There is absolutely nothing funny about this. Car crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S. and were expected to cause around 40,000 deaths by the end of 2018. To put it plainly, America’s roads are dangerous. Texting behind the wheel is a major reason for many traffic fatalities, and it’s only getting worse. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed by distracted driving. Plus, inexpensive gas and a strong economy means more drivers. And More people on the road leads to more accidents and citations.
QuoteWizard, a sort of online travel agency (only, for car insurance) that provides quotes for auto insurance, has done a pretty thorough job in developing a methodology* for rating the 50 states for safe (and not safe) drivers. Every state has their share of bad drivers, but some are worse than others. See how your state stacks up against the rest.
The Rankings: QuoteWizard ranked all states from worst to best based on the methodology outlined at the end of the article. The top states on the list have the worst drivers, whereas the last states on the list have the best. It has also used a color code on the ranking list and map. States with bad drivers are filled in as dark shades of blue, while states with good drivers are marked with light shades of green.
- Maine: A drastic rise in traffic citations and fatalities are to blame for Maine’s jump from seventh worst last year to the absolute bottom of the bunch this year. But don’t just take our word for it. According to Maine.gov, there was an increase of more than 1,500 car crashes from 2016 to 2017.
- South Carolina: South Carolinians love the simple things in life, like cracking a cold one at the beach. The problem? It seems they’re too quick to get behind the wheel after having a few too many. Nearly half of all fatal crashes in SC result from drunk driving. Drivers can blame an increase in DUIs for the jump from last year’s rank as the fourth worst drivers to the second worst drivers this year.
- Nebraska: This Midwestern state climbed from sixth worst in 2017 to third worst this year. That jump is thanks to a rise in speeding and traffic citations. Nebraskans may be used to driving infamy, as the QuoteWizard study of the best and worst drivers by city found that Omaha has the worst drivers in the country. But it appears that the rest of the state isn’t much better on the road. Statewide traffic fatalities rose an average of five percent from 2016 to 2017.
- Michigan: If you want a stress-free road trip, pack your bags and head to the Great Lakes State. Drivers earn the gold medal thanks to less citations, speeding, and fatalities than last year. There’s one catch – our study only accounts for insured drivers, and this state has plenty of rule breakers. Although Michigan’s insured drivers are the best in the country, one in five don’t have car insurance.
- Mississippi: It has America’s second-best drivers! That title was earned thanks to low speeding, DUI, citation, and fatal crash rates. The state jumped from third best last year to second best this year. But Mississippi still has a problem with buckling up, as half of the state’s fatal car crashes involve unbuckled seatbelts.
- Oklahoma: It has some of the safest drivers in the country. The Sooner State made a big leap, going from 11th best in 2017 to third best in 2018. That’s because of a decrease in speeding, citations, and fatalities. We’re not that surprised, though, Tulsa rang in at seventh best in QuoteWizard’s study of the best and worst drivers by city.
* Methodology: QuoteWizard sampled incident data (with more than two million data points) from the users of its website and juxtaposed it to Federal Highway Administration fatality data. To quantify overall driver standards for comparison, it weighted various incident totals for each state with its occurrence percentage. The rankings are a sum of weighted means calculated from these incidents: