Rankings of the Worst Drivers by State in 2023

States with the worst drivers are a serious concern for public safety. Every year, thousands of people lose their lives or are injured in car accidents caused by reckless and irresponsible driving.

It is important to identify the states with the highest rates of traffic fatalities, DUI arrests, and uninsured drivers to raise awareness about the dangers of the road and encourage drivers to be more cautious and responsible.

According to recent reports, there are several states in the US that stand out for having the worst drivers. These states have high rates of traffic accidents, DUI arrests, and uninsured drivers, making them some of the most dangerous places to drive in the country.

While some of these states have implemented measures to improve road safety, others still have a long way to go to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries caused by car accidents.

States with the Worst Drivers

Overview of States with the Worst Drivers

According to various studies and reports, there are several states in the United States that have been consistently ranked as having the worst drivers. The rankings are based on various factors such as traffic fatalities, DUI arrests, and the percentage of uninsured drivers per state.

One study conducted by SmartFinancial in 2023 determined that the top 10 worst drivers by state are Kentucky, Wyoming, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Dakota, Arkansas, Idaho, and Montana.

Another study by worldpopulationreview.com also ranked Mississippi, Nevada, and Tennessee as the top three states with the worst drivers. That same report also provided the following states in order of their worseness — in reference to horrible driving and accidents.

  1. Mississippi
  2. Nevada
  3. Tennessee
  4. Florida
  5. California
  6. Arizona
  7. South Carolina
  8. Texas

Insurify, a car insurance comparison website, found that Ohio has the worst drivers of any state in 2022. The study looked at the percentage of drivers reporting past driving incidents, and Ohio had the highest percentage at 26.13%.

Iowa, Nebraska, Virginia, and Maine also ranked high on the list of states with the worst drivers.

It is important to note that these rankings are not definitive and can vary depending on the methodology used. However, it is clear that there are certain states where drivers may need to exercise extra caution on the road.

Factors Contributing to Poor Driving Habits

Lack of Driver Education

One of the factors contributing to poor driving habits is the lack of proper driver education in some states. According to a study by PBS, states with lower requirements for obtaining a driver’s license tend to have more dangerous drivers. For example, in some states, drivers can obtain a license without ever taking a driving test or completing a driver education course.

Furthermore, some states do not require regular driver education courses or retesting for license renewal. This lack of ongoing education can lead to drivers forgetting important rules of the road or developing bad habits over time.

Poor Road Infrastructure

Poor road infrastructure can also contribute to poor driving habits. According to SmartAsset, states with poorly maintained roads and highways tend to have higher rates of accidents and fatalities.

Additionally, roads with inadequate signage or confusing layouts can lead to driver confusion and mistakes. This can be especially dangerous in high-traffic areas or during inclement weather.

High Traffic Volume

High traffic volume is another factor that can contribute to poor driving habits. According to Insurify, states with high population density and heavy traffic tend to have more accidents and traffic violations.

Drivers in areas with high traffic volume may be more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, or distracted driving. Additionally, heavy traffic can lead to increased stress and frustration, which can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time.

Legal Consequences of Poor Driving

Poor driving habits can lead to serious legal consequences. In many states, a driver who is found to be at fault for an accident may be held liable for any damages or injuries that result. This means that they may be required to pay for medical bills, property damage, and other costs associated with the accident. In addition to civil liability, poor driving can also result in criminal charges.

For example, a driver who is found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be charged with a DUI or DWI. These charges can result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Other common criminal charges related to poor driving include reckless driving, hit and run, and vehicular manslaughter.

Each of these charges carries its own set of legal consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even prison time. It is important to note that the legal consequences of poor driving can vary widely from state to state. For example, some states have stricter DUI laws than others, and some states may have more severe penalties for hit and run accidents.

As a result, it is important for drivers to be aware of the laws in their state and to drive responsibly at all times. Overall, poor driving habits can lead to serious legal consequences that can have a lasting impact on a driver’s life.

By driving responsibly and following the rules of the road, drivers can help to prevent accidents and avoid legal trouble.

Efforts to Improve Driving Habits

Despite the high number of accidents and fatalities caused by reckless driving, efforts are being made to improve driving habits in the United States. These efforts include:

Enforcement of Traffic Laws

Law enforcement agencies across the country are cracking down on traffic violations to improve road safety. This includes enforcing speed limits, cracking down on drunk driving, and reducing distracted driving. In addition, many states have implemented stricter penalties for traffic violations in an effort to deter dangerous driving habits.

Driver Education Programs

Many states have implemented driver education programs to help new drivers learn safe driving habits. These programs cover topics such as defensive driving, traffic laws, and the dangers of distracted driving. Some states also require drivers to take refresher courses or defensive driving classes after certain traffic violations.

Investment in Road Infrastructure

Investment in road infrastructure can also improve road safety. This includes building better roads, improving signage, and implementing traffic calming measures. In addition, some cities have implemented programs to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, such as building bike lanes and crosswalks.

While these efforts have shown some success in improving road safety, there is still much work to be done to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities caused by reckless driving.


Based on the data analyzed, it is clear that some states have a higher percentage of bad drivers than others. While there is no clear consensus on which state has the worst drivers, it is evident that states like Mississippi, Wyoming, and Kentucky consistently rank among the top 10.

Factors such as DUI arrests, traffic fatalities, and the percentage of uninsured drivers per state were used to determine the rankings. It is important to note that these factors do not necessarily reflect the overall driving habits of a state’s population, but rather serve as indicators of potential risks on the road.

It is also worth mentioning that some states, such as those in the Northeast, have a higher percentage of responsible drivers. This could be attributed to factors such as stricter driving laws and regulations, better public transportation options, and a culture that values safe driving practices. Regardless of where one lives, it is important to prioritize safe driving habits and be aware of the risks on the road.

By following traffic laws, avoiding distractions while driving, and being mindful of other drivers, individuals can help contribute to safer roads for everyone.

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