Media outlets were quick during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdowns that defined the summer and fall of 2020 to note just how little traffic there was as a result. Simple logic would suggest that less traffic equals a lower likelihood of accidents and thus fewer injuries and fatalities. Sadly, this was not the case.

Nationwide, traffic fatalities rose 7.2% in 2020 to nearly 39,000. That number was the highest recorded since 2007. Qualifying this disturbing fact is a sticky wicket—common denominators behind traffic deaths such as impaired driving, failure to use a seat belt, and excessive speed were certainly contributing factors, but they alone do not account for a rise in deaths commensurate with a 430-million-mile drop in the number of miles people traveled across the course of the year. What can be qualified, however, is where fatal crashes took place.

Citing data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Stacker identified the counties in West Virginia that had the most fatalities from motor vehicle crashes in 2020. The number of accident fatalities are ranked by the number of deaths per 100,000 people, with the raw number functioning as a tiebreaker. The analysis only looked at counties with at least five deaths during 2020. Additional data is included on pedestrian, bicyclist, and drunk-driving-related deaths. In counties where at least five fatalities happened on the same street or interstate, the road with the most deaths is also included.

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Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Cabell County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 5.3 per 100K people (#1,639 nationally, 5 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 3 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Tim Kiser // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Raleigh County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 6.7 per 100K people (#1,570 nationally, 5 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 3 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Zverzver // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Monongalia County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 7.6 per 100K people (#1,520 nationally, 8 deaths)
– 1 pedestrian death
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 4 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Harrison County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 9.1 per 100K people (#1,436 nationally, 6 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 1 death involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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O Palsson // Flickr

#17. Kanawha County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 12.6 per 100K people (#1,204 nationally, 23 deaths)
– 5 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 5 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Preston County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 14.6 per 100K people (#1,081 nationally, 5 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 1 bicyclist death
– 3 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Logan County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 15.3 per 100K people (#1,024 nationally, 5 deaths)
– 1 pedestrian death
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 0 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Berkeley County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 15.8 per 100K people (#992 nationally, 19 deaths)
– 1 pedestrian death
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 7 deaths involving drunk drivers
– Road with most fatalities: I-81 (9 fatalities)

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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Mercer County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 16.7 per 100K people (#924 nationally, 10 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 1 death involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Fayette County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 17.0 per 100K people (#915 nationally, 7 deaths)
– 1 pedestrian death
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 3 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Canva

#11. Wood County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 18.9 per 100K people (#818 nationally, 16 deaths)
– 1 pedestrian death
– 1 bicyclist death
– 4 deaths involving drunk drivers
– Road with most fatalities: SR-14 (7 fatalities)

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Taber Andrew Bain // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Greenbrier County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 24.0 per 100K people (#615 nationally, 8 deaths)
– 2 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 4 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Nicholas County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 24.2 per 100K people (#609 nationally, 6 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 2 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Coal town guy // Wikimedia Commons

#8. McDowell County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 25.9 per 100K people (#549 nationally, 5 deaths)
– 1 pedestrian death
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 2 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Jefferson County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 26.1 per 100K people (#539 nationally, 15 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 3 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Randolph County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 28.4 per 100K people (#459 nationally, 8 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 2 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Upshur County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 29.2 per 100K people (#432 nationally, 7 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 3 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Wayne County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 35.6 per 100K people (#296 nationally, 14 deaths)
– 1 pedestrian death
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 9 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Jackson County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 35.7 per 100K people (#292 nationally, 10 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 3 deaths involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Grant County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 54.2 per 100K people (#117 nationally, 6 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 1 death involving drunk drivers
– No roads with at least five fatalities

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Hampshire County, West Virginia

– Motor vehicle crash fatalities: 56.0 per 100K people (#103 nationally, 13 deaths)
– 0 pedestrian deaths
– 0 bicyclist deaths
– 3 deaths involving drunk drivers
– Road with most fatalities: US-50 (7 fatalities)