Which states have the worst drivers?

According to the folks at Zutobi Driver Education…

  • First place for the worst? Wyoming. Plenty of wide open spaces and unfortunately the highest fatal crash rate of 55 fatal crashes per 100,000 people and 320 people who were involved in fatal collisions.
  • Second place was New Mexico with 48 fatal crashes per 100,000 people and an eye-popping 1,010 people involved in fatal crashes. The report blamed New Mexico’s having one of the nation’s highest drunk driving death rates.
  • Third was Mississippi with 45.7 fatal crashes per 100,000 and 1,355 people involved in fatal crashes.

The ranking was based on the rate of fatal crashes per 100,000 people and number of people involved in fatal crashes in 2019 for 50 states, Washington D.C and Puerto Rico. The number of people involved in fatal crashes is higher than the number of traffic fatalities because it counts all people in the collision, including survivors.

If you go to this website and do a LOT of scrolling, you can see the complete list:

(Note: I just corrected the web address above.)

I don’t know what it is like now because of the terrible virus but in the past you would see many commuter parking places along I-44 between Joplin , MO and Saint Louis , MO. Considering the amount of time from people getting up for the trip and returning to home tired drivers would seem to be a factor.

CA is not high on this list because of what they looked at. The traffic prevents those kind of speeds in most metro areas. But having been and lived in a few other states, CA drivers are generally not good.

Statistiocs don’t tell the whole story. Any state with a large city has a sizeable portion that either don’t drive or seldom drive cars. Small congested states don’t have hig speed secondary roads like Wyoming or the vast spaces that require more time driving and higher speeds. Statistics are not generated in a vacuum, you have to understand what influences them.

The Buffalo news had an article that saod the more men than women were dying of covid than men with the exception that more 80+ women were dying than 80+ year old men. They concludede that it was more dangerous to be an 80 year old woman than an 80 year old man.

Of course, that is wrong,about half of the men are dead by 80. They can’t be killed twice.


Life is dangerous but thankfully most fatalities are happening in the states with the lowest population. :crazy_face: I’ll take my chances in a car though with me driving instead of in Amtrac anyway. If you need to get some place, a lot of times driving is better than riding a bike or a horse.

If the answer supposed to be about drivers, only drivers - not all persons - should be counted in the denominator.

This is only one problem with this report.

They concluded this because they can’t do math…
@oldtimer_11 You CAN do math!

I surprised that cell phone coverage wasn’t included as a factor in the fatality rate. In many of the norther tier western states, one issue in survivability of an accident is the time it takes for first responders to arrive at the scene and the time it takes to get survivors to an acute care emergency facility.

Lack of cell phone coverage in many remote areas means that the time to report the accident is delayed by the time it takes for a passerby to get into cell phone coverage, especially on secondary roads and call for help.

Edit: Southern states may have higher fatality rates because of the number of retiree’s that move south. Old people are less likely t survive a hit than younger folks.

As for Mississippi, I believe that drivers in Mississippi should get an endorsement from a surrounding state before their drivers licenses are honored on any roads outside Mississippi. Anyone who lives in a state that borders Mississippi will know what I’m talking about.


For those of us who don’t live in that region, could you elaborate?

I think the sate averages outweigh the city averages. It would be interesting to see major city averages.

NY slightly edged-out NJ in terms of relatively low fatal accident rates, but the stats clearly must include ALL of NY state. Unfortunately, in my region of Central NJ, the NY drivers on our roads are mostly from NYC, and those clueless folks are not typical of the rest of NY state.

When I am driving on any of our interstates, when I encounter someone driving in the left lane at 45 mph, it is almost always a car with NY plates, and the letter/number sequence inevitably identifies it as a car registered w/in NYC.

Additionally, when driving on US Route 1 in NJ–where left turns are prohibited–I encounter cars stopped in the left lane–waiting to make an illegal left turn–with some frequency. I estimate that 90-95% of those cars have NY plates.


Missouri is worse than Texas? Having driven in both, I find that astounding. Of course, I’m mostly comparing the St. Louis area with the Dallas region but still…

I think that in the Eastern Europe in countries like Bulgaria…

The article is an interesting read, but the only valid data, in my view, is the number of fatal crashes per 100,000 population. For that stat, you’re comparing apples to apples across the states. But, to say that more men than women get into traffic accidents, without analyzing the number of male and female drivers on the road, really doesn’t say much. More men get into accidents, but are more men driving? And, are they driving more or fewer miles than women? Without that kind of information, it’s hard to draw a conclusion from the data.

Moving totally to opinion territory . . . . as a Jersey native, I think the worst drivers are NYC drivers on NJ roads going to and from our beaches in the summer. Part of the problem is simply traffic volume. But, the entitled, “get out of my way” attitude from some of our visitors doesn’t help either.

Last summer, I was 4th or 5th in line at a red light. Guy with NY plates was behind me (easy to recognize the bright orange plate in the mirror). The light turned green, and the guy immediately started leaning on the horn. It was at that moment that I conveniently forgot which pedal makes cars go. Come and enjoy our beaches all you want, but please respect our environment and our roads.

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Yeah I drove 100 miles a day to work and my wife drove 5. I like to tell the story that we did a computer analysis way back to estimate life span. When I answered 100 miles a day and one drink a month, my life span was calculated to about 35. They said because my odds of drinking and driving were so high. Yeah those dang statistics.

Always always you have to zero in on the figures to analyze the details to get the true picture. Yes it would be interesting to see county by county fatality rates and by population density. The figures are out there but takes a little more effort to come up with a meaningful report on who what when where and why.

As always, just IMHO. Others will disagree.


Do you remember what your wife’s life span was calculated at?

Nope. This was at work, only for employees.

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I’ve driven a lot East of the Mississippi. Little in TX and CA. From my experience the Boston drivers are the worse.

But they are NOTHING compared to the drivers in South America.

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I’m not astounded by it because I believe Texas is a little more serious about traffic enforcement than other states, particularly large midwestern states. I’ve gotten more tickets in Texas per year or per mile than in any other state.

I haven’t been to all 50 states yet, but the most dangerous drivers I’ve seen were in the corridor between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. Those drivers did things in front of my semi that I would only contemplate if I was suicidal, like cutting me off and then braking hard. (The stopping distance of even a moderately loaded semi is more than twice as long as that of a car.)