The state of New York regularly rates among the best in the country, from QuoteWizard national studies. Given that most of the nearly 20 million people in the state are condensed in urban area’s there’s not much room for speeding or car accidents. Most urban dwellers are using transit over driving a car. Those that are driving are typically stuck in congested urban roads.

It’s when you start getting out of the urban areas of New York City that you’ll start to find the bad drivers. Long Island is home to some of the worst drivers in the state. Upstate cities like Schenectady and Rochester are among the worst drivers too. When you get away from crowded urban areas into suburban cities it becomes the ideal places where you have enough cars on the roads with enough room to speed that bad driving occurs.

We here at QuoteWizard wanted to break down where the best and worst driving cities are in New York. To find overall driver quality in the state, we analyzed driver data from New York’s 50 largest cities who used to compare quotes. We then ranked cities by rate of incidents. Cities with the highest rate of incidents we considered to be the worst drivers and cities with the lowest rate of incidents to be the best drivers. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUI’s and moving citations.

Worst driving cities in New York

Rank (worst) City
1 Central Islip
2 Schenectady
3 West Babylon
4 Huntington Station
5 Newburgh
6 Lockport
7 Kingston
8 New Rochelle
9 Elmira
10 Bay Shore
11 Rochester
12 Valley Stream
13 Rome
14 Hempstead
15 Springfield Gardens
16 Saint Albans
17 Middletown
18 Yonkers
19 Troy
20 Poughkeepsie
21 Freeport
22 Brentwood
23 Spring Valley
24 Albany
25 Staten Island

Central Islip

When looking for the best and worst drivers in the state of New York you don’t have to look much further than Long Island. For the worst you’ll find them right in the center of Long Island, in Central Islip. Most folks in more urban area’s reply on public transit, while most suburban Long Island folks are using cars to get around. Central Islip drivers are the worst of the worst in New York. Suffolk county had 8.91 road fatalities per 100,000 people in 2018. That’s nearly double the state average of 4.83.


Getting off Long Island and into upstate New York, you’ll find the second worst drivers in Schenectady. I-90 among other connecting highways going through town make Schenectady a prime candidate for incidents. The more traffic in the city, the higher the chances of incidents. Compared to neighboring Albany, Schenedtady drivers are significantly worse. It could very well mean drivers in town really are that bad. Schenectady county accounted for 4.51 road fatalities per 100,000 people in 2018. Right on pace with the state average.

West Babylon

Making our way back to Long Island is another of the worst driving cities West Babylon. Again, another central Long Island city being listed among the worst driving cities. Without much significant traffic passing in and out of town, it makes you wonder if it’s the central Long Island drivers who are just the worst?

Best driving cities in New York

Rank (best) City
1 New York
2 Astoria
3 Elmhurst
4 Corona
5 Brooklyn
6 Bronx
7 Ridgewood
8 Niagara Falls
9 Ozone Park
10 White Plains
11 Flushing
12 South Ozone Park
13 East Elmhurst
14 Queens Village
15 Far Rockaway
16 Utica
17 Jamaica
18 Buffalo
19 Mount Vernon
20 Jamestown
21 Watertown
22 Binghamton
23 Elmont
24 Rosedale
25 Syracuse

New York

It’s really no surprise that Manhattan was rated as the best drivers. Most everyone in town uses the subway, taxi or walks. Even if you get behind the wheel, traffic congestion makes a speeding ticket nearly impossible. While the temperament of Manhattan drivers is likely far from the best in the state, the environment of the city keeps drivers safe. New York county had 1.66 road fatalities per 100,000 in 2018. An extremely low rate for the population.


Just across the Queensboro bridge, you’ll start passing through Astoria the second best driving city in New York. Same story here with Manhattan, Astoria is another highly urban city that has few residents using cars. Even the cars on the roads have a very small chance of speeding or causing speed induced accidents. Queens county accounted for 3.03 road fatalities per 100,000 people in 2018. Another very low figure for the population density.


Just east of Astoria is the next best driving city in New York, Elmhurst. Elmhurst shares similar urban environments as NYC and Astoria, which limits the chances of incidents happening. However, what might be the most telling is the driving quality decreases as you head further east. Not too far east of Elmhurst is Central Islip and West Babylon, the worst driver in the state.


The QuoteWizard research team evaluated driver quality from the 50 largest cities in New York by population. We analyzed 2018 data of over 212,000 insurance quotes from New York drivers using QuoteWizard to find the rate of overall incidents in each city. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations. LLC has made every effort to ensure that the information on this site is correct, but we cannot guarantee that it is free of inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. All content and services provided on or through this site are provided "as is" and "as available" for use. LLC makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of this site or to the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. You expressly agree that your use of this site is at your sole risk.