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. Every city may think they have the worst drivers in the country, but our annual report identifies the ones that actually do.
Our analysts at QuoteWizard set out every year to see which cities have the worst drivers in America and which have the best. We analyzed six million car insurance quotes from drivers in America’s 70 largest cities. Cities were then evaluated on four factors to determine overall driver quality.
Driving factors include:
- Speeding Tickets
- Citations (running a red light, using a cellphone while driving, etc.)
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|
|3||Baton Rouge, LA||1||13||12||3|
|4||Los Angeles, CA||3||4||22||2|
|5||San Francisco, CA||12||7||9||9|
|6||San Diego, CA||4||5||29||5|
|11||Salt Lake City, UT||22||12||6||27|
|16||Colorado Springs, CO||38||18||13||22|
|18||Virginia Beach, VA||13||9||51||21|
|21||New York, NY||44||28||24||6|
|32||Kansas City, KS/MO||43||39||28||32|
You’re going to see a lot of California cities on this list, but Bakersfield has the worst drivers in the nation. The city ranks eighth in accidents and citations, fourth in speeding and has the highest DUI rate. Bakersfield has long been known for bad drivers — California's “Country Capital” was third in 2021.
Bakersfield may have taken the spot, but Sacramento drivers weren’t far behind. Sacramento ranked in the top 10 in accidents, DUIs and citations, and it ranked just outside the top 10 in speeding. Drivers in California’s capital city got significantly worse over the last year. The city had the seventh-worst drivers in 2021.
Baton Rouge, what happened? You were doing so well. The Louisiana city had the eighth-best drivers in 2021, but now they have the third worst. Baton Rouge has the highest accident rate in the nation, the third-highest citation rate and a high number of DUIs and speeding violations, as well.
The City of Angels spent the last year driving like the devil. Los Angeles drivers were among the best drivers in 2021, but now the city is home to the fourth-worst drivers in the nation. L.A. had the third-highest rate of accidents, second-highest rate of citations and the fourth-highest rate of DUIs. The only thing that kept Los Angeles drivers from being the very worst was speeding. The city ranked 22nd in speeding.
Yes, another California city. This time it’s a little different, though. San Francisco has always ranked high in speeding and citations (sixth and eighth in 2021), but now the city also ranks high in accidents and DUIs. San Francisco drivers ranked 62nd and 63rd in accidents and DUIs in 2021 and 12th and seventh in 2022.
Cities with the best drivers
|Overall rank||City||Accident rank||DUI rank||Speeding rank||Citation rank|
|3||Little Rock, AR||63||47||65||70|
|4||Oklahoma City, OK||64||71||50||57|
|11||New Orleans, LA||36||60||61||45|
|16||San Antonio, TX||30||56||52||59|
|19||El Paso, TX||61||53||44||35|
|35||Las Vegas, NV||27||36||45||47|
Louisville has the best drivers in the nation, and it’s easy to see why. The Kentucky city has the lowest number of citations, and fewer citations generally means a city will do well in every category. Louisville also has a low number of accidents, DUIs and speeding tickets. Louisville drivers seem to be getting better too — the city was sixth in 2021.
Hartford drivers got a lot better over the last year in every category. Drivers in this Connecticut city were middle of the pack in every category in 2021, and now they’re some of the best, especially when it comes to avoiding accidents and citations. Hartford was the 24th best driving city in 2021.
Little Rock drivers aren’t just good, they’re consistent. The city also ranked third in 2021. We think it’s their Friendly Driver Certification Program and 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.
The first of two Oklahoma cities on this list, Oklahoma City had the lowest DUI rate in the nation. And considering they had the 28th-worst DUI rate in 2021, that’s a huge improvement. Oklahoma City drivers still need to go a little easy on the gas, but the city was one of the best when it comes to both accidents and citations.
It’s not just Oklahoma City — Tulsa drivers also got a lot better in 2022. Drivers in Oklahoma City were some of the worst in 2021 (30th worst) but are now the fifth best. Mainly because of a huge reduction in their accident rate. Tulsa had the 17th highest rate of accidents in 2021, now they have the fourth lowest.
The best and worst cities by category
While each city’s overall rank was a combination of four different factors, some cities scored 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; we noticed a pattern when it comes to getting speeding tickets. The warmer it is, the faster you go. Northeast cities like Boston and Providence had the lowest rates of speeding tickets, while Jacksonville and Honolulu were among the worst.
|1. Milwaukee, WI||1. Boston, MA|
|2. Richmond, CA||2. Providence, RI|
|3. Honolulu, HI||3. Pittsburgh, PA|
|4. Bakersfield, CA||4. Charleston, SC|
|5. Jacksonville, FL||5. Detroit, MI|
Citations are a great indicator of how a city drives overall, so it’s no surprise that cities with the highest numbers of citations are all towards the top of the worst drivers list.
|1. Providence, RI||1. Louisville, KY|
|2. Los Angeles, CA||2. Little Rock, AR|
|3. Baton Rouge, LA||3. Pittsburgh, PA|
|4. Milwaukee, WI||4. Lexington, KY|
|5. San Diego, CA||5. Hartford, CT|
California is having a particularly bad year when it comes to accidents. Three of the top five cities with the worst accident rate are in California. Providence drivers seem to be an anomaly: They have the second-best rate of speeding and the second-worst rate of accidents.
|1. Baton Rouge, LA||1. Detroit, MI|
|2. Providence, RI||2. Rochester, NY|
|3. Los Angeles, CA||3. Chicago, IL|
|4. San Diego, CA||4. Hartford, CT|
|5. Riverside, CA||5. Tulsa, OK|
The cities with the highest rates of DUIs also have some of the worst drivers overall. And in this category, California doesn’t fare so well. All five of the worst cities for DUIs are in California.
|1. Bakersfield, CA||1. Oklahoma City, OK|
|2. Sacramento, CA||2. Baltimore, MD|
|3. Fresno, CA||3. Memphis, TN|
|4. Los Angeles, CA||4. Hartford, CT|
|5. San Diego, CA||5. Louisville, KY|
When pouring over the data for these 70 cities, our analysts noticed a pattern. Each of the five worst-driving cities also had high numbers of DUIs, while cities that ranked as the five best all had low numbers of speeding tickets and citations. Slowing down, staying sober and being safe is incredibly important while driving. It’s the best way to make sure that you and the people you’re sharing the road with get home safely.
The QuoteWizard research team evaluated driver quality from the 70 largest cities in America. We analyzed 2022 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 their rate of incidents. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs and citations. Cities considered the worst drivers had the highest rates of incidents among drivers.
QuoteWizard.com 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. QuoteWizard.com 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.