Complaining about traffic and other drivers has to be among Americans’ favorite pastimes. Americans spend a lot of time in cars (one study says rush-hour commuters spend 42 hours a year in traffic), so they’re bound to see plenty of bad driving. Opinions vary on what makes a driver bad, but there’s one thing most people can probably agree on: A fatality from a car accident is among the worst possible outcomes when you get into a vehicle.
Using that metric, CarInsuranceComparison.com used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine the states with the worst drivers. It ranked each state in five categories of traffic fatalities and used those rankings to determine the states with the worst statistics on traffic fatalities overall:
- Fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled
- Percentage of fatal crashes that involved traffic signals, not wearing seat belts or driving with an invalid driver’s license (categorized as failure to obey)
- Percentage of fatal crashes that involved alcohol (categorized as drunk driving)
- Percentage of driving fatalities that were speed related (categorized as speeding)
- Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities per 100,000 population (categorized as careless driving)
With that methodology in mind, here are the 10 states with the worst drivers:
7. (tie) North Dakota (No. 1 in the drunk driving category) & Hawaii
5. Louisiana (No. 1 in the failure to obey category)
2. (tie) New Mexico & South Carolina
1. Montana (No. 1 in fatalities rate per 100 million miles traveled)
In many of these states, fatalities commonly involved careless driving and speeding. Of course you want to avoid these behaviors in order to improve road safety and minimize traffic injuries or deaths, but getting a ticket is also a pretty unpleasant (though much less severe) consequence. Not only do you have to pay the ticket, you may also see your car insurance rates increase after receiving traffic citations.
Other things, like where you live, the kind of car you drive and even your credit score can impact how much you pay for car insurance. You can check two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com to see if bad credit is impacting your premiums.
More on Autos:
- Are There Car Loans for People With Bad Credit?
- What to Do If You Can’t Make Your Car Payments
- Top 5 Worst Car Buying Mistakes