February 3, 2017 | Number of The Day
Traffic deaths in NJ per 100,000 residents

Just when it seemed that Democrats and Republicans couldn’t be more at odds, another indicator of their differences has surfaced: traffic fatalities. Using 2015 census data (the most recent available), the number crunchers at nonprofit investigative news organization FairWarning have determined that red states have significantly higher traffic-death rates than blue states.

All told, the 14 states with the highest fatality rates came out for Trump, while the 12 states with the lowest fatality rates were Clinton country. (Death rates were calculated by counting the number of 2015 road deaths per 100,000 people.)

How did New Jersey do? At 6.27 deaths per 100,000, it was fourth from the bottom of the list, as befits its bluer-than-blue politics. Only New York (5.66), Massachusetts (4.5), and Rhode Island (4.26) had lower death rates. Wyoming (24.74), Mississippi (22.62), Montana (21.69), and South Carolina (19.95) were at the top of the chart.

Explanations for the nonintuitive findings range from state speed limits, number of single-lane highways, and being too broke to keep a car in top condition, among others.