Which state has the worst drivers? This new report ranks them all

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For the fourth 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 Google terms like “traffic ticket” or “speeding ticket.” Fascinating, huh?

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

Here are the top 10:

1. Massachusetts
2. Utah
3. Nebraska
4. Vermont
5. Maine
6. New York
7. Connecticut
7. Ohio (tie)
9. Kansas (tie)
10. New Hampshire

Now which state has the worst drivers? Mississippi ranks worst, for the third year in a row.

Here are the worst 10:

1. Mississippi
2. Nevada
3. Tennessee
4. Florida
5. California
6. Arizona
7. Texas (tie)
7. South Carolina (tie)
9. New Mexico
10. Alaska

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

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

##RVT956

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Doug
2 months ago

The best drivers can be found in the Midwest especially the Dakotas and Nebraska and Minnesota (except for Minneapolis). The are courteous, knowledgeable and will wave at you, even from a harvesting combine. Upstate New York also has good drivers and probably wish NYC was a separate states so as to not be associated with them. Seems that driving is a good indicator of the character of the people there and their priorities.

Doug
2 months ago

My own ongoing research is based on observation of driving behavior across the US rather than fancy statistics. Clearly hands down the worse most violent drivers are from Texas both in state and out of state. Their motto “Drive Friendly the Texas Way” is a bigger lie than ‘the check is in the mail’. California comes second because of the complete disregard they have for every other driver “It’s OK, we’re from California” – the place that gave you Rodney King and his PCP fueled ride, OJ and his white Bronco, and drive-by shootings. Colorado is third due to their speed/tailgating driving style and the influx of Texas and California drivers. Speed signs are there just to annoy people “No one tells me how fast or slow to drive – this is America”. Plus everyone drives a pick-up and has a mustache. Illinois and Michigan are also in the mix – they abandon cars in the left lane in Illinois and Michigan drivers are just plain old speed demons.

Mark
2 months ago

I can’t put much faith in that list. Anyone who has driven in the eastern half of MA for more than 10 minutes will most likely put them at the other end of the list, as well as most of CT and southern NY.

Jim
2 months ago

Ask auto insurance companies. USAA told my son, who lives in Florida, the only state that has higher premiums than Florida…..is Michigan.

Donald N Wright
2 months ago

Naturally, lousy driving folks from the few good states all move to the warm states and make them bad driving states. I wish they would all move back home to yankeeland.

Gene Bjerke
2 months ago

Back in the Dark Ages, when I lived in Connecticut, I was convinced they were the worst drivers. The state police were constantly pushing the “Speed Kills” mantra, and it seemed to be successful. Folks believed that speed was the only thing that killed. Consequently, I frequently observed people doing incredibly stupid and dangerous things — but that was okay because they were doing them slowly and thus safely. (Like slowly driving down a freeway on-ramp. Too bad about the neighbor who met a tractor-trailer coming up.) Incidentally, after moving to Virginia, I noticed that the faster-moving cars often had Connecticut license plates, like they had been let out of school.

Henry F
2 months ago

over the past 30 years I have travelled to all 50 states. Hands down the most uncourteous divers are in Massachusetts.

Cindy
2 months ago

I’m surprised MI and IL drivers aren’t on the worst list. They are rude at minimum.

Rich T
2 months ago

FATAL ACCIDENTS:
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), MA has the fewest fatalities per million miles traveled at 0.54
https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
The 10 worst are:
Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Alaska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina 

ACCIDENTS:
According to World Atlas, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/us-states-with-the-most-car-accidents.html
“Speeding, careless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and poor weather conditions are among the major causes of road accidents in the US. As indicated by the statistics provided, the rate of accidents varies from state to state. Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, South Carolina and North Carolina are among the states with the highest rates of accidents. The states of Massachusetts, North Dakota, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, and Alaska have relatively low rates of car accidents.”

Dick and Sandy near Buffalo, NY
2 months ago

Yes Florida is bad but not just in Snow Bird Season. The locals act just the same driving over, way over the speed limit, cut you off, no turn signals, it’s crazy. And why is Georgia not on any list. I guess no one has driven around or through Atlanta. Same thing, no respect. Defensive driving has become the norm for us. Stay well, Stay safe.

Mike Albert
2 months ago

Wait! Are you telling me that in Florida, turn signals are included as standard equipment??? I thought they were an option that most of the drivers year round never use!

KellyR
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

Mike, if you want to have turn signals on a car in Florida, you have to go out of state to buy it – then pay a tax to bring it into the state (last part is true). In the last 60 years this place has gone to the STUPID. Florida is HIGH on the list for killing pedestrians and bicyclists.

KellyR
2 months ago
Reply to  KellyR

Oh, Red Lights don’t necessarily mean STOP, here in the Bay Area either.

Captn John
2 months ago

Florida has the worst on the east coast. Finding a growing problem in the Carolinas. The main reason is the influx of older people from NY, NJ, CT where they either never had to drive or drove terribly as a rule.

KellyR
2 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

Captn, it is not the older people, but the 20 to 40 crowd, down here, that create the accidents. Which kinda may seem backwards.

Steve
2 months ago

After taking cabs in Boston, where cabbies run red lights as a rule, not an exception, how did MA make the #1 “best driver” list?

Rich T
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

FATAL ACCIDENTS:
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), MA has the fewest fatalities per million miles traveled at 0.54
https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
The 10 worst are:
Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Alaska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina 

ACCIDENTS:
According to World Atlas, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/us-states-with-the-most-car-accidents.html
“Speeding, careless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and poor weather conditions are among the major causes of road accidents in the US. As indicated by the statistics provided, the rate of accidents varies from state to state. Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, South Carolina and North Carolina are among the states with the highest rates of accidents. The states of Massachusetts, North Dakota, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, and Alaska have relatively low rates of car accidents.”

Kate Perrie
2 months ago

We have been full time RVers for 13 years and hands down when we see a bad driver they usually have a California license plate. They cut in front of an RV with little to no regard to the fact that our stopping distance is far greater than that of a car. They constantly weave through traffic and have no problem just cutting someone off. I have even seen a California driver go right over a concrete parking spot barrier!!

Jim Langley
2 months ago
Reply to  Kate Perrie

Just remember an awful lot of those drivers learned to drive someplace OTHER than CA.

Paul
2 months ago

Did the people who compiled this list live in OHIO? Because I may live in Florida and during the Snow Bird season, the Ohio driven cars are operated by morons. Never use signals when turning and when they do, they just leave them on forever. Love to drive in the left hand lane and sightsee. (always well below the speed limit). How about they make all their phone calls before they get into their cars. PS, texting in Florida while operating your vehicle is illegal .

Jim Stein
2 months ago

The worst drivers? That’s easy…everyone else!

Patrick Granahan
2 months ago

South Carolina should be number one on the “worst “ list. I recently moved to the Carolinas
And the morning TV news features dozens of accidents every day…rain or shine.
Compared to the state of New York the AM and PM accident rates are out of control at
“Rush-hour”….IMHO South Carolina drivers are the “tail-gating champions of the world”…
inches off your rear bumper at 70 MPH.
No wonder they all love NASCAR racing and the spectacular crashes…just like everyday
Commuter rush hour !

Rock
2 months ago

The problem with the study cited is that the metrics chosen were not the best to answer the question asked. I would have gone with something like the number of moving violation tickets per 1,000 licensed drivers and the number of traffic accidents per 1,000 licensed drivers. That would have been much more accurate and would have put Massachusetts near the bottom of the list.

Jim O'Briant
2 months ago
Reply to  Rock

That method would tell us which states have the most or least efficient and effective traffic cops, but not which state has the best or worst drivers.

KellyR
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim O'Briant

Agreed

Rich T
2 months ago
Reply to  Rock

FATAL ACCIDENTS:
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), *MA* has the fewest fatalities per million miles traveled at 0.54
https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
The 10 worst are:
Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Alaska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina 

ACCIDENTS:
According to World Atlas, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/us-states-with-the-most-car-accidents.html
“Speeding, careless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and poor weather conditions are among the major causes of road accidents in the US. As indicated by the statistics provided, the rate of accidents varies from state to state. Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, South Carolina and North Carolina are among the states with the highest rates of accidents. The states of *Massachusetts*, North Dakota, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, and Alaska have relatively low rates of car accidents.”

L. M. Worrell
2 months ago

It has been my experience that Oregon and Florida drivers either drive too slow or too fast, Virginia drivers love to tailgate, Maryland drivers don’t believe in lane divisions, Washington drivers pull over to wait out cloudbursts, and California drivers go as fast as they think they can get away with, but California drivers used to be some of the safest drivers. I say “used to be” because I haven’t been there in a few years.

Traveler
2 months ago
Reply to  L. M. Worrell

Pulling over for a cloudburst is bad?
At least they got out of your way!

KellyR
2 months ago
Reply to  Traveler

If you pull over for a cloud burst in Florida, you are always pulling over AND you will get rear-ended.

Tom
2 months ago

The criteria they use does not really mean bad drivers. Drive a RV or Semi through any congested area, to really see how bad the drivers are. How many avoid rush hour because of the way drivers maneuver their vehicles to gain 2 lengths faster to the next stop light.

Lester
2 months ago

I retired to Henderson NV from SoCal. I’m convinced DL here are obtained by sending in 3 box tops from your favorite cereal!