Where Are the Country’s Best and Worst Drivers?

bad-drivingThe yearly report from the website www.carinsurancecomparison.com, listing the best and worst drivers by state, is out again. Minnesota can rejoice in having the country’s best drivers, followed closely by neighbor Iowa.

Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the site rates each state on factors such as fatalities per mile traveled, percentage of crashes involving broken traffic laws, drunk driving, speeding, and careless driving (using pedestrian and bicycle fatalities as a gauge).

Now that the numbers have been crunched, here are the 10 best and worst states, in order:

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Why would Minnesota top the charts? Does “Minnesota nice,” the innate politeness and courtesy that the state is known for, carry over onto the roads? It’s possible. But we’d rather not generalize, because then we’d have to figure out what innate qualities caused Montana and South Carolina tie for the dubious distinction of having the country’s worst drivers.

We suspect that it’s not some inner quality, but a culture of drinking and driving, that put them there. Montana has the worst drunk driving record in the country, and the site notes that the five worst states were among the top ten in terms of drunk driving.

No survey is perfect, and this one might not be an accurate reflection of how good or bad drivers really are in the states listed. But if if these surveys do have any value, it’s in getting people thinking about what factors make our roads unsafe. And the signs point to alcohol as one of the main culprits.