestrian fatalities per capita are 3.25, debt per capita is $2,983.17, landfill trash per capita is 32.6 tons and average life expectancy is 76.2. Best Life gave South Carolina a reckless index score of 97.73.

Now, let’s take a look at the speeding tickets category again. As you can see, it is pretty high. In fact, in a 2019 article published by Jebaily Law Firm, P.A., it was reported that Insurify found that 22.7% of South Carolina drivers had at least one speeding violation on their record from the past seven years.

“That’s the third-highest percentage in the country,” the article read. As such, South Carolina led the nation in fatality rates per mile traveled, with 1.88 deaths per 100 million miles driven–almost twice as high as the national average!

1. Louisiana

New Orleans Louisiana
Source: Pixabay

Coming in at No. 1 is Louisiana. Best Life gave this state a reckless index score of 100.00. It has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. Its pedestrian fatalities per capita are 3.52.

Its landfill trash per capita is 38.7 tons, its debt per capita is $3,910.20, and the average life expectancy in Louisiana is 75.4. Unfortunately, Best Life wasn’t able to find any data on the number of speeding tickets per capita for the state.

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