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Wyoming, Idaho, and Tennessee Ranked the Riskiest States to Travel to During the Holidays

Published on December 21, 2020

QuoteWizard®, a LendingTree company, and one of the nation’s leading online insurance marketplaces released a report on holiday travel risk factors to see which states were considered riskier than others to visit this holiday season.

With holiday travel estimated to see strong numbers, dangers on the roads, and COVID-19 make for serious risks while seeing friends and family this year. Depending on where you’re traveling, those risks can be greater than other destinations.

Key Findings:

  • Over 3,100 deaths were recorded on Thanksgiving Day, breaking the daily COVID-19 death record.
  • In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 799 auto fatalities would occur across the U.S. over the Christmas and New Year holiday.
  • West Virginia, Kentucky and Alabama have the most at-risk seniors with underlying health conditions.
  • North Dakota, Rhode Island and South Dakota have the highest COVID-19 cases and death rates per 100,000 in the last seven days.
  • Nevada, Wyoming and Georgia have the fewest vaccinated adults, causing more concern for the seasonal flu as well as a higher adoption rate for the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Wyoming, Virginia and Colorado ranked 2020’s worst-driving states in our fifth annual Best and Worst Drivers by State.

QuoteWizard analyzed three driving and three health metrics to determine which states are the riskiest for pandemic holiday travel. In addition, we looked at the most recent (Tuesday, December 15) CDC data on United States COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by State in the last seven days per 100,000 people from all 50 states. Each metric was then ranked on a scale of 1 to 50, representing the safest to riskiest conditions for specific state travel. We then determined each state’s safety ranking by totaling across all metric scores to calculate its overall ranking and used the resulting scores to rank-order each of the states.

  • Dangerous driving states – These rankings are compiled from QuoteWizard’s annual best and worst driver study. Each state’s driver quality ranking is based on the rate of accidents, speeding tickets and DUIs.
  • Seniors with underlying health conditions – QuoteWizard analyzed CDC prevalence data that looks at seniors with high-risk COVID-19-related health issues that include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Adult vaccination rates – QuoteWizard analyzed the Commonwealth Fund’s Health System Data on adults with age-appropriate vaccinations.
  • Hospital capacity – To evaluate health care capacity, QuoteWizard analyzed Health and Human Services (HHS) and Kaiser Family Foundation data, looking at IUC beds and physicians per 1,000 people in each state.
  • COVID-19 cases and death rates – QuoteWizard looked at the most recent (Monday, December 14) CDC data on United States COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by State in the last seven days per 100,000 people
Associate Writer