In the five years we at QuoteWizard have been publishing our best and worst driver study, we have learned one thing: No matter where you live and drive, those drivers are the worst. California annually ranks among the worst drivers, according to our data, and they are generally in agreement that Californians are the worst drivers. When talking to Floridians about their continually great record of being among the best drivers, it’s met with utter disagreement. “Are you kidding me? Every day I get run off the road on my commute on I-95 from Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale!”
What’s great about our best and worst driver study is that we’re using millions of data points to determine where the best and worst really are. While Florida may disagree with our findings, they can find solace in knowing it could be worse in other states. On the other hand, our data confirms what Californians have known for years. Everyone's most popular opinion reflects the quality of the drivers around them. Many people have experienced driving in all parts of the country and have their thoughts on who is among the best or worst. What is your favorite and least favorite state to drive in? Do our rankings do it justice?
Best and worst ranking methodology
We analyzed over 2 million insurance quotes from QuoteWizard drivers to see which states had the best and worst drivers. To get rankings, we built a composite score between four driving incident factors:
- Speeding tickets
Rankings are a composite score based on the rate of occurrence between the four ranking factors. States considered to have the worst drivers had the highest rates of each incident factor. States considered to have the best drivers had the lowest rates of each incident factor.
|Rank (Worst to Best)||State|
Most accident-prone states
Our ranking of the most accident-prone states means our data saw accidents occurring most often in these top five states. Geographically, it looks like the northeast carries the highest rate of accidents. Starting on I-95 in Boston, down through Providence, all the way to Baltimore appears to be the hotbed for accidents in the most accident-prone states.
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Most lead-footed states
The most lead-footed states are those that speed the most and get caught doing it. No surprises here if you’ve ever driven in California. Californians tend to treat speed limits as more of a suggestion than the law. California Highway Patrol knows this too, so they’re always around the next turn. New York City traffic is brutally slow, but the open roads heading upstate can feel like a racetrack after getting out of the city.
- New York
- North Dakota
When it comes to the drunkest-driving states, they’re all neighbors. While it may seem like a coincidence that the top four states are all next to each other, CDC data confirms it is not. The CDC’s BRFSSP data on alcohol consumption by state has the highest-consuming states all in the same neighborhood. It’s likely something about the cold northern states where people like to drink and the rural cities don’t have much of a cab service.
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Worst driving habits (most citations)
The common citations we see while analyzing driver history tend to be tickets for things like texting while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, failure to signal and other minor citations. While minor in nature, they are bad driving habits that lead to accidents. States that ranked poorly for citations coincide with those with the worst driving behaviors. We could imagine citations for texting “Roll Tide” while driving landed Alabama on the top of our list.
- South Carolina