We all get frustrated on the road with other drivers. When someone cuts us off in a parking lot or another driver decides to tailgate all the way to the next light, it can create a lot of stress and even anger. These occurrences often lead us to wonder whether this is a universal problem around the country or whether bad drivers are more prominent in our state.
The worst driving statesare often assumed to have large metropolitan areas, like California or New York. There’s more traffic in these high-population regions, and the intense rush-hour time periods in the afternoon are synonymous with big cities. The interesting thing is the data doesn’t necessarily back up this view.
We’ll review which states have the worst drivers and what methods are being used to determine driving skills in each state. We’ll also take a look at how these states that are showing poor driving performance can get their drivers to improve on the roads.
What are the worst driving states?
The method we are going to use to determine the worst driving states is the number of at-fault traffic incidents that occur in each state. This means everything from violations like speeding and DUIs to causing a fatal accident. There are other ways to determine bad drivers, but this is the best way to create a concrete case for a state having poor drivers.
Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, South Carolina, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah are the 10 states with the worst drivers by these statistical measures. What’s immediately evident when looking at this list is that many of these states rank in the bottom half of the U.S. for the total population.
Places like Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska, Iowa, and Utah are all sparsely populated states, yet they rank as having some of the worst drivers in the country. This doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense when we think about what causes car accidents.
These areas have less traffic than their high-population counterparts. Like Idaho and Wyoming, they have vast farmland and an enormous amount of free space to drive without getting stuck in rush-hour traffic. This forces us to re-evaluate what makes a driver decide to do something dangerous on the road.
When you are in a city that has enormous traffic, you are more aware of what you need to do to stay safe. You might be better attuned to your surroundings. The people around you will honk or get angry if you impede their space. This type of activity gives you a chance to think about what you are doing wrong.
When you drive in some of the low-populated areas mentioned, you might take for granted you still need to pay attention to the road. Being the only person on the highway at night in Idaho is a lot different than driving in California. Sleep deprivation, texting while driving, and other forms of inattention might seep into your routine.
Drivers from larger states also come to these smaller areas for various reasons, bringing poor driving habits with them. For example, up until the late 1980s, the legal drinking age in Idaho was only 19. That meant many Washington State University students drove a short 10-to-15-mile trip across the state border to get to drink in Idaho.
Drunk driving from out-of-state students would still be recorded as at-fault occurrences for the state of Idaho. This is just one example of how other citizens from around the country can skew data for accidents in certain states.
The population has also been growing tremendously in some of these smaller states as people get tired of the overcrowding in large cities. California and Washington’s residents have made their mark by moving to Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada in recent years.
How can drivers improve their skills?
It is important for drivers in all states to improve their driving skills so that we can keep our fellow citizens safe. Start by always paying attention to the road. Don’t text and drive. Don’t have movies or TV shows on in the car. If your children are fighting in the back seat, pull over and then handle the situation.
If you think you need a touch-up on your driving skills, think about taking a defensive driving course. These classes will go over some of the methods you may have forgotten in the years since getting your license. It will also reacquaint you with the stress of driving as we leave our homes more at the end of this pandemic.
Think about what makes you a worse driver when you are in the car. Do you get too caught up in conversations with your friends? If so, consider ditching the company and driving solo. Does listening to music on the radio take your mind too far from the traffic? If so, keep the tunes off.
Driving is something that we all do, but not very many of us try to think about how to improve. If you can have some accountability for how you drive, this will go a long way to make you a better driver and keep others safe.
How does insurance coverage impact the worst drivers?
Whether you are a good driver or someone who needs to get better, insurance is important to purchase. It is illegal in most states not to have auto insurance coverage of some sort. If you want more than the basic coverage or the minimum coverage required by your state, then talk to an insurance agent about getting a more comprehensive auto insurance policy.
You might be wondering how a state’s drivers impact the type of auto insurance rates you receive in that state. This is definitely something auto insurance companies consider when giving out a policy.
Areas that are more dangerous to drive in often have more expensive premiums. Take this into account if you are ever considering a move to one of these places. And no matter where you live, all you can do is try your best to make your own driving habits intelligent.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance site,AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help educate people on what states have the worst drivers and how those drivers can improve their skills
Adil Husnain is a well-known name in the blogging and SEO industry. He is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field, and has helped numerous businesses and individuals to improve their online visibility and traffic. He writes on business, technology, finance, marketing, and cryptocurrency related trends. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping others to grow their online businesses.