December 14, 2022 Social Share
California Ranks No. 3 For Having The Most ‘Irresponsible’ Drivers In The United States
California has the third most “irresponsible” drivers out of all states in our nation, according to an analysis by SmartAsset of uninsured motorists, DUIs, fatal crashes, and traffic citation-related searches on the web.
In its sixth annual study, SmartAsset, for each state, examined the percentage of drivers who are insured, number of driving under the influence (DUI) arrests per 1,000 drivers, number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven and how often residents Google terms like “traffic ticket” or “speeding ticket.”
Mississippi had the worst drivers for the fifth year in a row, according to the study, with the highest percentage of uninsured drivers (29.4%) and the second-most fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven (1.90). Tennessee ranked No. 2.
California had the eighth-most Google searches for speeding and traffic tickets relative to searches for gasoline, while it also has the ninth-highest percentage of drivers who are uninsured (16.6%). Meanwhile, there are 3.55 DUI arrests recorded per 1,000 drivers in California, which ranks 19th-most overall. There were 1.28 fatalities per 100 million miles driven.
The top 10 states with the most irresponsible drivers, according to Smart Asset, were as follows:
- South Carolina
- Colorado and Florida (Tie)
Meanwhile, the top 10 states with the least irresponsible drivers were:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
Northeastern drivers were relatively responsible. Eight out of the top 10 states with the best drivers are located in the Northeast. Massachusetts has the most responsible drivers for a sixth consecutive year, boasting the lowest number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven (0.63) and the second-lowest percentage of drivers who are uninsured (3.5%).
South Carolina and South Dakota have the most fatalities and DUI arrests, respectively. South Carolina has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest fatal crash rate, with 1.97 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. Meanwhile, South Dakota has the nation’s highest number of DUI arrests, at 9.21 per 1,000 drivers.
For the study, SmartAsset specifically looked at the following data:
- Fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven. Data comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is from 2020.
- Arrests for driving under the influence per 1,000 drivers. Data on DUI arrests comes from the FBI. Data on the number of drivers comes from the Department of Transportation. Data is from 2020.
- Percentage of drivers who are insured. Most recently available data comes from the Insurance Research Council, as reported by Forbes, and is from 2019.
- Google Trends on driving tickets. This is how often residents in each state Google “speeding ticket” and “traffic ticket.” To control for the number of drivers in each state, we compared “speeding ticket” and “traffic ticket” Google Trends data to “gasoline” Google Trends data. We pulled data for the period between May 2021 and May 2022.
SmartAsset then computed each state’s average ranking, giving each metric equal weighting, and using average rankings to create final scores. SmartAsset is an online website for consumer-focused financial information.
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