Things went kind of nuts recently when we shared a list of the 50 U.S. states ranked by how polite their people are.
If there's one thing that might be even more controversial, it's this:
The 50 U.S. states, ranked by how bad their drivers are.
The insurance quote site QuoteWizard compiled it. Methodology: they took 2 million data points derived from their consumers, and "juxtaposed it to Federal Highway Administration fatality data." Sounds pretty official, right?
Among the things they looked at: accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, traffic citations, and fatalities. Here are the highs and lows.
1. Rhode Island (best drivers in the U.S)
So, Rhode Island has the best drivers in the country, huh? Having grown up there, I was skeptical. However, the reason the state ranks so high is that it's so small. Trips are short, so there's less opportunity to make trouble on the road. We're also the fourth-most polite state, so we've got that going for us.
A fair number of people die in traffic accidents in Florida, but for whatever reason, they did well in all the other categories. Educated guess: the relative population of older people, who either don't drive, who or drive so slowly that they can't possibly hurt anyone. (I can say that because they're probably not even on the Internet.)
It's about time Mississippi ranked near that top of any list for something good. I say that with love, but the state always seems to rank dead last on things like education, health, and the like. Congrats Mississippi, you got this one.
Given the fact that the U.S. auto industry is still based here, you'd hope it has some of the best drivers. The only reason they're not ranked even better is that they have a lot of DUIs for a state their size.
I'll defer to QuoteWizard on this one: "The Natural State's beauty extends from the outdoors to the roadways. Arkansas scored extremely well in accidents, speeding, DUIs, and citations. The only thing preventing them from earning a better ranking is their high fatality rate."
Those were the best. Now, the five states doing the "drive of shame" at the bottom of the list:
5th worst: Washington State
Washington dropped form ninth-worst to fifth-worst between 2016 and 2017, so people will be looking for scapegoats. The leading culprit, according to QuoteWizard? All the out-of-state transplants. Maybe that's why their accident rate went dropped 19 places.
4th worst: South Carolina
The Palmetto State is near the bottom of the list. Quantitatively, it has a lot to do with how many DUIs the state had in the past year. The folks at QuoteWizard cited this insane video as anecdotal proof. (It's 30 minutes, but really just a minute or two will give you the flavor):
3rd worst: Utah
Utah also tied for the least-polite state in America, so I feel sorry for you guys. The only thing we can say for you is that last year you were dead-last, so at least you've improved a bit.
2nd worst: Minnesota
Things are getting pretty bad in Minnesota, which went from 11th worst state in the country to 2nd worst in one year. QuoteWizard thinks it's because of bad weather, and the idea that "Minnesota Nice" leads to passive aggressive driving. At least they tied for 10th in politeness.
The absolute worst: California
What kills California on this list? All the cities: five of the 10 worst driving cities in the country are located in the Golden State. The worst of the worst is technically Sacramento, but having lived in Los Angeles, I'm really wondering how that wasn't the worst (it came in 6th worst). It's also the worst state for DUIs. At least they have all the sunshine.
There are 40 other states, of course. To see where they landed on the list, check out QuoteWizard.