The states with the worst drivers in the US

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Despite a year of curfews and stay-at-home orders resulting in fewer cars on the road, some states actually saw an increase in fatal crashes. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found an increase in speeding, drivers under the influence and fewer people wearing seatbelts. 

New Jersey saw a 13% increase in fatal crashes with 2019 and 2018 having roughly 524 fatal crashes to 2020’s 590. And if you can believe it, New Jersey isn’t even in the top 25 for worst drivers by state. The states with the worst drivers have a few things in common — their drivers take many different risks, and most are located down South.

To score states on their driving, Finder’s experts looked at information from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Google Trends. Our full methodology can be found at the end.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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51. Massachusetts

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 13.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 4.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.1
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 385.8
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 6.2
  • Overall score: 11.4%

Image Credit: Rolf_52.

50. Pennsylvania

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 22.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.2
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.4
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 280.3
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 7.6
  • Overall score: 24.2%

Image Credit: AppalachianViews.

49. Vermont

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 15.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 3.2
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.0
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 953.8
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 6.8
  • Overall score: 24.7%

Image Credit: ” DonLand”.

48. Connecticut

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 18.0
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.2
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 586.2
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 9.4
  • Overall score: 27.8%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

47. New York

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 14.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 4.0
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 422.9
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 6.1
  • Overall score: 29.9%

Image Credit: Frederic Prochasson.

46. Utah

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 21.0
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 3.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.6
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 475.3
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 8.2
  • Overall score: 30.7%

Image Credit: AndreyKrav.

45. New Hampshire

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 14.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 5.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.2
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 846.5
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 9.9
  • Overall score: 31.3%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

44. Washington, D.C.

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 8.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 1.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.0
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 2.7
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 15.6
  • Overall score: 31.6%

Image Credit: dkfielding.

43. Delaware

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 30.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.5
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 114.2
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 11.4
  • Overall score: 32.0%

Image Credit: Zillow.

42. Nebraska

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 29.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 7.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.4
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 791.4
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 6.8
  • Overall score: 33.4%

Image Credit: marekuliasz.

41. Rhode Island

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 14.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.5
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.0
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 668.4
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 15.2
  • Overall score: 33.9%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

40. Maine

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 27.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 8.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 2.9
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,051.9
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 4.5
  • Overall score: 41.2%

Image Credit: Zillow.

39. New Jersey

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 16.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 3.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.2
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 673.0
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 14.9
  • Overall score: 41.3%

Image Credit: Ultima_Gaina / istockphoto.

38. Ohio

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 26.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 8.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 315.7
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 12.4
  • Overall score: 41.4%

Image Credit: dypics.

37. South Dakota

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 27.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 8.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,713.0
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 7.7
  • Overall score: 41.9%

Image Credit: RiverNorthPhotography.

36. Illinois

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 22.2
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 9.4
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 13.7
  • Overall score: 43.3%

Image Credit: ibsky.

35. North Carolina

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 34.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 8.2
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 316.4
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 6.5
  • Overall score: 44.9%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

34. Minnesota

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 19.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 4.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.4
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,167.2
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 11.5
  • Overall score: 45.4%

Image Credit: JoeChristensen.

33. Kansas

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 33.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 7.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.7
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 529.7
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 7.2
  • Overall score: 45.4%

Image Credit: Zillow.

32. Iowa

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 27.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 8.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 857.6
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 8.7
  • Overall score: 46.0%

Image Credit: JoeChristensen.

31. Maryland

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 21.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 819.3
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 12.4
  • Overall score: 46.9%

Image Credit: James_Lane.

30. Alaska

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 22.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 7.2
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.7
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,029.3
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 15.4
  • Overall score: 47.5%

Image Credit: julof90.

29. Montana

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 40.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 14.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 1.5
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 893.6
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 0.1
  • Overall score: 47.6%

Image Credit: David Butler.

28. West Virginia

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 44.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 9.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 1.1
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 427.1
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 10.1
  • Overall score: 49.6%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

27. Idaho

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 31.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 10.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 1.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,245.1
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 8.2
  • Overall score: 51.0%

Image Credit: Zillow.

26. Washington

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 17.0
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 5.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 948.8
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 17.4
  • Overall score: 52.2%

Image Credit: 4nadia.

25. Virginia

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 27.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 7.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.5
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 719.2
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 9.9
  • Overall score: 52.8%

Image Credit: tmersh.

24. Michigan

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 25.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.5
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 726.7
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 20.3
  • Overall score: 53.8%

Image Credit: RiverNorthPhotography.

23. Indiana

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 33.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 9.0
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.6
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 378.3
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 16.7
  • Overall score: 54.3%

Image Credit: f11photo.

22. Hawaii

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 21.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.6
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 836.8
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 10.6
  • Overall score: 55.2%

Image Credit: Art Wager.

21. Wisconsin

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 24.5
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 7.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.5
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,116.4
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 14.3
  • Overall score: 55.8%

Image Credit: FierceAbin.

20. Colorado

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 26.0
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 7.2
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 1.4
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 940.6
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 13.3
  • Overall score: 56.9%

Image Credit: Postoak at English Wikipedia.

19. Georgia

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 39.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 9.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.5
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 162.1
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 12.0
  • Overall score: 57.2%

Image Credit: SeanPavonePhoto.

18. South Carolina

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 49.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 13.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.4
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 420.9
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 9.4
  • Overall score: 57.4%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

17. North Dakota

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 31.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 12.5
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.0
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,681.5
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 6.8
  • Overall score: 58.0%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

16. Nevada

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 27.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 8.0
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.2
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,063.0
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 10.6
  • Overall score: 58.7%

Image Credit: AlizadaStudios.

15. Oregon

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 31.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 10.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.8
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 865.1
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 12.7
  • Overall score: 58.9%

Image Credit: HaizhanZheng.

14. Wyoming

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 55.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 13.8
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 6.0
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,466.3
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 7.8
  • Overall score: 59.2%

Image Credit: AnujSahaiPhotography.

13. Arizona

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 33.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 8.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.6
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 671.7
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 12.0
  • Overall score: 59.6%

Image Credit: wanderluster.

12. California

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 23.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 6.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.3
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 868.4
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 15.2
  • Overall score: 60.7%

Image Credit: mlauffen.

Tied- 10. Louisiana

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 41.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 12.2
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.2
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 333.9
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 13.0
  • Overall score: 61.6%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Tied-10. Florida

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 38.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 9.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.1
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 443.0
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 26.7
  • Overall score: 61.6%

Image Credit: Elisa.rolle.

9. Arkansas

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 44.2
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 11.5
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.1
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 577.6
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 16.6
  • Overall score: 61.7%

Image Credit: Rdlamkin.

8. Kentucky

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 44.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 8.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.7
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1,047.1
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 11.5
  • Overall score: 64.0%

Image Credit: Thomas Kelley.

7. Tennessee

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 37.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 9.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.4
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 681.9
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 20.0
  • Overall score: 64.8%

Image Credit: NathanMerrill.

6. Alabama

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 43.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 12.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 1.4
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 1.8
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 18.4
  • Overall score: 67.6%

Image Credit: James Deitsch.

5. Oklahoma

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 49.9
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 11.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.9
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 774.2
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 10.5
  • Overall score: 69.0%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

4. Missouri

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 39.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 10.4
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.8
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 684.9
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 14.0
  • Overall score: 69.2%

Image Credit: eyecrave.

3. New Mexico

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 51.5
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 15.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 1.7
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 586.9
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 20.8
  • Overall score: 70.8%

Image Credit: Davel5957.

2. Texas

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 37.3
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 13.7
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 1.8
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 727.3
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 14.1
  • Overall score: 72.8%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

1. Mississippi

  • Fatal crash rate per 100K drivers: 59.6
  • Fatal crash involving a drunk driver per 100K drivers: 16.1
  • Fatal crash involving a drowsy driver per 100K drivers: 0.9
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers: 540.7
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers: 23.7
  • Overall score: 78.3%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Fast facts: The averages for risk-taking on the road

How does your state compare to the average risk-taking on roads across America?

  1. Fatal accidents: American drivers average about 29 fatal accidents for every 100,000 drivers roaming the country.
  2. Drunk driving and speeding: Americans see an average rate of 8.2 drunk driving fatalities and 7.6 speeding fatalities per 100K drivers.
  3. DUI arrests: An average of 613 Americans get arrested for DUI per 100K drivers.
  4. Google searches for tickets: Georgians search Google for speeding tickets the most of any state, followed closely by Louisiana and North Dakota. Meanwhile, Nevadans rise to the top for the most traffic ticket searches, with California and Florida falling just underneath.

Image Credit: kadmy / istockphoto.

How reckless driving affects car insurance

If you cause a car accident or get caught drunk driving, expect to see your rates jump as much as 50%, although insurers in some states charge over 80% higher rates for a DUI.

Even a speeding ticket could raise insurance rates by 20% to 30%, depending on how many tickets or past claims you’ve had. However, your raised car insurance rate depends on the type of accident or violation you receive.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.

How to improve your driving skills

To avoid falling in the camp of risky drivers, follow a few tips for accountability and general safety rules for the road:

  • Join a telematics or safe driver program: Most major insurers offer programs that track your driving, offer safety tips and reward you with discounts.
  • Take a refresher driving course: A low-cost online course could refresh your safety knowledge while landing a 5–10% discount off your insurance.
  • Slow down on the roads: One of the biggest factors involved in deadly crashes is speeding. Sticking close to the speed limit immediately improves your safety.
  • Get a designated driver if you plan to drink: You can guard yourself against drunk driving by designating a sober driver or calling a rideshare or cab when you go out to drink.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Methodology

To determine the best and worst drivers by state, Finder compared the states and Washington, DC across 10 ranking factors. We scored each factor on an index with scores closer to 0 representing the states with the best drivers and 100 representing the states with the worst drivers. A score of 50 suggests the average score across all the states and DC.

How we distributed points for each of the ranking factors:

  • Fatal crashes per 100K drivers overall (20 points)
  • Fatal crashes per 100K drivers involving:
    • a drunk driver (4 points)
    • speeding (4 points)
    • a distracted driver (4 points)
    • a drowsy driver (4 points)
    • a hit and run (4 points)
  • DUI arrests per 100K drivers (20 points)
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers (20 points)
  • Google trends search interest in
    • “speeding ticket” (10 points)
    • “traffic ticket” (10 points)

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