Thinking about a bucolic Sunday drive through some of New York's most picturesque places?
You might want to reconsider your plans.
State and federal crash data shows that some of the state's most rural counties are the most deadly for drivers, so instead of winding your way through country roads, farm fields and cow pastures, the best bet might be to stick to the urban byways where chances are less that you might die in a horrific crash.
Every year, more than 1,000 people in New York are killed in traffic-related crashes, about 1 fatality per 100 million miles driven. And the chances of dying in a crash are heightened in some of the least populated counties.
Here are the state's top 10 most dangerous counties for driving, based on fatalities per 100,000 population for 2015 as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The statewide fatality rate that year was 5.66 people killed in traffic-related crashes per 100,000 population.
10. Wayne County
While there were only 13 actual traffic-related fatalities in Wayne County in 2015, that translates out to 14.22 fatalities per 100,000 population. Of those crashes:
4 involved driving while intoxicated.
2 involved speeding.
3 involved motorcyclists.
4 involved pedestrians.
9. Ontario County
In this Finger Lakes region county, the fatality rate per 100,000 in 2015 was 14.6, with 16 reported traffic-related deaths. Of those:
7 of the crashes were related to driving while intoxicated.
9 related to speeding.
2 involved motorcyclists.
1 involved a bicyclist.
9 occupants of passenger cars were killed.
8. Lewis County
With a fatality rate of 14.84 per 100,000 this North Country county just barely edged out Ontario County for the No. 8 spot.
Half of the four fatalities in 2015 were related to driving while intoxicated.
1 person killed was a motorcyclist.
7. Oswego County
There were 19 people killed in traffic crashes in Oswego County in 2016, down one from 20 people killed in 2014.
5 of the deaths were in alcohol-related crashes.
3 deaths were in crashes involving a large truck.
6 happened at intersections.
Two pedestrians and two motorcyclists were killed.
6. Washington County
In this county on the Vermont/New York border, 10 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2015. That's a rate of 16.07 fatalities per 100,000 population. Of those killed:
4 died in alcohol-related crashes.
2 were in crashes involving large trucks.
3 were killed in crashes that involved speeding.
5 occupants of passenger cars died.
1 pedestrian and 1 bicyclist were killed.
5. Wyoming County
In Western New York, Wyoming county — which has more cows than people — there were 17.07 fatalities per 100,000 population in 2015. Overall, seven people lost their lives in traffic-related crashes that year:
1 in an alcohol-related crash.
1 in a speeding-related crash.
4 at crashes that happened at intersections.
5 in crashes that involved a large truck.
4. Sullivan County
With an overall population just shy of 80,000 people, there were 17.36 traffic fatalities per 100,000 population in 2015, for a total of 13 people.
A dozen of those fatalities came in single-vehicle crashes, with nine of the deaths related to speeding.
5 passengers in light trucks died.
2 motorcyclists were killed.
3. Delaware County
In this downstate county, home to about 48,000 people, the fatality rate in 2015 was 17.37 per 100,000 population. Of the eight people killed that year:
5 occurred in alcohol-related crashes.
In 4 of the deaths, speeding was implicated
2 motorcyclists and 1 pedestrian were killed.
2. Greene County
With just 49,000 residents, the fatality rate in this county in the Catskill Mountains was 18.9 per 100,000 population in 2015. Nine people died in traffic crashes that year, with:
5 deaths occurring in intersection crashes.
4 deaths of passenger car occupants.
2 motorcyclist fatalities.
2 dying in speeding-related crashes.
1. Seneca County
In the "County Between the Lakes" — those being the popular Finger Lakes destinations Seneca Lake on the west and Cayuga Lake on the east — there were 20.1 fatalities per 100,000 population in 2015. That translates out to seven deaths in the 35,200-population county.
More than half of the deaths were attributable to alcohol-related crashes.
3 passenger car occupants and 3 motorcyclists were killed.
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