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KANSAS (KSNF/KODE) — A 2023 study ranks Kansas drivers as some of the worst in the nation, according to data collected by Forbes Advisor.

The independent consumer destination for personal finance advice, news, and reviews — claims the state of Kansas has the third worst drivers in the U.S., only after Louisiana and Texas. With a score of 100 out of 100, the “Lone Star State” of Texas ranked number one. In comparison, third-ranked Kansas scored 84.79 out of 100.

Each state’s ranking (including Washington D.C.) is determined by six factors that reflect dangerous driving behavior. Forbes Advisor cited the following reasons for ranking the “Sunflower State” number three on their list:

  • Kansas has the second-highest number of fatal car crashes involving a distracted driver (4.46 crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers).
  • The state has the third highest number of fatal car crashes involving a driver who disobeyed traffic signs, traffic signals, or a traffic officer (1.47 crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers).
  • Kansas is the fourth worst state for fatal car crashes involving a drowsy driver (1.28 accidents per 100,000 licensed drivers) and fifth worst for fatal car crashes involving a driver who was driving the wrong way on a one-way street or on the wrong side of the road (1.42 crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers).

In 2021, a Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) report claimed 424 people died in car crashes in Kansas, with a fatality rate of 1.34 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.

Immediately following Kansas at number four, is the state’s neighbor to the south: Oklahoma, with a score of 80.53 out of 100. According to Forbes Advisor data, Oklahoma has the seventh-highest number of fatal car crashes involving a distracted driver (2.02 crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers).

KANSAS: 3rd in Phone-Related Fatal Crashes

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When examining four years of fatal vehicle crashes in Kansas — the state consistently ranks third. For example, Kansas has the third highest rate of phone-related car crashes.

The primary data was collected by Zinda Law Group, who analyzed all 50 states to determine the total number of fatal vehicle crashes between 2017 and 2021, and the number of occupants involved in fatal vehicle crashes caused by mobile phones over the same period. In order to show the extent that mobile phones contributed to fatal crashes, these findings were converted into a percentage for each state.

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Kansas reported 1,898 crashes due to drivers being distracted by listening, talking, or manipulating their mobile phones, including other related incidents, such as those that involve passengers using similar devices. Over the four-year period between 2017 and 2021, mobile phones were the cause of fatal crashes that claimed the lives of 72 people in Kansas.

KANSAS: 3rd Most Dangerous State for Truck Drivers

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Other data tracked and recorded by the NHTSA puts Kansas in third place, yet again — ranking it the third most dangerous state for large truck drivers. Throughout 2021, a total of 603 vehicles were involved in a fatal traffic crash. 87 of those vehicles (or 14.4%) were large trucks. The NHTSA defines a large truck as any commercial or non-commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight greater than 10,000 pounds (excluding buses and motor homes). The 2021 data was collected from the NHTSA Large Trucks Traffic Safety Facts.

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KANSAS: 3rd Most Dangerous State for Senior Drivers

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Another contributing factor to the high number of fatal accidents in the state of Kansas is related to a particular age group behind the wheel. NHTSA estimates that the majority of fatal traffic crashes involves older drivers, ages 65 and older.

Based on data from a 2018 report by TRIP (a national transportation research group), 25% of vehicle crash fatalities in Kansas involved at least one driver that’s 65 or older — the third highest in the U.S. — following Minnesota and Wisconsin.