This Is the Most Reckless State in America, According to Data

Look before you leap. Haste makes waste. Fools rush in. The English language is full of idioms warning you of the dangers of reckless behavior. And while they may be a bit cliche, there’s some merit to all those sayings—impulsiveness can be dangerous, both financially and physically. That’s why we at Best Life set out to find where people aren’t exactly the pillars of responsibility by determining the most reckless state in America, according to data.

To see where people play things fast and loose in their daily lives, we looked at the most recent data* for five metrics: speeding tickets per capita** (from a local Honda dealership), pedestrian fatalities caused by accidents per capita (from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s fatality analysis reporting system), state government debt per capita (from World Population Review), landfill waste produced per capita (based on EPA data compiled by Big Rentz), and the average life expectancy in each state (also via World Population Review).

We then gave each of the metrics a weighted value before plugging them through our exclusive algorithm to see how each state scored on our 100-point scale Reckless Index, where a score of 100 was given to the state that is more reckless than all the others. The most notable thing about the results is the sharp divide that happens after the top three most reckless states, which are all from the same region and received comparatively close high scores. The fourth state’s score, however, was more than 20 points less than the state ranked third—indicating a drastic drop in recklessness. Read on to find out the most reckless state in the country, as well as to learn how your state stacks up. And for more on the most precarious places in the country, This Is the Most Dangerous State in America.

*Editor’s note: “N/A” indicates that data was not available for that particular metric. We adjusted the algorithm to ensure that each state was scored fairly and accurately.

**Per capita equates to per 100,000 residents in all instances.

50

Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota skylineMinneapolis, Minnesota skyline
Shutterstock/Real Window Creative

Speeding tickets per capita: 487.04

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.75

Debt per capita: $2,867.56

Landfill trash per capita: 16.7 tons

Average life expectancy: 80.7

Reckless Index Score: 0.00

49

North Dakota

grand forks north dakotagrand forks north dakota
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 85.35

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.79

Debt per capita: $3,747.49

Landfill trash per capita: 20.3 tons

Average life expectancy: 78.5

Reckless Index Score: 5.14

48

Idaho

cityscape photo of Boise, Idaho at sunsetcityscape photo of Boise, Idaho at sunset
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 512.39

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.97

Debt per capita: $1,811.27

Landfill trash per capita: 19.7 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.0

Reckless Index Score: 12.36

47

Vermont

cityscape photos of stores and street in downtown Montpellier, Vermontcityscape photos of stores and street in downtown Montpellier, Vermont
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.96

Debt per capita: $5,620.46

Landfill trash per capita: 21.8 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.9

Reckless Index Score: 16.03

46

Maine

townhouses and building behind a lake in Portland, Mainetownhouses and building behind a lake in Portland, Maine
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 429.40

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.52

Debt per capita: $3,507.06

Landfill trash per capita: 21.9 tons

Average life expectancy: 78.0

Reckless Index Score: 18.65

45

Iowa

cityscape photo of buildings, a street, and statue from behind in downtown Des Moines, Iowa at duskcityscape photo of buildings, a street, and statue from behind in downtown Des Moines, Iowa at dusk
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 675.99

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.70

Debt per capita: $1,941.21

Landfill trash per capita: 27.4 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.4

Reckless Index Score: 19.69

44

Colorado

landscape photo of Cottonwood Pass, Colorado in the afternoonlandscape photo of Cottonwood Pass, Colorado in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 106.96

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.56

Debt per capita: $2,881.19

Landfill trash per capita: 44.6 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.9

Reckless Index Score: 23.15

43

Nebraska

Nebraska State Capitol and downtown Lincoln, Nebraska at sunriseNebraska State Capitol and downtown Lincoln, Nebraska at sunrise
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 460.60

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.24

Debt per capita: $1,032.03

Landfill trash per capita: 37.6 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.1

Reckless Index Score: 24.40

And for the place where people could most use a lesson on good manners, This Is the Rudest State in America.

42

Utah

orange rocks and mountains in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah at sunriseorange rocks and mountains in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah at sunrise
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 645.19

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.14

Debt per capita: $2,251.24

Landfill trash per capita: 27.8 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.3

Reckless Index Score: 26.35

41

Montana

glaciers and a meadow in Glacier National Park, Montana at duskglaciers and a meadow in Glacier National Park, Montana at dusk
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 222.35

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.41

Debt per capita: $2,576.60

Landfill trash per capita: 26.0 tons

Average life expectancy: 76.9

Reckless Index Score: 28.08

40

Virginia

The skyline of Richmond, Virginia at sunset.The skyline of Richmond, Virginia at sunset.
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 245.38

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.39

Debt per capita: $3,234.08

Landfill trash per capita: 40.3 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.1

Reckless Index Score: 29.43

39

Texas

downtown Austin, Texasdowntown Austin, Texas
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 159.26

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.13

Debt per capita: $1,714.19

Landfill trash per capita: 36.7 tons

Average life expectancy: 78.5

Reckless Index Score: 29.79

And for the state that’s not to be trusted from the top, check out The Most Corrupt State in America.

38

New York

people crossing the street in New York Citypeople crossing the street in New York City
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 519.47

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.34

Debt per capita: $7,214.24

Landfill trash per capita: 24.5 tons

Average life expectancy: 80.8

Reckless Index Score: 33.05

37

Kansas

landscape photo of a field in Alma, Kansas at sunsetlandscape photo of a field in Alma, Kansas at sunset
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 388.53

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.0

Debt per capita: $2,584.13

Landfill trash per capita: 40.6 tons

Average life expectancy: 78.2

Reckless Index Score: 33.20

36

Wisconsin

city skyline and Lake Michigan at twilight in Milwaukee, Wisconsincity skyline and Lake Michigan at twilight in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 394.30

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.96

Debt per capita: $3,973.07

Landfill trash per capita: 47.0 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.5

Reckless Index Score: 35.93

35

Wyoming

city skyline of downtown Cheyenne, Wyomingcity skyline of downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 1,037.55

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.04

Debt per capita: $1,324.65

Landfill trash per capita: 16.6 tons

Average life expectancy: 77.9

Reckless Index Score: 36.19

34

Missouri

city skyline and Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouricity skyline and Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 291.12

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.55

Debt per capita: $2,985.84

Landfill trash per capita: 30.1 tons

Average life expectancy: 77.1

Reckless Index Score: 36.40

33

Maryland

Silver Spring is an unincorporated community in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States.Silver Spring is an unincorporated community in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States.
DenisTangneyJr / iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.12

Debt per capita: $4,620.83

Landfill trash per capita: 20.9 tons

Average life expectancy: 78.8

Reckless Index Score: 36.82

32

Connecticut

Bushnell Park in Hartford, ConnecticutBushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut
DenisTangneyJr / iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.68

Debt per capita: $10,908.56

Landfill trash per capita: 8.7 tons

Average life expectancy: 80.6

Reckless Index Score: 36.84

31

New Hampshire

city skyline of buildings in Manchester, New Hampshirecity skyline of buildings in Manchester, New Hampshire
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.66

Debt per capita: $5,640.17

Landfill trash per capita: 40.9 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.1

Reckless Index Score: 37.07

30

Illinois

cityscape photo of downtown Aurora, Illinoiscityscape photo of downtown Aurora, Illinois
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 83.21

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.30

Debt per capita: $4,918.44

Landfill trash per capita: 52.4 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.0

Reckless Index Score: 39.57

And for more on the place where people aren’t known for their warm and welcoming personalities, This Is the Most Hateful State in America.

29

Washington

cityscape photo of a church, buildings, and trees in Spokane, Washingtoncityscape photo of a church, buildings, and trees in Spokane, Washington
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 801.68

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.35

Debt per capita: $4,287.29

Landfill trash per capita: 28.3 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.9

Reckless Index Score: 40.52

28

South Dakota

rocks reflecting a lake at Palisade State Park in Garretson, South Dakotarocks reflecting a lake at Palisade State Park in Garretson, South Dakota
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 811.35

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.13

Debt per capita: $3,934.62

Landfill trash per capita: 21.4 tons

Average life expectancy: 78.1

Reckless Index Score: 42.23

27

Massachusetts

cityscape photos of buildings and shops in Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts at twilightcityscape photos of buildings and shops in Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts at twilight
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.13

Debt per capita: $11,145.90

Landfill trash per capita: 16.2 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.9

Reckless Index Score: 42.47

26

Florida

city skyline of and waterfront in St. Petersburg, Flordiacity skyline of and waterfront in St. Petersburg, Flordia
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 479.50

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 3.31

Debt per capita: $1,313.48

Landfill trash per capita: 25.1 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.1

Reckless Index Score: 42.49

25

California

The sun rises over the historical landmarks of West Sacramento, California.The sun rises over the historical landmarks of West Sacramento, California.
Chris LaBasco / iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 382.14

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.26

Debt per capita: $3,856.57

Landfill trash per capita: 47.8 tons

Average life expectancy: 80.9

Reckless Index Score: 43.39

And for the place where people are the most dangerous behind the wheel, This State Has the Worst Drivers in America.

24

New Jersey

trees and walkway at a park in Burlington County, New Jerseytrees and walkway at a park in Burlington County, New Jersey
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.94

Debt per capita: $7,442.83

Landfill trash per capita: 29.0 tons

Average life expectancy: 80.5

Reckless Index Score: 43.86

23

West Virginia

city skyline with a bridge, buildings, and the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginiacity skyline with a bridge, buildings, and the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 101.55

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.22

Debt per capita: $4,269.01

Landfill trash per capita: 29.9 tons

Average life expectancy: 74.8

Reckless Index Score: 44.43

22

Oklahoma

cityscape photo of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at duskcityscape photo of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at dusk
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 265.44

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.52

Debt per capita: $2,119.40

Landfill trash per capita: 34.4 tons

Average life expectancy: 75.4

Reckless Index Score: 45.45

21

Rhode Island

city skyline of and river in Providence, Rhode Island at sunsetcity skyline of and river in Providence, Rhode Island at sunset
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 0.66

Debt per capita: $8,414.78

Landfill trash per capita: 37.2 tons

Average life expectancy: 79.3

Reckless Index Score: 46.52

20

Tennessee

fall trees reflecting on the shoreline of Bay Mountain Lake Park in Kingsport, Tennesseefall trees reflecting on the shoreline of Bay Mountain Lake Park in Kingsport, Tennessee
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 332.71

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.01

Debt per capita: $882.37

Landfill trash per capita: 36.8 tons

Average life expectancy: 76.0

Reckless Index Score: 47.26

19

Alaska

skyline photo with the Chugach mountains in Anchorage, Alaska at duskskyline photo with the Chugach mountains in Anchorage, Alaska at dusk
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 4.94

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.9

Debt per capita: $8,175.13

Landfill trash per capita: 30.1 tons

Average life expectancy: 77.7

Reckless Index Score: 47.97

18

Pennsylvania

city skyline on the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at duskcity skyline on the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at dusk
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 199.32

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.54

Debt per capita: $3,711.28

Landfill trash per capita: 52.3 tons

Average life expectancy: 78.0

Reckless Index Score: 48.22

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17

Hawaii

The vibrant historic downtown, tourist and retail district of the city of Hilo on the Big Island of HawaiiThe vibrant historic downtown, tourist and retail district of the city of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii
YinYang / iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.96

Debt per capita: $6,865.81

Landfill trash per capita: 28.6 tons

Average life expectancy: 81.5

Reckless Index Score: 48.89

16

North Carolina

sailboat and trees along a lake in Beaufort, North Carolinasailboat and trees along a lake in Beaufort, North Carolina
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 734.48

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.17

Debt per capita: $1,524.17

Landfill trash per capita: 27.5 tons

Average life expectancy: 77.8

Reckless Index Score: 49.00

15

Arkansas

cityscape photo of Little Rock, Arkansas at sunsetcityscape photo of Little Rock, Arkansas at sunset
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.06

Debt per capita: $1,582.74

Landfill trash per capita: 26 tons

Average life expectancy: 75.4

Reckless Index Score: 51.44

14

Michigan

Sault Ste. Marie, MichiganSault Ste. Marie, Michigan
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 99.29

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.42

Debt per capita: $3,348.90

Landfill trash per capita: 62.4 tons

Average life expectancy: 77.6

Reckless Index Score: 51.94

13

Alabama

cityscape photo of a highway, homes, and buildings in Mobile, Alabamacityscape photo of a highway, homes, and buildings in Mobile, Alabama
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 105.57

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.19

Debt per capita: $1,777.98

Landfill trash per capita: 37.7 tons

Average life expectancy: 74.9

Reckless Index Score: 52.04

12

Arizona

cityscape photo of downtown Mesa, Arizonacityscape photo of downtown Mesa, Arizona
iStock

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

Reckless Index Score: 54.26

11

Nevada

Southern Rocky Mountains and flowers in El Paso, Texas at sunriseSouthern Rocky Mountains and flowers in El Paso, Texas at sunrise
iStock

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

Reckless Index Score: 54.55

10

Ohio

bridge with a bright red railing and buildings in downtown Toledo, Ohiobridge with a bright red railing and buildings in downtown Toledo, Ohio
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 466.07

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 1.09

Debt per capita: $2,859.10

Landfill trash per capita: 48.8 tons

Average life expectancy: 76.6

Reckless Index Score: 55.26

9

Delaware

the Christina River and Brandywine Creek in downtown Wilmington, Delawarethe Christina River and Brandywine Creek in downtown Wilmington, Delaware
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.38

Debt per capita: $4,606.10

Landfill trash per capita: 33.7 tons

Average life expectancy: 78.2

Reckless Index Score: 58.61

8

Kentucky

city skyline of downtown Louisville, Kentuckycity skyline of downtown Louisville, Kentucky
Shutterstock

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

square and pink trees in downtown Macon, Georgiasquare and pink trees in downtown Macon, Georgia
iStock

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

Reckless Index Score: 63.98

And for more life-threatening places in the U.S., This Is the Deadliest State in America.

6

Oregon

city skyline of and the Willamette River in Portland, Oregoncity skyline of and the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 1,112.35

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

cityscape photo of downtown Fort Wayne, Indianacityscape photo of downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana
Shutterstock

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

Reckless Index Score: 66.76

4

New Mexico

buildings in and the city skyline of downtown Albuquerque, New Mexicobuildings in and the city skyline of downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico
Shutterstock

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

Reckless Index Score: 70.87

3

Mississippi

cityscape photo of the Old Mississippi Capitol Building in downtown Jackson, Mississippicityscape photo of the Old Mississippi Capitol Building in downtown Jackson, Mississippi
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: 817.44

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 2.95

Debt per capita: $2,518.26

Landfill trash per capita: 35.3 tons

Average life expectancy: 74.5

Reckless Index Score: 93.41

2

South Carolina

city skyline and highway in Columbia, South Carolina at nightcity skyline and highway in Columbia, South Carolina at night
Shutterstock

Speeding tickets per capita: 1,105.68

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 3.25

Debt per capita: $2,983.17

Landfill trash per capita: 32.6 tons

Average life expectancy: 76.2

Reckless Index Score: 97.73

1

Louisiana

boat docked in the channel next to tress in New Orleans, Louisianaboat docked in the channel next to tress in New Orleans, Louisiana
iStock

Speeding tickets per capita: N/A

Pedestrian fatalities per capita: 3.52

Debt per capita: $3,910.20

Landfill trash per capita: 38.7 tons

Average life expectancy: 75.4

Reckless Index Score: 100.00

And for more on the place where money means everything, This Is the Greediest State in America.

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