Have you ever been driving down the road when suddenly, you're cut-off by a crazed driver? Maybe you've had to slam on the brakes because the driver ahead of you failed to signal a turn, or perhaps you've come close to getting into an accident because a distracted driver blew through a traffic signal.
Anyone that has been a driver on the road has encountered a bad driver. Texting and other distracted driving, speeding, tailgating, and failure to obey signs and laws is not just an annoyance, but all of these factors can contribute to an auto accident. Road safety is a significant factor determining a state's overall level of safety.
Encountering these events can lead you to believe that your state has the worst drivers. Most people can claim that their home state has the worst drivers and even the worst roads. However, while there are bad drivers in all states, some states have an excessive number. One way that this has been measured is through a study conducted by SmartAsset.
SmartAsset's 2020 analysis evaluated three metrics to determine the states with the worst drivers. The first metric was the percentage of insured drivers within the state. The next metric was the number of DUI arrests per every thousand drivers. The third metric was the number of fatalities per 100,000 miles driven.
Mississippi took the top spot for worst drivers in the nation for three years in a row. Mississippi has the lowest rate of insured drivers at 70.6%. Additionally, it has the second-highest number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled at 1.56.
North Dakota is the state with the second-worst drivers in the U.S. The percentage of insured drivers is around the middle of all states at 87.0%. However, North Dakota has the highest number of DUI arrests annually, with 8.68 per 1,000 drivers.
California is ranked third for the worst drivers. California has the 15th-highest number of DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers, with 4.42. This is a decrease from 4.71 in 2020. Additionally, its percentage of uninsured drivers is relatively low at 83.4%.
Florida is the second southern state on the list and the fourth-worst state for driving. Florida has the fifth-lowest percentage of insured drivers at 79.6%, meaning that over one-fifth of Florida motorists are uninsured. Florida also has the 9th-highest fatalities per 100 million miles traveled at 1.41.
Nevada has the second-worst drivers in the U.S. Nevada has a high number of DUIs at 5.44 per 1,000 drivers. Additionally, Nevada has the highest rate of searching online for traffic ticket-related topics.
Coming in at number six on the list is Oklahoma. Only 86.6 percent of drivers in the state are insured. Oklahoma also has the sixth-highest number of road fatalities and a DUI arrest rate of 3.60 per 1,000 putting it in the bottom half of states.
Tennessee ranks seventh for the worst drivers and is the third southern state on the list. Only 76.3% of Tennessee drivers are insured, the third-lowest in the country. Tennessee has about 3.50 DUIs per 1,000 drivers, a slight improvement from 2019 when it was 3.63.
Arizona comes in at eight. Arizona has relatively high fatalities per 100 million miles traveled with 1.4. While Arizona's percentage of insured drivers is relatively higher than others on this list at 88.2%, it's still in the bottom half of states.
Tennessee’s neighbor, Kentucky, is home to the ninth-worst drivers in the country. Kentucky has the tenth-most DUI arrests with 5.14 per 1,000. Only 86.1% of drivers in the state are insured.
Finishing the list of states with the worst drivers is Missouri. Missouri has the eleventh-lowest percentage of insured drivers. Only 83.6% of Missouri drivers are insured. Additionally, the number of DUI arrests and road fatalities rank in the middle of all states.