The Best and Worst Drivers by State

The Best and Worst Drivers by State

The Best and Worst Drivers by State

In the five years we at QuoteWizard have been publishing our best and worst driver study, we have learned one thing: No matter where you live and drive, those drivers are the worst. California annually ranks among the worst drivers, according to our data, and they are generally in agreement that Californians are the worst drivers. When talking to Floridians about their continually great record of being among the best drivers, it’s met with utter disagreement. “Are you kidding me? Every day I get run off the road on my commute on I-95 from Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale!”

What’s great about our best and worst driver study is that we’re using millions of data points to determine where the best and worst really are. While Florida may disagree with our findings, they can find solace in knowing it could be worse in other states. On the other hand, our data confirms what Californians have known for years. Everyone’s most popular opinion reflects the quality of the drivers around them. Many people have experienced driving in all parts of the country and have their thoughts on who is among the best or worst. What is your favorite and least favorite state to drive in? Do our rankings do it justice?

Best and worst ranking methodology

We analyzed over 2 million insurance quotes from QuoteWizard drivers to see which states had the best and worst drivers. To get rankings, we built a composite score between four driving incident factors:

  • Accidents
  • Speeding tickets
  • DUIs
  • Citations

Rankings are a composite score based on the rate of occurrence between the four ranking factors. States considered to have the worst drivers had the highest rates of each incident factor. States considered to have the best drivers had the lowest rates of each incident factor.

Rank (Worst to Best) State
1 Wyoming
2 Virginia
3 Colorado
4 New Jersey
5 South Dakota
6 Vermont
7 Maryland
8 Washington
9 Ohio
10 South Carolina
11 Georgia
12 North Dakota
13 Oregon
14 California
15 Delaware
16 Nebraska
17 Wisconsin
18 Arkansas
19 Indiana
20 Idaho
21 Maine
22 Utah
23 Alaska
24 Kansas
25 Connecticut
26 New York
27 Tennessee
28 Iowa
29 Pennsylvania
30 Louisiana
31 Minnesota
32 Alabama
33 Massachusetts
34 New Hampshire
35 Rhode Island
36 Hawaii
37 Mississippi
38 North Carolina
39 Arizona
40 Oklahoma
41 Montana
42 Nevada
43 Kentucky
44 Illinois
45 Florida
46 Texas
47 New Mexico
48 Michigan
49 Missouri
50 West Virginia

Most accident-prone states

Our ranking of the most accident-prone states means our data saw accidents occurring most often in these top five states. Geographically, it looks like the northeast carries the highest rate of accidents. Starting on I-95 in Boston, down through Providence, all the way to Baltimore appears to be the hotbed for accidents in the most accident-prone states.

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Maryland
  3. Massachusetts
  4. South Carolina
  5. Utah

Most lead-footed states

The most lead-footed states are those that speed the most and get caught doing it. No surprises here if you’ve ever driven in California. Californians tend to treat speed limits as more of a suggestion than the law. California Highway Patrol knows this too, so they’re always around the next turn. New York City traffic is brutally slow, but the open roads heading upstate can feel like a racetrack after getting out of the city.

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Delaware
  4. Hawaii
  5. North Dakota

Drunkest-driving states

When it comes to the drunkest-driving states, they’re all neighbors. While it may seem like a coincidence that the top four states are all next to each other, CDC data confirms it is not. The CDC’s BRFSSP data on alcohol consumption by state has the highest-consuming states all in the same neighborhood. It’s likely something about the cold northern states where people like to drink and the rural cities don’t have much of a cab service.

  1. Wyoming
  2. North Dakota
  3. South Dakota
  4. Nebraska
  5. Alaska

Worst driving habits (most citations)

The common citations we see while analyzing driver history tend to be tickets for things like texting while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, failure to signal and other minor citations. While minor in nature, they are bad driving habits that lead to accidents. States that ranked poorly for citations coincide with those with the worst driving behaviors. We could imagine citations for texting “Roll Tide” while driving landed Alabama on the top of our list.

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Wyoming
  4. Kansas
  5. South Carolina

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