Worst Drivers By State (Updated 2023)

WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich


Are you curious about which state has the worst drivers? We’ve compiled data from various sources to comprehensively summarize the states with the highest rate of accidents, fatalities, and traffic violations. We’ll provide a state-by-state analysis, highlighting the factors contributing to each state’s ranking.

Top 10 states with the worst drivers

As a driver, you’ve likely encountered a bad driver on the road. Distracted driving, such as texting, speeding, tailgating, and failure to obey traffic laws, annoys others and can contribute to auto accidents. 

Therefore, road safety is a crucial factor determining a state’s overall level of safety. Although bad drivers can be found in all states, certain states have a higher concentration, leading people to claim that their home state has the worst drivers and roads.

#1 Mississippi

For three consecutive years, Mississippi has held the infamous title of having the worst drivers in the United States. The state has a staggering number of uninsured drivers, with only 76.3% insured drivers. 

Furthermore, Mississippi has the second-highest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, with a rate of 1.63. These factors have undoubtedly contributed to Mississippi’s poor reputation for road safety.

#2 Alabama

The state of Alabama, located in the Southern U.S., comes in next on the list of worst drivers. With just 81.60% insured drivers, Alabama has the sixth-lowest percentage in our study. 

Although its rate of DUI incidents per 1,000 drivers is the sixth-lowest in the study, at 1.82, Alabama still has a high rate of fatalities, with 1.56 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven – the sixth-highest rate among all states.

#3 California

California ranks high in both traffic violations and uninsured drivers. It has the sixth-highest rate of online searches related to speeding and traffic tickets, indicating a higher prevalence of reckless driving. 

The state also has the 12th-lowest percentage of insured drivers at 84.80%, making it a risky place to be on the road. Also, 4.59 DUIs issued per 1,000 drivers, which is the 15th-highest rate in the study. However, the state’s fatality rate is relatively low at 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven, which is the 20th-lowest rate overall.

#4 Nevada

Nevada takes the fourth spot for having the worst drivers in the US. The state has a concerning number of DUI incidents at 5.54 per 1,000 drivers, the highest rate in the study. Furthermore, Nevada has the highest rate of searching online for topics related to traffic tickets, indicating a high occurrence of traffic violations.

#5 Texas

Tied with three other states for fourth place, Texas has its share of bad drivers. The Lone Star State has the ninth-highest search rate for traffic tickets and a mid-level DUI rate of 3.79 per 1,000 drivers. 

With a percentage of insured drivers at 85.90%, Texas ranks the 15th lowest in this metric. The state’s vehicle fatality rate is 1.40 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven.

#6 Florida

Florida is tied for fourth place, along with two other states. Florida ranks lowest in the nation regarding the percentage of insured drivers, with only 73.30% of drivers having insurance. 

However, the state has the eighth-lowest rate of DUI incidents, with only 2.17 incidents per 1,000 drivers. Florida ranks 11th in the nation for the highest rate of searches for traffic-related tickets.

#7 Arizona

Arizona has a moderate ranking compared to other states regarding driving safety. While the insurance rate in Arizona is 88%, which is relatively high compared to other states, the state ranks 17th-highest for searches related to driving tickets. 

Additionally, Arizona has a relatively high DUI rate of 4.68 incidents per 1,000 drivers and 1.45 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven. To avoid unexpected expenses from car repairs, being cautious while driving in Arizona is important.

#8 Alaska

Alaska ties for the eighth spot with some concerning driving statistics. With 5.80 DUI incidents per 1,000 drivers, Alaska ranks fifth in this study for this metric. Additionally, the state has the fourth-highest rate of fatalities at 1.60 per 100 million vehicle miles driven. 

However, there is a silver lining, as Alaska ranks third lowest in the nation for searches related to traffic tickets. Alaskans’ driving styles are like a successful retirement investment strategy – taking it slow and steady.

#9 Tennessee

Tennessee and Alaska are tied for the eighth spot among the states with the worst drivers. Tennessee has the fifth-lowest rate of insured drivers at 80%, a cause for concern. Moreover, the state has a DUI rate of 3.63 incidents per 1,000 drivers and 1.35 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven. 

According to Google Trends 2023 data, Tennessee ranks 14th in the nation for the highest rate of searches related to driving tickets. These factors indicate that drivers in Tennessee should be cautious while on the road.

#10 Missouri

Missouri rounds out the top 10 states with the worst drivers, with only 86% of drivers having insurance, placing it 16th lowest in the nation. The state also has a high rate of DUIs, with 4.30 incidents per 1,000 drivers and 1.28 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven. 

In addition, according to Google Trends 2023 data, Missouri ranks as the 12th highest state for searches related to driving-related tickets. It’s important to stay alert and cautious while driving in Missouri to avoid accidents and tickets.

State ranking worst to best: How does your state stack up

Have you ever wondered how your state compares to the rest of the nation regarding driving safety? 

Every year, various studies analyze data on DUI incidents, fatalities per vehicle miles driven, and the percentage of insured drivers to rank the states from best to worst. 

In this section, we will present the latest rankings and data on each state with the worst drivers in the country, starting with the worst and working our way down the list

Behind the wheel: Factors that affect driving habits

A few items come into play when looking at how people drive. These factors also affect the driving tendencies and abilities of drivers.

Mileage makes a difference

Regarding the frequency of car accidents and reckless driving, mileage has a direct effect. Just because someone drives a lot doesn’t mean they are a better driver. The more miles a person drives, the higher their chances of getting into an accident. 

Studies show that men, who generally drive more miles than women, are also involved in more deadly crashes.

Most MilesLeast Miles
WyomingNew York
MississippiNew Jersey
AlabamaRhode Island


Drunk driving is a serious road issue. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common occurrence. To combat this problem, every state in the US has laws against drunk driving. However, some states struggle more with this problem than others.

Most DUIsLeast DUIs
South DakotaMississippi

Seatbelt usage

Seatbelts are one of a vehicle’s simplest and most effective safety measures. They can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of an accident. In this chart, we’ll take a look at the best and worst states for seatbelt usage.

Most Seatbelt UseageMost Seatbelt Usage
HawaiiSouth Dakota
OregonNew Hampshire

Uninsured motorist

Driving without insurance is illegal and puts others on the road at risk. Unfortunately, not all drivers have proper insurance coverage, leading to potential financial consequences for those involved in accidents with uninsured motorists. This chart will explore the best and worst states for uninsured motorists based on the percentage of drivers without insurance.

Most Uninsured MotoristsLeast Uninsured Motorists
New MexicoMassachusetts


Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of driving. While some states may have a higher rate of accidents than others, it’s important to be aware of the risks wherever you drive. 

To give you an idea of which states have the best and worst track records for car accidents, we’ve compiled a chart ranking the states based on accident frequency. Read on to see where your state falls on the list.

Most Accidents Per StateLeast Accidents Per State
South CarolinaVermont
FloridaSouth Dakota

Traffic tickets

If you’re on the road, you must know your driving habits and how they might affect your safety and legal record. One way to do that is by looking at data on traffic citations. This article will examine a chart showing traffic citations‘ best and worst states. 

Most Traffic TicketsLeast Traffic Tickets
FloridaNew Hampshire


How can drivers stay safe on the road, regardless of their state’s ranking?

Drivers can stay safe by avoiding distractions, following traffic laws, driving defensively, maintaining their vehicles, and staying sober while behind the wheel.

What are the top 5 states with the worst drivers?

According to data from our sources, including the NHSTA, the top 5 states with the worse drivers are:

  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Texas

What state has the most aggressive drivers?

Utah ranks as the state with the highest percentage (76%) of drivers who report being honked at in frustration by other drivers. Additionally, over half (58%) of Utah drivers surveyed reported experiencing rude or offensive gestures while on the road.

Furthermore, the survey found that Utah drivers are the second most likely to report being tailgated (73%) and having another driver exceed the speed limit specifically to prevent them from changing lanes (47%).

What state has the most accidents?

In 2022, South Carolina topped the list for the highest percentage of at-fault accidents in the United States, with a staggering 12% rate. Unfortunately, the state’s driving statistics don’t stop there. South Carolina also has the highest rate of traffic fatalities in the nation.

Which gender has the most car accidents? 

According to National Highway Safety Administration statistics, men are involved in more car accidents than women each year. Specifically, men are responsible for causing approximately 6.1 million accidents annually, while women are responsible for about 4.4 million accidents per year.

By understanding the factors that contribute to bad driving, you can take steps to stay safe on the road. Always follow traffic laws, avoid distractions, and practice defensive driving techniques. 

Find the best rates from insurers in your area. Use our online comparison tool to review the options available to you.


AgileRates extracted and analyzed data from the following to provide data in this article.

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