We talk about it all the time -- don't text and drive. That's just one of the many ways we can all be distracted while we are driving.

Unfortunately, crashes involving distracted driving are on the rise. Subsequently, so are the number of fatalities attributed to distracted driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people were killed in crashes caused by distracted driving in 2020. (These are the most recent year's stats that were just released.)

While driving was down as a lot of folks were home for good portions of 2020 and driving deaths were down for the year, sadly distracted driving deaths were up 12% over the previous year.

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as "any activity that diverts attention" while we're behind the wheel. That includes eating, talking and messing with your GPS.

However, the organization says that texting and driving is the most "alarming" form of all as it takes your eyes off the road for seconds at a time.

The folks at MoneyGeek have analyzed the NHTSA's data on distracted driving to find out which states have the biggest problem and The Bayou State, unfortunately, ranks high on the list.

MoneyGeek also looked at highway usage data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to determine how much distracted driving is happening per mile driven so the bigger states don't simply end up at the top of the list.

Here are the states with the highest distracted driving fatality rates, according to MoneyGeek's analysis:

  1. New Mexico
  2. Louisiana
  3. Kansas
  4. Kentucky
  5. Hawaii
  6. Washington
  7. Wyoming
  8. Illinois
  9. New Jersey
  10. Idaho

On the flip side, the best places for distracted driving (fewest related fatalities), were as follows:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Mississippi
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Nevada
  5. Connecticut
  6. California
  7. Georgia
  8. West Virginia
  9. South Dakota
  10. Utah

New Mexico, which tops the "bad" list, saw 276 deaths related to distracted driving in 2020, while Rhode Island saw only four related deaths.

To see MoneyGeek's full analysis and where all the states rank, click here.

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