Ever think to yourself, “My city has the worst drivers in the world”? Your fellow drivers that drive too fast or too slow. Drivers who cut you off or camp out in the left lane. Bad drivers are everywhere, and if you think your city has the worst, we’ve got the numbers to either prove or debunk it.

Ranking Cities

We here at QuoteWizard set out every year to see which cities have the worst drivers in America. We analyzed data from millions of insurance quotes from drivers in the top 75 cities in the country. We evaluated cities on four factors to determine overall driver quality and took a composite ranking of overall incidents. Incidents include:

  • Accidents
  • Speeding Tickets
  • DUIs
  • Citations (running a red light, using a cellphone while driving, etc.)

Cities rated among the worst were those with the highest rate of incidents, and the best driving cities had the lowest rate of incidents.

2019 worst driving cities in America

Ranking (worst) City
1 Portland, OR
2 Boise, ID
3 Virginia Beach, VA
4 Columbus, OH
5 Sacramento, CA
6 Salt Lake City, UT
7 Cleveland, OH
8 Denver, CO
9 San Francisco, CA
10 Richmond, VA
11 Madison, WI
12 Fresno, CA
13 Bakersfield, CA
14 Seattle, WA
15 Omaha, NE
16 Colorado Springs, CO
17 Dayton, OH
18 Greenville, SC
19 Charleston, SC
20 Columbia, SC
21 Rochester, NY
22 San Diego, CA
23 Los Angeles, CA
24 Washington, DC
25 Riverside, CA
26 Knoxville, TN
27 Indianapolis, IN
28 Boston, MA
29 Phoenix, AZ
30 Wichita, KS
31 New York, NY
32 Albany, NY
33 Baton Rouge, LA
34 Nashville, TN
35 Kansas City, MO
36 Milwaukee, WI
37 Austin, TX
38 Atlanta, GA
39 Tucson, AZ
40 Tampa, FL

Portland

After cracking the top 10 worst last year, Portland steadily made its way to the top this year. What propelled Portland to the top this year? It was the most leadfooted city in the country with the highest rate of speeding tickets. Hard to believe speeding is the issue in Portland given the brutal gridlock traffic on I-5. With Portland’s being such a cycling city, the remainder of its residents who get behind the wheel must truly be the worst of the worst drivers.

Boise

Unlike the rest of the top five worst driving cities, Boise always had a decent ranking in our past best and worst driving studies. Making a move from 27th worst last year all the way up to No. 2 on this year’s list. Boise does rate among the top five highest rate of DUI’s. Along with top 15 marks in both speeding tickets and citations, it brought Boise’s ranking among the worst in the county. Maybe headlines like this one from the Idaho Statesman — “3 beer festivals on the same flippin’ day? Why, Boise, WHYYY?” — could speak to the drinking culture in town.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach has spent the last couple years locked in at the 12th and 13th worst driving city in our studies — never cracking the top 10, but this year eclipsing the top three worst driving cities. No one ranking factor stands out, except for low marks across the board: Virginia rates among the top 15 worst for speeding tickets, DUIs and citations. Statewide, we’re seeing Virginia improve its rankings in our best and worst driving states study, but the city of Virginia Beach is trending in the opposite direction.

Columbus

A perennial top 10 finisher on the worst driving list, Columbus keeps it’s reign on the fourth worst spot for the second year in a row. Year over year, Columbus isn’t spectacularly bad in any one category, just consistently poor in all categories. Top 15 worst in accidents, speeding tickets and DUIs will drag the overall ranking down. Columbus will take the crown as the worst driving big city in the state of OH, but not far behind is Cleveland at No. 7.

Sacramento

A former No. 1 worst driving city, it seems Sacramento will always be near the top of our rankings. Always among the worst ratings in accidents and DUIs, Sacramento’s saving grace from locking in the No. 1 spot is its improved rate of speeding tickets (better not let SPD or CHIP hear that). Among California’s worst driving cities, the two northern California cities Sacramento and San Francisco make the state among the worst in the country.

2019 best driving cities in America

Ranking (best) City
1 Detroit, MI
2 Louisville, KY
3 Chicago, IL
4 Miami, FL
5 Grand Rapids, MI
6 Little Rock, AR
7 St. Louis, MO
8 New Orleans, LA
9 Fort Myers, FL
10 Lexington, KY
11 El Paso, TX
12 Houston, TX
13 Honolulu, HI
14 Buffalo, NY
15 Hartford, CT
16 Philadelphia, PA
17 San Antonio, TX
18 Memphis, TN
19 Dallas, TX
20 Pittsburgh, PA
21 Las Vegas, NV
22 Oklahoma City, OK
23 Orlando, FL
24 Providence, RI
25 Anchorage, AK
26 Tulsa, OK
27 Baltimore, MD
28 Greensboro, NC
29 Birmingham, AL
30 Minneapolis, MN
31 Allentown, PA
32 Charlotte, NC
33 Albuquerque, NM
34 Durham, NC
35 Jacksonville, FL

Detroit

You better believe the place named Motor City has the best drivers in the country. Near the top in all ranking categories, Detroit is a mainstay among the best driving cities in the country. The only knock on Detroit is a less desirable rating in DUIs. What might be the only caveat to Detroit being the one true best drivers in the country is their high rate of uninsured drivers. High car insurance rates in Detroit lead to estimations of 40% and as high as 60% of drivers uninsured. Data used from our study primarily sampled drivers with existing insurance, which could paint a different picture among the uninsured.

Louisville

Another mainstay on the best driver list, Louisville has never ranked worse than 17th best on our list. A city that also rates well for traffic around the county, it would seem like the driving conditions in Louisville are quite nice. You’ve got great road and great drivers on them, making it the second best in the country. Their only demerits are low marks in citations, so please use your blinkers and get off your phones. Other than that, keep it up, Louisville!

Chicago

Chicago doesn’t have the distinction as best driving city in America, only the third-best driving city in America. But skirting around some technicalities, Chicago can be considered the best driving big city in America. As a city of 2.7 million people, Chicago is the biggest city on the top end of our best drivers. Hang your Cubs hat on that one, Chicago. The Best Driving Big City in America... Has a nice ring to it.

Miami

In a city with the second highest percentage of luxury cars and strips like Miami beach, no one is speeding in Miami. Maybe the one exception was Justin Bieber, who was caught drag racing his yellow Lamborghini in 2014. But he’s Canadian, so this incident goes against the quality records of real Miami drivers. Miami drivers received high marks for their DUI rates and generally good scores across the board. Florida cities ranked well up and down the study, but Florida man is still out there. Headlines like, "'I'd rather go to jail than go back home': Florida man drives 100 mph down interstate while standing through sunroof," are still common

Grand Rapids

With Grand Rapids and Detroit showing up so high on the list, you’d understand why Michigan as a whole was the best driving state on our 2018 ranking. I’d take nothing away from all the good drivers out there in Grand Rapids and the Wolverine state, but the insurance problem in Michigan may raise a few questions. Michigan has some of the highest insurance rates in America, and when folks can’t afford insurance, they’re more often than not driving without it. The high uninsured rates in the state make it hard to accurately determine the quality of Michigan’s drivers.

Methodology

The QuoteWizard research team evaluated driver quality from the 75 largest cities in America. We analyzed 2019 data from millions of insurance quotes from drivers in the 75 cities using QuoteWizard.com. We used a composite ranking system to rank each city for their rate of incidents. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs and citations. Cities considered the worst drivers had the highest rate of incidents among drivers.