The number of state-by-state tags of graffiti has skyrocketed since the 1990s, and in some places, it’s now more than double the national average, according to a new report.
In the study by the National Association of State Highway Officials, the states with the highest rates of vandalism and graffiti are also home to the largest numbers of car drivers.
The highest percentage of tags in states that don’t require proof of insurance is in Georgia, at more than 11.5 percent, followed by North Dakota, at 9.5.
In the other two states, Florida and Mississippi, the highest percentage is 7.5 to 8.5 per 100,000 residents.
The report also found that the state of Virginia leads the nation in vehicle accidents involving a car, at 10.6 accidents per 100 million people.
In Georgia, the number is 8.4 per 100 people.
The study found that in the 10 states with a lower percentage of tagging, the rate of accidents involving cars was at least three times higher.
That includes Texas, the state with the most tags, which had at least 14 accidents per 1 million people in 2016, according the report.
The National Association for State Highway Officers said it hopes the report will encourage state legislators to work with the states to address the problem.
“We recognize that it is a statewide problem, and we know that there are a lot of issues we need to address,” said Mark Gershman, the association’s director of communications.
“We hope this report will provide some information that may help them better address the issue.”
Gershim said the study will provide a better understanding of the issue and help states implement more proactive measures to reduce the issue.
“It’s important to understand that this is a public health issue,” Gersim said.
“It affects our kids and our seniors and we need better education for drivers to reduce accidents and injuries.”
Follow Julie Pace on Twitter at @jpaceDC.