Idaho’s name is derived from the Native American phrase, “the land of many waters.” It’s also called the “Gem State.” Known for its mountainscapes, beautiful lakes, potatoes and abundant precious gemstones, Idaho is a unique place that is growing rapidly.

With Boise, Nampa, Caldwell and other areas booming in population, how are Idaho’s drivers handling the growth? In our 2018 best and worst driving state study, Idaho ranked 7th-worst. So, QuoteWizard by LendingTree decided to dive deeper and find which of the top 20 most populous cities are contributing to its state’s allegedly poor driving.

We analyzed QuoteWizard data from tens of thousands of insurance quotes from Idaho to see where the best and worst drivers live. To determine overall driver quality in Idaho, we studied drivers in Idaho’s 20 largest cities who used QuoteWizard.com to compare quotes. We then ranked cities by the highest rate of incidents. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUI’s and moving citations from that data.

Worst Driving Cities in Idaho

Rank (worst) City
1 Caldwell
2 Kuna
3 Hayden
4 Blackfoot
5 Twin Falls
6 Nampa
7 Boise
8 Meridian
9 Garden City
10 Idaho Falls

Caldwell

With a growing population, Caldwell, ranks as Idaho’s number-one worst driving city. Some may say the roads and other infrastructure have not been able to keep up with Boise’s growth, which can be blamed for it’s poor driving rank. The population has doubled since the year 2000, and is expected to grow to 115,000 by 2040. In 2017, Canyon County had 10.15 traffic fatalities per 100,000 people. How will Caldwell stand driving wise in the next 10 years as it continues to grow? Only time will tell.

Kuna

Sitting in Ada County, Kuna ranks as Idaho’s second-worst driving city. Another city in the Boise metropolitan area, it’s growth nearly tripled between 2000 and 2010, making it one of the fastest growing cities in Idaho. Again, the city’s population growth has outpaced its infrastructure capabilities, contributing to its poor ranking. Ada County had 6.57 traffic fatalities per 100,000 people in 2017, which is relatively good when you compare it to other counties. As the area continues to grow, city officials have some planning headaches when it comes to handling growth and driving issues.

Hayden

Located in the northern tip of Idaho alongside U.S. Route 95, Hayden is the third-worst driving city. Legend goes Matt Heyden won the rights of the lake town by winning a game of “seven-up.” I don’t think Matt would have been proud of its current poor drivers. Kootenai County had 12.05 fatalities per 100,000 people in 2017.

Best Driving Cities in Idaho

Rank (best) City
1 Post Falls
2 Pocatello
3 Eagle
4 Couer d'Alene
5 Mountain Home
6 Lewiston
7 Ammon
8 Chubbuck
9 Moscow
10 Rexburg

Post Falls

Well done Post Falls, you are the number one best drivers in Idaho! Post Falls sits along I-90 on the border of Idaho and Washington, between Coeur d’Alene and Spokane. As Idaho’s 10th largest city, there is plenty of attraction to this area with abundant lakes, rivers and mountains. For its location in between Idaho and Washington, Post Falls deserves relative praise for it’s better driving ranking.

Pocatello

Pocatello is the county seat and largest city of Bannock County. Home to Idaho State University, it’s the fifth largest city just in idaho. Pocatello also ranks as Idaho’s second-best driving city. Bannock County had 15.25 fatalities per 100,000 people in 2017, which is relatively high considering its low population. Keep it up Pocatello, you deserve the recognition.

Eagle

A quiet small town just northwest of Boise, Eagle is known for green grass, golfing, hiking and many other tourism activities. Eagle also earned a spot as the third driving city in the state. Considering how fast Boise and the rest of the state has grown, it may be that driver incidents have not caught up to its population growth aches just yet. City planners should not get too complacent because in time, Eagle will change for better or worse.

Methodology

The QuoteWizard research team evaluated driver quality from the 20 largest cities in Idaho by population. We analyzed 2018 data from over 10,000 insurance quotes from Idaho drivers using QuoteWizard to find the rate of overall incidents in each city. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations.