Revealed – which US state has the worst drivers

A new study highlights the states with the most unsafe motorists

Revealed – which US state has the worst drivers

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

New Mexico has the worst drivers in the country, according to a new study by The state has ranked among the three worst in the nation six times since the study began in 2011.

Estimates show that 2019 will be the third straight year with more than 40,000 traffic deaths in the US, according to Carelessness, speeding, ignoring laws and drunk driving were among the top causes of traffic deaths.

The estimated cost of motor vehicle fatalities, injuries and property damage in the first half of the year was $191.7 billion.

“Forty thousand deaths is unacceptable… We cannot afford to tread water anymore,” said Nicholas Smith, CEO of the National Safety Council. “We know what works, but we need to demonstrate the commitment to implementing the solutions. Roadway deaths are preventable by doubling down on what works, embracing technology advancements and creating a culture of safer driving.”

To rate the states with the worst driver, researchers ranked states by five factors:

  • The fatality rate per every 100 million vehicle miles traveled
  • Failure to obey traffic laws, including safety devices, seatbelts and valid driver’s licenses
  • Careless driving – the number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities per state
  • Drunk driving – the number of roadway deaths caused by drunk drivers
  • Speeding – the number of traffic deaths caused by drivers violating speeding laws

The states with the worst drivers were:

  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Arizona
  • Louisiana
  • Texas
  • Colorado
  • Missouri
  • Montana and Alabama (tie)
  • Nevada

This is the second time since 2011 that New Mexico has ranked first as the worst-driving state in the US, according to The state rates third in the nation for both drunk driving and careless driving.

“Prevalence of excessive alcohol use and alcohol-attributed mortality is much higher in New Mexico than in other US states,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a 2018 report. “In 2010, excessive alcohol use cost the state roughly $2.2 billion.”

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