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Which States Have the Best and Worst Drivers? Find Out Where California Ranks

The rankings might surprise you.

Which states have the worst drivers? (Patch File Photo)
Which states have the worst drivers? (Patch File Photo)

By Jennifer van der Kleut

One might think, given how busy and populated California is, that might translate into having one of the worst driving rankings in the country.

Actually, we rank pretty well overall.

The website CarInsuranceComparison.com recently released its rankings for the best and worst states for driving in the U.S.

Factors include number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven, number of "failure to obeys" for cellphone and seatbelt violations, number of drunk driving incidents per year, careless driving incidents, and more.

The statistics were gathered from expert sources such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Motorists Association, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

See if the rankings match up with what you expected below.

Which State Has the Worst Drivers?

For the second year in a row, it's Louisiana.

Louisiana finished in the top five for all three major categories, including failure to obeys, ticketing rate and careless driving, making it number one overall. 

Rounding out the top 10 were South Carolina (2nd), Mississippi (3rd), Texas (4th), Alabama (5th), Florida (6th), a tie for seventh place between North Carolina and Missouri, Montana (8th) and North Dakota (9th).

Overall, California came in at number 19, pretty much in the middle. 

Interesting Factors

After analyzing the stats, staff at CarInsuranceComparison.com noticed some interesting trends.

For example, a state's low ranking for number of drunk driving incidents often coincided with a high ticketing rate.

"In fact, 10 of the 15 states least likely to give you a ticket ranked in the top half of offenders for drunk driving," the website's report said. "You might not want to hear it  but perhaps knowing that they’re more likely to get a ticket helps deter drunk drivers."

Also, the analysts noticed a disturbing fact that states with high rankings for careless driving coincided with a high fatality rate as well.

"This connection between careless driving and fatality rate should be even more reason for drivers to put down their cell phones, and keep their eyes on the road," the report said.

Overall, analysts said, "What do the best drivers have in common? Paying attention to the road."

"Of the 15 states with the best drivers, only four ranked in the bottom half for careless driving, meaning they were keeping an eye on the road ahead and their surroundings, and not on their cell phones," the report said.

"The bottom line: Paying attention makes a big difference, and saves lives. If you want to be a responsible driver, get rid of the distractions and focus on your driving," they added.

For a complete ranking of all states in every category, or to read more of CarInsuranceComparison.com's analysis of the statistics, click here.


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