15 States With the Worst Drivers on the Road

According to Statista, 233 million people in the U.S. had a driver’s license in 2021. In most states, people over 16 are eligible to drive. With the driving age being considerably low, many people are on the roads.

Initially, cars used to be very unsafe as few safety features were built into them. However, this number slowly declined with more and more safety regulations and advanced vehicles. USA Today states that 2022 saw an average of 117 fatal daily accidents.

Even with all safety standards, traffic laws, and high-tech cars, people are careless, which results in terrible accidents. According to data from Yahoo Finance, the states with the worst drivers, drunk and distracted drivers per 100,000, and accidents per capita were considered.

1. Indiana

Indiana
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Coming in first is the state of Indiana, which has the worst drivers in the U.S. Drunk driver deaths per 100,000 were a whopping 9.7, while drivers who were distracted had a death rate per 100,000 of 0.74. Indiana also had accident fatalities per capita of 13.7. According to NHTSA, 50% of people who passed away in a fatal accident in 2021 were not wearing a seat belt. This state needs imperative action and awareness of safety standards to reduce the stark numbers.

2. Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
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In Illinois, accident fatalities per capita come up to about 10.5, while demise from drivers being distracted per 100,000 sums to 1.68. Additionally, the fatality from drunk driving per 100,000 was also a massive 8.15. The state has one of the highest number of fatalities from accidents in the U.S., which highlights the need for swift and immediate action.

3. Colorado

Denver, Colorado
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Colorado is known for its dangerous roads due to its terrain, which leads to road-related accidents. It experienced drunk driver deaths per 100,000 of 8.78 while demise from being distracted per 100,000 was 1.12. On top of this, accident fatalities per capita were a vast 11.9.

4. Virginia

Virginia
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According to Yahoo Finance, the U.S. is one of the countries with the most cars produced globally. With so many vehicles in the country, more bad drivers are found on the roads. In Virginia, drunk driver deaths per 100,000 were 9.1, accident fatalities per capita were 11.2, and distracted driver deaths per 100,000 were 1.47.

5. Oregon

Portland, Oregon
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IIHS states that in 2021, more than 12,000 deaths, which is 29% of all crash fatalities, occurred in speed-related crashes. This highlights the importance of staying within the speed limit and abiding by traffic laws to improve driving skills. In Oregon, drunk driver deaths per 100,000 were 11.86, distracted driver deaths per 100,000 were 0.94, and accident fatalities per capita were 14.1, which gives it its position on the list.

6. Kansas

Independence, Kansas
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The state of Kansas is sixth on the list due to drunk driver deaths per 100,000 being 7.86, distracted driver deaths per 100,000 being 4.46, and accident fatalities per capita coming to a massive 14.4. With high levels of aggression in drivers, more fatalities and accidents are bound to happen.

7. North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
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North Carolina had drunk driver deaths per 100,000 of 11.26, which indicates the need for tightening restrictions. Additionally, the state also had 1.27 distracted driver deaths per 100,000 and accident fatalities per capita of 15.7. The cumulative effect of these statistics results in the position of the state.

8. Arizona

Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona
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According to NHTS, in Arizona, fatalities on the road decreased in 2023. However, the state continues to suffer from inadequate driving skills. The drunk driver deaths per 100,000 were 10.85, while distracted driver deaths per 100,000 were 1.31. The number of accident fatalities per capita was 16.2, showing the need for improvement.

9. North Dakota

North Dakota
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Despite being sparsely populated, North Dakota ranks ninth on the list regarding bad drivers on the road. Their rash driving results in drunk driver deaths per 100,000 of 12.47, distracted driver deaths per 100,000 of 1.32, and accident fatalities per capita of 13.

10. Mississippi

Mississippi
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The primary reason for the high position of the state of Mississippi is that it has the highest number of fatalities due to alcohol, with drunk driver deaths per 100,000 coming in at a whopping 16.28. Additionally, distracted driver deaths per 100,000 is 0.5, which is low compared to other states on the list. Total accident fatalities per capita amount to 26.2.

11. Idaho

Idaho
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According to the CDC, the U.S. U.S. could save more than 20,500 lives and about $280.5 million in annual medical costs if they reduced their crash fatality rate to other countries in their income group. Despite knowing this, people in the state of Idaho drive rashly, resulting in drunk driver deaths per 100,000 at 9.71, distracted driver deaths per 100,000 at 1.94, and accident fatalities per capita at 14.2.

12. Florida

Miami, Florida
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Taking the twelfth position when it comes to states with the worst drivers, the people of Florida need an extra nudge to follow traffic rules. They experienced drunk driver deaths per 100,000 of 11.03, distracted driver deaths per 100,000 of 1.58, and fatalities from accidents per capita of 17.1.

13. Arkansas

Arkansas
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

According to NHTSA, the estimated economic cost of speed-related crashes was about $46 billion in 2019. With so much money being funneled into property and medical bills, traffic laws must be taken seriously. In Arkansas, drunk driver deaths per 100,000 were 14.21, distracted driver deaths per 100,000 were 0.82, and accident fatalities per capita were 22.9.

14. Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The state of Tennessee had a drunk driver death rate per 100,000 of 12.35. This is one of the higher ones on the list, highlighting imperative action by authorities. The number of fatalities due to distracted drivers per 100,000 were 1.28. Additionally, accident fatalities per capita amounted to 19.

15. Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Image Credit: J R Bawden, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Last on the list is the state of Alabama, which is relatively better than all the other states, yet it still needs to improve to change its position. Here, drunk driver deaths per 100,000 came up to 12.87, distracted driver deaths per 100,000 were 1.23, and accident fatalities per capita came to 19.5.

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