We’ve all seen them: the slow driver crawling along in the left lane, the two-spot parker at the crowded grocery store, the person sipping coffee while texting at a light that turned green long ago. No matter where you live, you may think your city has the worst drivers in the country, but our annual report identifies the ones that actually do.
QuoteWizard analysts set out every year to see which cities have the best and worst drivers in America. We analyzed over six million car insurance quotes from drivers in the 70 largest cities in the U.S. These cities were then evaluated based on four factors to determine overall driver quality.
Driving factors include:
- Speeding tickets
- Citations, such as running a red light or using a cellphone while driving
Cities with the most dangerous driving incidents are rated among the worst, while cities with the fewest dangerous driving incidents are rated as the best.
Cities with the worst drivers
|Overall rank||City||Accident rank||DUI rank||Speeding rank||Citation rank|
|1||Virginia Beach, Va.||15||8||22||5|
|9||Salt Lake City||17||25||11||13|
|28||El Paso, Texas||18||60||21||21|
|29||Kansas City, Kan.||59||32||6||23|
|33||Colorado Springs, Colo.||54||16||35||26|
Two Virginia cities appear on the list of the worst drivers in America. Topping the chart is Virginia Beach. This coastal town comes in at number one due to drivers' high rates of citations. It also ranks fifth in the category for moving violations. In addition to tickets, Virginia ranks among one of the top 10 states for DUIs.
The worst-driving city in Ohio and the second-worst in the nation goes to Dayton. Three Ohio cities rank among the worst drivers, and not a single city in the state is among the best. And it's no wonder: according to our best and worst driving states in 2022, Ohio ranked fifth-worst overall. Dayton's poor driving ranking is due to a high number of speeding incidents (second-worst overall) and citations (third-worst).
Riverside, Calif., is full of reckless drivers. According to our findings, drivers have a tendency to get into accidents, ranking fifth in the U.S. in this category. California has many bad drivers: five cities in the Golden State rank among the top 10 worst-driving cities. Overall, California is the second-worst driving state in the nation.
Of all of the worst-driving cities, Indianapolis hovers in the middle. Despite being known as the “racing capital of the world,” Indianapolis is only the 16th-worst when it comes to speeding tickets. Seems like drivers here generally play it safe.
Fresno, Calif., is another city that consistently tops the list of worst drivers. Unfortunately for drivers there, it's only getting worse. Last year the city ranked seventh-worst, and this year it moved up to fifth-worst. However, one positive note is that fewer drivers are drinking and driving. In 2022, Fresno ranked third-worst for DUIs. This year it dropped to seventh. Maybe next year will bring more improvements.
Cities with the best drivers
|Overall rank||City||Accident rank||DUI rank||Speeding rank||Citation rank|
|2||Little Rock, Ark.||69||69||53||70|
|5||Baton Rouge, La.||52||65||48||66|
Detroit has the best drivers in the nation, and it’s easy to see why. Detroit has the lowest rate of accidents and the second-lowest rate of speeding tickets. Looks like driving safely pays off. Its status as the Motor City and home to America's automobile industry positions Detroit drivers to set a good example on the road.
Drivers in Little Rock, Ark., aren’t just good, they’re consistent. The city also ranked third-best in 2022. We think it’s their Friendly Driver Certification Program and their focus on making streets safer for pedestrians. Like many cities at the top of the best drivers list, Little Rock has a low number of citations, which almost always correlates with good driving. In addition to very few citations, Little Rock also has among the fewest accidents and DUIs compared to other cities.
The Kentucky city has the second-lowest number of citations this year. Although Louisville is still home to some of the best drivers, the city's ranking has fallen from first last year to third this year. Hopefully drivers next year step on the brake a little and bring their speeding ticket ranking down.
Hartford is another consistently good driving city. Drivers in this Connecticut locale were middle-of-the-pack in every category in 2021. In 2022, they were among the best, especially for avoiding accidents and citations. Hartford went from the 24th-best-driving city in 2021, to the second-best in 2022 and now the fourth-best in 2023.
Out of any other city, Baton Rouge, La., had the biggest comeback this year. Last year, the city ranked as the worst city for accidents, third-worst for citations and third-worst overall. It's impressive to see the city rank among the top drivers this year. The capital city ranks fifth-best for citations this year and sixth-best for DUIs.
Best and worst cities by category
While each city’s overall rank is a combination of four factors, some cities score particularly high or low in different categories. Below are the five best and worst cities when it comes to accidents, DUIs, speeding and citations.
Take it slow or go, go, go: this year we noticed a pattern when it comes to speeding tickets. Midwestern cities like Milwaukee; Dayton, Ohio; Cleveland and Wichita, Kan., all have the highest rates of speeding tickets in the nation. Boston has been consistent over the years, and for the second time in a row has the lowest rate of speeding tickets.
|1. Milwaukee||1. Boston|
|2. Dayton, Ohio||2. Detroit|
|3. Portland, Ore.||3. Charleston, S.C.|
|4. Cleveland||4. Providence, R.I.|
|5. Wichita, Kan.||5. Austin, Texas|
Citations are a strong indicator of how a city drives overall, so it’s no surprise that cities with the highest numbers of citations are near the top of the worst drivers list.
|1. Providence, R.I.||1. Little Rock, Ark.|
|2. Bakersfield, Calif.||2. Louisville, Ky.|
|3. Dayton, Ohio||3. Hartford, Conn.|
|4. Jacksonville, Fla.||4. Las Vegas|
|5. Virginia Beach, Va.||5. Baton Rouge, La.|
California is having a particularly bad year when it comes to accidents. Four of the top five cities with the worst accident rates are in California. Drivers in Providence, R.I., seem to be an anomaly. They rank worst for citations, but second-best when it comes to speeding.
|1. Providence, R.I.||1. Detroit|
|2. San Diego||2. Little Rock, Ark.|
|3. Los Angeles||3. Oklahoma City|
|4. Sacramento, Calif.||4. Tulsa, Okla.|
|5. Riverside, Calif.||5. Hartford, Conn.|
The cities with the highest rates of DUIs also have some of the worst drivers overall. In this category, California doesn’t fare well. Four out of the five worst cities for DUIs are in California.
|1. San Diego||1. Hartford, Conn.|
|2. Bakersfield, Calif.||2. Little Rock, Ark.|
|3. Greensboro, N.C.||3. Memphis, Tenn.|
|4. Riverside, Calif.||4. Oklahoma City|
|5. Los Angeles||5. Tulsa, Okla.|
Slowing down, staying sober and being safe are incredibly important driving habits. It’s the best way to make sure that you and the people you share the road with get home safely.
The QuoteWizard research team evaluated driver quality from the 70 largest cities in the U.S. We analyzed 2023 data from millions of insurance quotes from drivers in the 70 cities using QuoteWizard.com. We used a composite ranking system to rank each city for its rate of incidents. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs and citations. Cities considered to have the worst drivers have the highest rates of incidents among drivers.
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