Filed Under:Claims, Auto

10 states with the worst drivers

Bad drivers affect auto insurance rates for all drivers. See which states have the best and worst drivers. (Photo: iStock)
Bad drivers affect auto insurance rates for all drivers. See which states have the best and worst drivers. (Photo: iStock)

Last week we asked “Where are the best drivers?” This week we find out where the worst ones are.

Seattle-based insurance comparison shopping site QuoteWizard wanted to find out where the best and worst drivers in the nation are located, and found that drivers on the West Coast tend to be 13 percent worse drivers than those on the East Coast.

To find this information, QuoteWizard paired incident data from its users (with two million data points) with state fatality information from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) to determine the best and worst driving states in the nation, then ranked all 50 states based on the findings. To quantify overall driver standards for comparison, QuoteWizard weighted various incident counts for each state with its occurrence percentage. The final rankings are a sum of weighted means that calculated from total accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, citations and fatalities.

Three of the states with the worst drivers are located on the East Coast, actually. Overall, though, the majority of worst driver states are closer to the West Coast. Keep reading to see the 10 states with the worst drivers and find out which East Coast states are outliers among some of the nation’s best drivers.

Check next week for the 10 states with the worst drivers. See the full ranking of all 50 states on QuoteWizard.com.

Related: 10 states with the best drivers

(Photo: iStock)

9. Washington


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(Photo: iStock)

8. Colorado


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(Photo: iStock)

6. South Carolina


If you’ve ever wondered who has worse drivers — South Carolina or North Carolina — the verdict is in. South Carolina is number three in accidents, number three in speeding, number eight in citations and number seven in fatalities. North Carolina doesn’t even make any of those top 10 lists.

And overall, South Carolina residents are the sixth-worst drivers in the U.S. North Carolinians manage a respectable number 27 on the list, making them not only better drivers than their neighbors to the south, but better than those in half the other states as well.

(Photo: iStock)

5. Nebraska


Related: 10 states with the biggest increase in auto accident costs

(Photo: iStock)

4. Maine


Related: 10 best all-wheel drive cars and SUVs in the snow

(Photo: iStock)

3. Virginia


Virginia is the worst state for speeding, and not too surprisingly, it’s also number two in citations. The state doesn’t make the lists for accidents or fatalities, though. So, are Virginians the worst drivers, or just the biggest rule breakers? Their records are still bad enough to come in third overall for worst drivers in America, however.

Of the worst driving cities in Virginia, Hampton is number one as they are the guiltiest of speeding in the state. Portsmouth comes in second followed by Richmond, and are both cities exhibiting a lead foot.

(Photo: iStock)

2. California


California is number seven for accidents, number nine for speeding and number five for citations. Even worse, it’s number two for DUIs, and the second-worst state overall. Interestingly, the economy might be to blame for California’s low rankings — going to work usually means driving in California, and more driving means more accidents. Miles traveled per person increased 27 percent in Sacramento between 2009 and 2014, for example, and that could be due to the state’s economic upswing post-recession.

Sacramento driver’s increase in miles traveled could be the reason for the city being the second worst driving city in the state. Oakland takes the top spot as the worst drivers in California with Anaheim coming in third.

(Photo: iStock)

1. Utah


According to the research, Utah is second in the rankings for both accidents and speeding, as well as fourth-worst for minor citations. Surprising for a state known for its non-drinking populace, Utah actually made the top 10 for DUIs, coming in at number nine.

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