If you feel like you're constantly surrounded by subpar drivers, you might be onto something. Car-related deaths have risen a staggering 14 percent since 2015. A report from the III shows that car accidents rates are going up, and so too is the average cost of a car accident.

What's behind these disturbing trends? Two major factors:

  1. More mileage: Thanks in part to a strong economy, Americans are driving more than ever before. More time spent on the road equals more car accidents.
  2. Distracted driving: It seems that drivers can't help but text and tweet while behind the wheel. An estimated 660,000 people per day use an electronic device while driving, and nearly 3,500 people died due to distracted driving in 2015.

The stats are clear: America's got a driving problem. But America is a big country. We wanted to know how each state stacks up against each other. Who's worst, who's best, and who's average when it comes to driving? Find out below.


Based on the methodology detailed at the end of this study, we ranked states from worst to best. In other words, the first ranked state has the worst drivers, and the 50th ranked state has the best drivers. To simplify it, we've added a color code to the rankings and map. States with bad drivers are marked with darker shades of blue, while states with good drivers are marked with lighter shades of green.

Washington: Is it the rain-soaked streets? Is it the legal weed? Is it Seattle's massive growth? We're not sure what's causing it, but the fact is that Washington drivers are less-than-stellar. From passive to inattentive, Seattle drivers have a particularly prickly reputation. Considering the fact that Washington went from 9th to 5th worst since 2016, we're prepared to blame the influx of transplants on the bad driving. Specifically, Washington's accident rate jumped from 33rd worst all the way to 14th worst since last year.

How Bad Driving Affects Your Car Insurance Rates

Whether you live in one of the states with the best drivers or one of the states with the worst drivers, you need a strong auto insurance policy. This is especially true if you drive in California, Minnesota, Utah, South Carolina, Washington, or one of the bad driving states. Even if you're a great driver, living in an area with bad drivers makes your insurance premium more expensive. Why? If you're surrounded by bad drivers, you're more likely to get into an accident. Insurance companies use your zip code to determine the risk-likelihood in providing coverage for you.

What can you do to combat this? A lot of things, from bundling insurance plans to shopping around and comparing quotes from different insurance companies.

Study Methodology

We sampled incident data (with more than two million data points) from the users of our website and juxtaposed it to Federal Highway Administration fatality data. To quantify overall driver standards for comparison, we weighted various incident totals for each state with its occurrence percentage. The rankings are a sum of weighted means calculated from these incidents:

  • Accidents
  • Speeding tickets
  • DUIs
  • Citations
  • Fatalities


Source: Quote Wizard

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