10 states with the best and worst behaved drivers

Tennessee and Colorado are the best and worst...find out which is which

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Susan Meyer

Senior Editorial Manager

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  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Susan is a licensed insurance agent and has worked as a writer and editor for over 10 years across a number of industries. She has worked at The Zebr…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

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  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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How’s your driving? More importantly: how are the drivers around you? The Zebra recently surveyed U.S. drivers on their driving behaviors: the good, the bad and the ugly. From that research, we learned how people drive varies greatly from state to state. So how are people behaving in your state?

Here’s the criteria we used to rank them:

  • Good behavior: We ranked each state by the number of people who said they practice good driving behaviors including buckling seat belt, adhering to traffic signals, yielding to pedestrians/cyclists, coming to a complete stop at stop signs, etc. 
  • Bad driving witnessed: Also affecting each state’s score was how many people in the state reported witnessing aggressive and poor driving behaviors like changing lanes without signaling, tailgating, weaving in traffic, distracted driving, etc.
  • Bad driving admitted to: In addition to what they witnessed, we also asked each state’s residents which poor driving behaviors they had done themselves. 

Note: Unfortunately, not all states could be considered for this list because of a lack of respondents in those states. The states considered included: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. 

5 states with best drivers

According to our survey data, these are the five states with the best driving behavior and least amount of aggressive driving. 

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1. Tennessee

Tennessee wins the crown of having the best drivers based on our survey data. The state has the third highest ranking on good driving behaviors. While aggressive driving is sometimes observed in the state, the most frequently reported was distracted driving. Tennessee drivers are either very good, or they are unreliable reporters, as the state has one of the lowest rates of aggressive driving admitted to. 

2. Oregon

The state with the second best drivers is Oregon. While Oregon is slightly lower (number five) on the good behavior rankings, people are still practicing safe driving practices at high levels. Oregon ties with Tennessee for the amount of aggressive driving behavior witnessed with the top behavior witnessed being changing lanes without signaling. Oregon drivers admitted to the least amount of aggressive behaviors, most frequently admitting to changing lanes without signaling.

3. Arizona (tied)

Arizona comes in at number three, in part because of its number two ranking for good driving behavior. Arizona drivers report witnessing and committing fairly low levels of aggressive driving and other poor driving behaviors. The most witnessed poor driving behavior was tailgating. The most admitted to behavior by Arizona drivers is honking in anger.

3. Florida (tied)

Arizona shares the title of third best drivers with Florida. Florida ranks number four in terms of how many drivers adhere to good driving behaviors. It also has a very low reporting rate on aggressive driving behaviors. However, it ranks a little higher than other states on this list in terms of residents admitting to poor driving behaviors with 52% of Florida drivers admitting to sometimes driving badly (most commonly honking in anger). So are Floridians worse drivers…or just more self aware?

5. Washington

Rounding out our list of top five best driving states is Washington. Washington state not only has the largest percentage of drivers who participate in positive driving behaviors but a lower incidence of self-reported aggressive driving. Drivers in this state do however observe aggressive behaviors at higher rates than drivers in other states, suggesting that they are highly aware of how others are driving.

5 states with the worst drivers

Now for the bad behavior! According to our data, these are the five U.S. states with the worst driving when accounting for self-reported good and bad behaviors and witnessed aggressive driving. 

 cursing-road-rage

1. Colorado

The state with the worst drivers in the U.S. according to our survey data is Colorado. Colorado drivers have one of the lower rankings on good driving behaviors. Colorado drivers observe an average amount of aggressive driving, but also 69% admit to committing acts of poor driving behavior. The most frequently observed behavior was tailgating.

2. Missouri

The second worst drivers are on the road in Missouri. Missouri had slightly better adherence to good driving habits. However, 72% of Missouri drivers admit to poor driving habits. The most frequently admitted to behavior was honking in anger.

3. Texas

Texans are the third worst drivers according to our survey. Texas ranks just above Colorado in terms of adherence to good driving habits (which again, is toward the bottom of the list). Texas drivers are most likely to witness other drivers changing lanes without signaling. And more than half of Texas drivers admit to a poor driving behavior with the most frequent being honking in anger.

4. Louisiana

When it comes to self-reporting positive driving behaviors, Louisiana has the worst behaved drivers overall. However, drivers in this state rank low on self-reported aggressive driving and are the least likely to report road rage. Drivers in this state also observe aggressive behaviors at lower rates than drivers in other states.

5. Oklahoma

Oklahoma drivers adhere to positive driving practices only slightly more than Lousisiana drivers. Oklahoma reports average levels of aggressive driving both self-reported and witnessed. The most frequently admitted to behavior was distracted driving and the most frequently witnessed is changing lanes without signaling.

As you know, staying safe on the road is as much about the quality of the drivers around you as it is about your own driving behavior. Practice good driving behaviors and be alert to the drivers around you. And of course, make sure you’re well protected by your car insurance.