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The Geography of Car Deaths in America

The U.S. is a nation divided not just by how people get around, but by how fast they drive.
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Dmitry Kalinovsky /

America is famously divided along many lines: red and blue states, high-income and low-income areas, educated and uneducated cities—the list goes on. But, startlingly, America’s political and economic divide extends to fatality rates as well, and specifically to where people are killed in their cars.

The map below shows America’s Car Death Belt, made up of two distinct parts: the Deep South and the Great Plains states.