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  • Writer's pictureJay A. Hines


Driving behavior varies from state to state, and it is always interesting to analyze which states have the worst drivers. In this article, we will explore the driving habits and statistics of different states to determine which ones rank at the bottom when it comes to road safety. By examining multiple sources, including Forbes Advisor, SmartAsset, and, we can paint a comprehensive picture of the states with the worst drivers.

Understanding the Metrics Used to Determine Driving Rankings

Before we delve into the rankings, it's important to understand the metrics used to evaluate driving behavior. Different studies and analyses consider various factors, such as the number of at-fault accidents, DUI arrests, traffic citations, fatalities per miles driven, and rates of distracted driving. By combining these metrics, we can get a clear sense of which states struggle the most with safe driving.

Forbes Advisor's Analysis of Dangerous Driving Behavior

Forbes Advisor conducted an analysis to identify the states with the worst drivers. They compared all 50 states and Washington, D.C., across six key metrics. The metrics included the number of drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents, the number of fatal accidents involving distracted driving, the number of fatal accidents involving drowsy driving, the number of accidents involving wrong-way driving, the number of accidents involving failure to obey traffic signs, and the number of drivers looking at their phones per mile driven.

According to Forbes Advisor's analysis, Texas topped the list of states with the worst drivers. They scored 100 out of 100, indicating poor performance across all metrics. Texas ranked second worst for fatal accidents involving drowsy drivers and wrong-way driving. Additionally, Texas reported the third-highest number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes and the ninth-highest number of fatal accidents involving distracted drivers.

Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky followed Texas, securing spots among the top five states with the worst drivers. Louisiana, in particular, ranked high for fatal accidents involving distracted drivers and drunk drivers. Kansas stood out for its high number of fatal accidents involving distracted driving and drivers who disobeyed traffic signs. Oklahoma ranked poorly for fatal accidents involving distracted drivers and failure to obey traffic signs. Kentucky struggled with fatal accidents involving distracted drivers and wrong-way driving.

SmartAsset's Study on Driving Behavior and Insurance Applications

SmartAsset conducted a study based on at-fault incidents listed on auto insurance applications and traffic fatality rates. They analyzed the percentage of drivers with at-fault incidents, DUI arrests, and fatalities per 100,000 miles driven. The study revealed a different set of states with poor driving behavior.

According to SmartAsset's study, Mississippi took the top spot for having the worst drivers for three consecutive years. The state had the lowest rate of insured drivers and the second-highest number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. North Dakota, California, Florida, and Nevada also ranked among the top states with the worst drivers, based on the study's metrics.'s List of Best and Worst Drivers by State analyzed the percentage of drivers with clean records to determine the states with the best drivers. Conversely, they focused on the number of drivers with at-fault incidents to identify the states with the worst drivers. Their findings shed light on additional states with concerning driving behavior.

Ohio emerged as the state with the worst drivers according to Drivers in Ohio had the highest rate of traffic citations and speeding tickets per capita. Other states with poor rankings included Iowa, Nebraska, and South Carolina. These states exhibited high rates of traffic violations and at-fault incidents.

On the other end of the spectrum, states like Michigan, New York, Nevada, and Louisiana were highlighted as having some of the best drivers. While these states had a high percentage of drivers with clean records, it's important to note that the most common driving infraction in many of these states was still at-fault accidents.

Analysis of the Findings and Possible Explanations

Looking at the various rankings and studies, it's clear that different factors contribute to a state's driving behavior. For example, states like Texas and Louisiana struggle with high numbers of fatal accidents involving drunk and distracted drivers. This could be attributed to a combination of factors such as lax enforcement of DUI laws, cultural attitudes towards drinking and driving, and inadequate education about the dangers of distracted driving.

On the other hand, states like Mississippi and Ohio have high rates of at-fault incidents and traffic violations. These states may experience issues with driver education and enforcement of traffic laws. Additionally, factors like road infrastructure, population density, and weather conditions can also impact a state's driving behavior.

It's worth noting that even states with the best drivers, such as Michigan and New York, still have a significant number of at-fault accidents. This highlights the importance of maintaining vigilance on the road and adhering to safe driving practices, regardless of the state you reside in.

Conclusion: Promoting Safer Driving Nationwide

While it can be entertaining to discuss which states have the worst drivers, it's crucial to remember that road safety is a collective responsibility. Whether you live in a state with high rankings or low rankings, it's essential to prioritize safe driving habits, obey traffic laws, and avoid any form of impaired or distracted driving. Together, we can work towards reducing accidents and creating safer roads nationwide.

Remember, regardless of your state's driving rankings, having adequate auto insurance coverage is vital. Accidents can happen anywhere, and being prepared with the right insurance policy can provide financial protection in the event of an incident.

So, no matter where you reside, make sure to prioritize road safety, be a responsible driver, and stay vigilant on the road. Let's strive to make our highways and streets safer for everyone.

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