Thursday, November 30, 2023


Which state has the worst drivers? 2021 report ranks them all

For the fifth year in a row, Smart Asset has produced a report showing the states with the worst drivers. (Did the East Coast just pop into your head? Yes, for us too. But you may be surprised…)

To find these states, Smart Asset considered four metrics: the percentage of drivers who are insured, the number of DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers, the number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven and, lastly, how often residents search Google for terms like “traffic ticket” or “speeding ticket.” Fascinating, huh?

So, which state has the best drivers according to the metrics above? Massachusetts.

Top 10 states with the BEST drivers:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Utah
  5. New Jersey
  6. Vermont (Tie)
  7. Connecticut (Tie)
  8. New York
  9. Maine
  10. West Virginia

Now, which state has the worst drivers? Mississippi ranks worst, for the fourth year in a row. Be careful driving through Mississippi, folks!

Top 10 states with the WORST drivers:

  1. Mississippi
  2. North Dakota
  3. California
  4. Florida
  5. Nevada
  6. Oklahoma (Tie)
  7. Tennessee (Tie)
  8. Arizona
  9. Kentucky
  10. Missouri

Tell us in the comments below which state you think has the best and worst drivers. We’re curious to hear what you say.

To see the full list and see where your state stands, click here.


Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury is the editor here at She was lucky enough to grow up alongside two traveling parents, one domestically by RV (yep, Chuck Woodbury) and the other for international adventures, and has been lucky to see a great deal of our world (and counting!). She lives near Seattle with her dog and chickens. When she's not cranking out 365+ newsletters for she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



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Edward Wilkinson (@guest_202649)
1 year ago

Earlier I wrote that Utah has the worst drivers. Forbes Mag. has done a survey with the following results:

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah may not be a great place to be when it comes to confrontations on the roadway.
A study published this week by Forbes Advisor singled out the Beehive State as having the most confrontational drivers for a few different reasons. Outlined in the report:…………..

This came from KSL news site. I feel vindicated. And the “Smart Asset” assessment here has been refuted adequately to suit me! Utah has quite literally vicious tendencies in their driving habits.

The link to the story on KSL is:

Every state does not have horrible drivers: North Dakota is heaven on wheels per this Forbes study!! Bravo, North Dakota.

Grrm (@guest_200709)
1 year ago

We travel up and down 95 in our 40 ft RV and PMV a lot. I’m tired of the leap froggers, these are kids (to us) who switch lanes left to right and back as fast as they can go weaving in and out of cars with little space to spare. You are constantly on the look out. We’ve seen them use the shoulder for their ”game”. We’ve traveled to the pacific northwest several times, haven’t noted this typical driving on those trips. Cops in Georgia (not our home state) plentiful and doing a great job pulling over truckers and cars, but they can’t cover it all every minute. Have started to use 301 and alternate routes, takes more time but we feel better.

Bucket Boy (@guest_200371)
1 year ago

I live in Utah. They should compete for the worst. If ignoring stop signs, driving on the shoulder, blocking the left lanes count, these guys are one of the worst.

Just very little enforcement.

Allan Taylor (@guest_200323)
1 year ago

Every state with a metropolitian area has horrible drivers. You will find yourself driving as they do to compete for road space. My wife pointed that out in my driving as I drove the DC and Baltimore area daily. You get aggressive trying to protect your space. After retiring we moved to southwest VA. Ah, quiet.

Glen Cowgill (@guest_200039)
1 year ago

I live in Miami-Dade County and like most of you have driven in many states recently. I think there is too small a difference from worst to best that the rankings are flawed. Where I live versus North Florida there seems to be a big difference in my opinion.
Miami-Dade and Broward Counties along with the Tampa area are by far the worst. then I drive in the Washington, DC area which by far is worse. All mentioned are high density areas. I find West Virginia and middle Pennsylvania drivers to be more calm as there is less traffic.
Insurance regulations seem to have a major impact on how drivers drive. The Florida No-Fault at best is nothing more than a sham. In the last several years, my vehicles have been hit by un-insured drivers, all they had was medical coverage as required by law with one having no insurance. My insurance paid for all with deductibles I had to pay. Two of the accidents the drivers left the scene.

IMHO, we are all facing pretty much the same scenario.

Tony G (@guest_199982)
1 year ago

Nevada is at a significant disadvantage because of all the visiting California drivers who are THE WORST. Apparently, California traffic laws don’t prohibit excessive speed, ignoring red lights and other traffic control signs, tailgating and ignoring other common traffic laws.

Cesar (@guest_199930)
1 year ago

I lived in 3 states and the drivers of Georgia are the worst. Twice I drove across the state and 3 times people drove in to highway and merge across 3 lanes and almost hit them in the rear. Speed limit was 70 and they go 50 in the fast lane.

Sally Harnish (@guest_199923)
1 year ago

How in the world New Jersey is one of the best, beats me. Arizona could be easily ranked higher in the “worst” especially Yuma. Then in snowbird season, Washington plated drivers boost that even higher.

Dana D (@guest_199920)
1 year ago

Whoever says Massachusetts, NH, NJ, NY, and CT have the best drivers clearly hasn’t lived and driven there. I have. They are the worst drivers.

Al H. (@guest_199934)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dana D

I’m not convinced that MA is numero uno. I’ve driven through Boston, home of the kamikaze BMWs.

Stu Neilson (@guest_200107)
1 year ago
Reply to  Al H.

Electric (colored) Blue Beemers and Suburu’s with the “spoilers” are the most dangerous. They are never in the accident, but they cause it!

Grumpy_Vet (@guest_199998)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dana D

Concur! Especially the bikers from there when they come to FL bike events.

Stu (@guest_200106)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dana D

There’s Lies
Damned Lies and
Then there’s Statistics!
I live in Mass, drive professionally in Mass.
The data is skewed, but it got clicks. That’s what they were looking for. (OK I’m a grammar freak, and that was wrong, too.)
In Boston, if you use yer Blknkah, befoah ya tern, they’ll letcha.
Just make a lane change, without any regahd for the otha guy, ye get the finger or da horn. Just sayin’.

Larry Lee (@guest_199901)
1 year ago

This article was interesting, but I was more interested in data ranking states by their auto insurance rates so I Googled that subject and found that information readily available. FYI the insurance rate rankings are very different than the “worst and best” drivers rankings. Perhaps an article on insurance rates ranked by states would be of interest to your readers.

Ival Secrest (@guest_199878)
1 year ago

We are full-time RVers and have made statements about two things in many cities and states. Signage and drivers. The drivers across the US are equally bad and good. Seeing highway signs when needed can be a challenge because of other competing signs, insufficient time to make a lane change, and plant life growth hides important signs sometimes.

Dave G (@guest_199874)
1 year ago

The first criteria is percent of drivers that are insured, Mass is MANDATORY coverage, so guess what, they get 100%!

Not correct criteria!

KellyR (@guest_199879)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave G

Fla. is mandatory too, but what does that mean? Still a lot without insurance and there are a LOT of bad insured drivers down here.

Lisa Adcox (@guest_199950)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave G

TN is mandatory but many still drive without it or they are only insured enough to be legal. We were hit by a woman who had $15,000 in Liabilty. She totalled our Travel Trailer and did over $20,000 to our truck. So we had to use our insurance. We had to pay out two deductibles. Our insurance then sued her. She is still paying 3 1/2 years later.

Stephen Wiley (@guest_199849)
1 year ago

I can’t disagree more with this list, both results are flawed in my opinion

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Wiley
Gary (@guest_199845)
1 year ago

I think they are all equally bad/good.

Edward Wilkinson (@guest_199850)
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary

You know, Gary…after reading all the input so far…you seem most probably to be right!

Maybe I will have to revise my opinion.

Edward Wilkinson (@guest_199842)
1 year ago

I was just going to write the same words that L Beal wrote. Utah drivers are among the worst I have experienced. I live in Utah; for 67 years in fact. I have driven in many States and some in Canada as well. Nothing overshadows the rudeness, the intolerable mindset that I experience each day here in my own State. If Utah is not the worst, they are certainly nearly there, and working hard to hold that title. I think law enforcement has just given up. Enforcement is impossible. Sorry Utah, but it is true in my experience.

The metrics of this silly measure are obviously deeply flawed.

L Beal (@guest_199832)
1 year ago

Have these people actually ever driven in Utah? Utah has the worst, most inconsiderate drivers in the west, worse than California. No way they are in the top 10 best.
I am not alone in this, everyone I know feels the same.

Bucket Boy (@guest_200372)
1 year ago
Reply to  L Beal

You are absolutely correct. I’ve driven in a multitude of states. They are rude extraordinaire!

DW/ND (@guest_199831)
1 year ago

ND has very aggressive DUI and speeding enforcement. They even have stealth teams visit bars to check on under-age drinking. Not sure but I think ND may rank as one of the highest educated states with numerous colleges and universities and outreach education facilities – all translates to younger more aggressive drivers. At the other end – ND has an aging population with long distances to travel for care. Then there is the aspect of major warehousing, manufacturing and all the support businesses requiring the immigration of employees from all over the country – bringing their bad driving habits with them!

About 90% of North Dakotan’s have finally learned how to properly enter and exit an interstate highway!

Janet (@guest_199868)
1 year ago
Reply to  DW/ND

I was going to say the same thing in a more general way. The number of DUI arrests has as much or more to do with the level of law enforcement activities and officers to pursue it than the actual number of drunk drivers on the road. This whole report is flawed in many ways.

I live in California and in at least the last 10 years have seen a serious degradation in the skill level and concern for anyone else on the road. The Sacramento Bee recently published a long article on how difficult it is for people to pass the multiple choice written driver’s license test, going so far as to quote one woman whose complaint was that the questions on the tests (intended to determine how well people know and understand the rules of the road) aren’t written to match the way people drive and that’s why people can’t answer them. Say what????

Jeff Craig (@guest_199811)
1 year ago

Genuinely surprised that Washington State isn’t in the Top Ten Worst list.

We have way, Way, WAY to many drivers around here from CA, TX, NV and AZ (based on current plates and dealership labels/plate frames) that don’t realize or care that you don’t drive alone in the HOV lanes, stay in the left lane (the worst ones do the speed limit in it!!!) and you pull over/change lanes away from Emergency or disabled vehicles.

Uncle Swags (@guest_199782)
1 year ago

Who from Mass. did the survey. Complete garbage if you have driven in every state.

Bob (@guest_199755)
1 year ago

There as to be some other metrics that they are missing. I’m from Vermont and we called Massachusetts drivers Massholes because they where such bad drivers. No way are they the safest.

Stu Neilson (@guest_200108)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Sorry, Bob,
You don’t get the whole picture.
There are relatively few Mass drivers in VT.
If you want the full experience visit 128 from top to bottom any day!

UVM Grad Dad
wish I coulda stayed, but not in the cards.

P.S. Stay in VT. Enjoy paradise!

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