Published June 20, 2023 | Reading time: 16 minutes
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Chances are, you see rude drivers on an almost daily basis. Maybe you’re used to cars zooming past you on the shoulder during rush-hour traffic, or you’ve gotten in the habit of pausing after the light turns green, since vehicles often speed through red lights.
But what exactly is rude driving? Does failing to give a thank-you wave after merging count?
The truth is, rude drivers aren’t just self-centered — they’re dangerous. Insurify’s analysis of driver behavior defines rude drivers as those who have one or more of the following traffic infractions on record:
Passing where prohibited
Living in an area where many drivers engage in rude behavior behind the wheel isn’t only dangerous to the polite drivers who must remain vigilant. It can also encourage more drivers to break the rules.
To determine the rudest cities in the nation, Insurify’s data scientists used the company’s proprietary data to calculate the share of drivers with one or more rude violations on their driving record in 513 U.S. cities. Cities with the highest share of drivers with these violations in each state made the list as the city with the rudest drivers for its respective state. Insurify excluded states with insufficient municipal data — Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
Is your city on the list?
High poverty levels, long commutes, lack of public transportation, and the presence of newcomers (such as college students or tourists) all seem to correlate with higher levels of rude driving.
The national rate of rude driving is 1.21%. Eight cities on Insurify’s list had friendlier drivers than the national average but still ruder than their state’s average:
Jackson, Mississippi (0.43%)
Honolulu, Hawaii (0.87%)
Minneapolis, Minnesota (0.88%)
Bowling Green, Kentucky (0.92%)
Providence, Rhode Island (0.93%)
Springfield, Massachusetts (1.04%)
Hartford, Connecticut (1.10%)
Las Cruces, New Mexico (1.20%)
Medford, Oregon, is the city with the rudest drivers in America. Medford drivers might be irritated by traffic on I-5, which runs through the city's center. The Foothill Road modernization project also began in early 2023. Medford Public Works warned residents to expect delays of up to 20 minutes due to construction.
With the exception of Schenectady, New York, none of this year’s rudest cities appeared on last year’s list.
Some cities, such as Redding, California, are fighting back against rude driving with the use of red-light cameras.
These are the rudest cities in each state
To determine the cities with the rudest drivers in America, Insurify’s team of data scientists found the city in each state that has the highest share of rude drivers relative to the state average. Nationally, the average rate of rude driving is 1.21%.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.32%, 28% higher than the state average
Home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa is a college town with a population of approximately 100,600. The city is very car-centric, and public transportation options are limited, which may explain its high share of rude drivers.
Additionally, more than 81% of workers commute to work by themselves. This increases the number of cars on the road and increases the chances of both rude driving and accidents.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.39%, 65% higher than the state average
With a population of nearly 300,000, Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city. In fact, 41% of the state’s population lives there.
While there’s no excuse for rude driving, stressful driving conditions may contribute to some of the impolite and dangerous behavior in Anchorage. Not only does winter last from October to May, but many Alaska gas stations aren’t open, or are only open for limited hours, during the winter months. Add in the late sunrise and early sunset from November to January, and it’s clear that Anchorage drivers face some challenging road conditions.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.28%, 80% higher than the state average
Avondale, Arizona, is a small city of more than 86,000 residents that lies just west of Phoenix. Nearly 77% of Avondale drivers commute alone to work, and the average commute is longer than 29 minutes, which is longer than the U.S. average.
In addition, nearly 2% of Avondale commuters have a “super commute” longer than 90 minutes one way. All this extra time behind the wheel can add to a driver’s frustration and likelihood of engaging in rude behavior.
Arkansas: Fort Smith
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.40%, 49% higher than the state average
Fort Smith is a small city in northwestern Arkansas with a population of less than 88,000. As of 2020, Fort Smith had a poverty rate of 18.9%, which is significantly higher than the national average of 11.6%. This may help explain the high level of rude driving in Fort Smith, as there’s an apparent correlation between poverty and aggressive driving, according to several recent studies.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.77%, 154% higher than the state average
This Northern California city only has a population of just over 92,000 residents, but rude driving is far more common here than elsewhere in the state.
To combat some of the most common rude driving behaviors, Redding has installed red-light cameras at several of the most dangerous intersections across the city, and drivers photographed running a red light face a total fine of $459. These cameras are unpopular with drivers, but they’ve reportedly reduced the number of crashes at these intersections by 73% from 2007 to 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.12%, 50% higher than the state average
Located about 10 miles south of Denver, Littleton, Colorado — population of roughly 46,000 — is an expanded suburb of the larger city. While there’s public transportation between Littleton and Denver, nearly 73% of commuters drive themselves to and from work — and 1.92% of the workers from this town are “super commuters,” with a one-way commute longer than 90 minutes. Increased time on the road and high levels of traffic typically lead to higher levels of driving infractions.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.10%, 65% higher than the state average
Though Connecticut’s state capital has a robust public transit system — a full 13.7% of Hartford workers commute via public transportation — there’s still quite a lot of rude behavior on the road.
Hartford drivers face frustrating traffic. Two spots in Hartford, along I-84 at I-91 and on I-91 at Route 5, made the top 100 truck bottlenecks in the U.S. for 2021, according to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.49%, 16% higher than the state average
Newark is a surprisingly walkable city, with 13.3% of its workers commuting on foot. But the city’s commitment to walkability and public transportation doesn’t prevent rude driving and dangerous behavior. Some rudeness could be related to the 30.8-minute average commute time for Newark drivers, which is 20% longer than the national average.
Florida: Opa Locka
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.27%, 81% higher than the state average
With a population of only 16,000, Opa Locka, Florida, is one of the smallest rude cities on our list. Most drivers would feel a little aggravated if they had to drive through flooded streets on a regular basis. Opa Locka is located in a FEMA Zone AE, meaning the city is at moderate to high flooding risk.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 3.45%, 58% higher than the state average
Drivers in the Peach State are ruder than average, with 2.18% of Georgia drivers having violations for rude behavior on the road. The city with the rudest drivers is Dallas, a small town of just under 13,700 residents located about 30 miles northwest of Atlanta. Dallas drivers could be frustrated by their long commute times, which average 36.7 minutes — 43% longer than the national average of 25.6 minutes.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 0.87%, 29% higher than the state average
The spirit of Aloha is on full display among drivers in Hawaii. Though Honolulu has the highest rate of rude driving in the state, with 0.87% of drivers having one or more violations on their record, it’s still far lower than the national average of 1.21% and only slightly higher than the state average of 0.67%.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.56%, 27% higher than the state average
As the largest city in Idaho, it makes sense that Boise has a higher share of rude drivers among the population of nearly 730,500 residents. What’s surprising is the overall rate of rude driving in Idaho: 2.01% of drivers have a violation on record, higher than the national average of 1.21%.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.85%, 113% higher than the state average
You might expect Chicago to have the most rude drivers in Illinois, but the capital city of Springfield takes the title. The city’s central location, multiple universities, and historic sites (including the home of Abraham Lincoln) draw visitors from across the country. Regular festivals like the Illinois State Fair and SOHO Music Festival also attract tourists who might test the patience of local drivers.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.44%, 44% higher than the state average
Evansville has a strong sports culture and a passion for basketball. A little bit of that passionate spirit might be coming out on the road. If you’re willing to navigate through a few of Evansville’s ill-mannered drivers, you’ll find numerous museums, a vibrant art scene, and welcoming residents who are far from rude.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.03%, 56% higher than the state average
Topeka is known for its rich history and vibrant cultural scene, but drivers in the Golden City sometimes need some help sticking to the golden rule on the road.
Prior to 2010, the city used a less-durable limestone blend for its roads, which are now showing signs of rapid deterioration. Road repair projects are in the works, but Topeka is taking them one at a time. “We have far greater needs than we have funding for,” Braxton Copley, director of Topeka Public Works, told KSNT. The lacking quality of the roads, coupled with the construction to fix them, might contribute to Topeka drivers’ frustration on the road.
Kentucky: Bowling Green
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 0.92%, 56% higher than the state average
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Bowling Green, the home of the world-famous Corvette Museum, is also the city with the rudest drivers in Kentucky. While enjoying the clean design and craftsmanship of a ‘Vette doesn’t make you a rude driver, it can be difficult to stay under the speed limit in such a car.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.40%, 60% higher than the state average
The small city of Slidell is surrounded by scenic beauty with wetlands that offer boating, fishing, and wildlife observation. Things get a little less peaceful on the road, but Slidell residents have a strong sense of hospitality fostered by community events and family-friendly activities.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.37%, 162% higher than the state average
Anyone who has ever gotten stuck in either Baltimore or D.C. traffic may be surprised to learn that Maryland’s rude driving rate is 0.52%, less than half the national average of 1.21%. But considering Frederick, Maryland’s, population growth over the last decade — only outstripped in growth by one other municipality in the Washington area — it’s understandable that this former small town is the city with the rudest drivers in the Old Line State.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.04%, 8% higher than the state average
Boston residents are sometimes stereotyped as a bit blunt, but Springfield had the most rude driving violations in the state. The Western Massachusetts city is also known as the birthplace of basketball and home to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.
Michigan: Clinton Township
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.33%, 67% higher than the state average
This northern suburb of Detroit has a population of just under 100,000 residents. Clinton Township doesn’t deserve a bad rap because 2.33% of drivers couldn’t keep their cool. The suburb also has beautiful parks and a popular shopping center.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 0.88%, 0.74% higher than the state average
Minnesota is living up to its polite reputation. While Minneapolis residents had the most rude driving violations in the state, disrespectful drivers were still less than 1% of the population. A pinch of rudeness on the road is hardly surprising, given the densely populated city landed on Insurify’s 2022 list of the worst cities for commuters.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 0.43%, 12% higher than the state average
The Magnolia State has the lowest share of rude drivers in the nation, with only 0.39% of all drivers in Mississippi having rude driving violations on their record. There are more aggressive drivers in Jackson, but the total share is still far lower than the national average of 1.21%.
Missouri: Saint Joseph
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.64%, 72% higher than the state average
The charming and historic city of Saint Joseph boasts peaceful neighborhoods, stunning Victorian homes, and a walkable downtown. That walkability is good news for those who’d rather avoid Saint Joseph’s drivers. The city greatly surpassed the rest of Missouri with a 72% higher rude driving violation rate than the state average.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.75%, 7% higher than the state average
Lincoln is home to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, which draw huge crowds for football games. In fact, the Cornhuskers have sold out every game at Memorial Stadium, which can seat more than 85,000 fans, dating back to 1962. It may be no wonder that rude driving is higher in this town, considering all the extra traffic that comes through on game days.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.32%, 32% higher than the state average
While you might expect more rude drivers in raucous Las Vegas, Reno drivers had the most violations in the state. Known for its lively casino scene and events like the Reno Air Races, Reno is also a popular tourist destination. Maybe the 1.32% of rude drivers in Reno could benefit from a peaceful hike through the Sierra Nevada mountains or a relaxing weekend at nearby Lake Tahoe.
New Jersey: Trenton
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.72%, 37% higher than the state average
Located between Philadelphia and New York, Trenton, New Jersey, is a city full of commuters. A whopping 4.12% of Trenton workers have a “super commute” of more than 90 minutes one way. Long commutes might explain some rude behavior, but poor infrastructure probably doesn’t help. In August 2022, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announced a major improvement project on Route 129, which bifurcates Trenton. Sen. Shirley K. Turner called the road “a dangerous blight on our capital city.”
New Mexico: Las Cruces
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.20%, 130% higher than the state average
Despite New Mexico having a relatively low rate of rude driving — 0.52% for the state, which is less than half the national average — Las Cruces drivers apparently forget their manners when they get behind the wheel. The poverty rate in Las Cruces is 23.6%, more than twice the national average of 11.6%, which may be related to the rate of rude driving in the city.
New York: Schenectady
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.93%, 120% higher than the state average
Despite having just over 67,000 residents, Schenectady greatly surpassed more populated New York cities with a 120% higher rate of rude driving violations than the state average. Schenectady is the only city that appeared on last year’s list as well.
North Carolina: Wilmington
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.45%, 52% higher than the state average
Home to the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), as well as a number of historic sites and coastal attractions, Wilmington draws students and tourists alike. When they join the 122,000 permanent residents on the roads, perhaps it’s inevitable that so many drivers may occasionally engage in rude behavior.
North Dakota: Fargo
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.24%, 0% higher than the state average
Fargo offers a tight-knit community, excellent schools, and a strong job market, making it an attractive city for families. Unfortunately, 1.24% of residents also had a rude driving violation on record. Fargo residents aren’t ruder on the road than other North Dakotans, though. The city’s numbers were in line with the state average.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.53%, 2.08% higher than the state average
Cleveland has a population of about 383,000, 32% of whom are living in poverty. While nearly 20% of workers carpool or take public transit in Cleveland, a full 2.2% of the workforce has to drive at least 90 minutes one way to get to work.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.52%, 25% higher than the state average
The capital of Oklahoma had the highest percentage of rude drivers in the state, but the city is also known for its welcoming residents, affordable cost of living, and rich history. Drivers could be getting used to the rapid growth, with Oklahoma City’s population recentlyhitting 4 million residents.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 4.38%, 248% higher than the state average
Medford, Oregon, is a scenic town of about 82,000 residents. Home to the Harry & David company and the world’s only Bigfoot trap, Medford may not seem like the sort of place to inspire aggressive driving. But with a rude driving rate of 4.38%, which is 362% higher than the national average, Medford is the city with the rudest drivers in America.
Interstate 5 bifurcates the city, which could account for some traffic-related irritation. The city also launched a modernization project on Foothill Road in early 2023. Medford Public Works warned drivers to expect delays of up to 20 minutes.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.71%, 55% higher than the state average
Bethlehem is known for its rich industrial history and charming downtown. Though the average commute time for workers in Bethlehem is shorter than the national average, 3.39% of the workforce have a commute 90 minutes or longer, one way.
Rhode Island: Providence
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 0.93%, 7% higher than the state average
Though Providence has the highest rate of rude drivers in Rhode Island, both the city and the state are remarkable for having lower rates of rude behavior than the national average. Providence is a walkable city with a robust network of Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) routes, which helps reduce frustrating car traffic.
South Carolina: Aiken
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.78%, 82% higher than the state average
The small city of Aiken is known for its quaint downtown, tree-lined streets, and strong equestrian culture. The Aiken Triple Crown event attracts riders and spectators from across the country. This charming city has a surprising number of impolite drivers, with an 82% higher rate of rude driving violations than the state average.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.23%, 19% higher than the state average
Murfreesboro is a city of approximately 142,000 residents located 30 miles southeast of Nashville. Its proximity to the bigger city may explain the long commutes of Murfreesboro workers. The average commute time is 27.2 minutes, which is longer than the U.S. average, and 2.54% of the workforce commutes more than 90 minutes one way.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.96%, 140% higher than the state average
Abilene is known as the “Official Storybook Capital of America” because of its large public collection of storybook characters — including six beloved Dr. Seuss characters. You’d think having such moral compasses as The Lorax and Horton in Abilene would be a reminder to drive politely, but this is the city with the rudest drivers in all of the Lone Star State.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.56%, 71% higher than the state average
Ogden is nestled at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, where residents enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and world-class skiing. The city also has a bustling downtown with historic buildings, local shops, and galleries. Some Ogden residents might have more etiquette on the slopes than the road, with 2.56% reporting a rude driving violation.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.93%, 36% higher than the state average
Chesapeake, Virginia, is home to about 243,000 residents, making it the second-most populous city in the Commonwealth. Despite its scenic landscapes and the FBI naming it as one of the five safest cities of its size in the nation, Chesapeake drivers are the rudest in Virginia. The city’s proximity to much larger Norfolk — home to one of the U.S. Navy’s largest bases — and two major interstates may contribute to drivers’ frustrations.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 2.15%, 35% higher than the state average
Nestled in the Yakima Valley, this small city is known for its beautiful climate and countless outdoor recreation options. Yakima also has abundant orchards and vineyards, making it a craft beer and wine industry hub.
The picturesque city of Yakima often isn’t quite as pretty from behind the wheel, with a nearly 78% higher rate of rude driving behaviors than the national average.
West Virginia: Huntington
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 1.37%, 65% higher than the state average
Huntington has a walkable downtown that draws residents to restaurants, pubs, and shops. An expansive park system provides plenty of space for outdoor enthusiasts. Though Huntington has a family-friendly, community-minded feeling, residents aren’t always quite as polite when it comes to driving.
Percentage of drivers with a violation on record: 3.58%, 189% higher than the state average
Milwaukee-area drivers may be surprised to learn that Racine is the city with the rudest drivers in Wisconsin. Racine has a population of just under 77,000 and has a rich history of architecture and innovation.
In this analysis, rude driving is defined by having one or more of the following infractions on record: failure to yield violations (failure to yield the right of way, failure to yield to a pedestrian), failure to stop violations (failure to stop for a red light, school bus, or stop sign), improper backing, passing where prohibited, tailgating, street racing, and hit-and-runs.
To determine the rudest cities in the nation, Insurify’s data scientists calculated the share of drivers with one or more rude violations on their driving record in 513 U.S. cities. The city with the highest share of drivers with these violations in each state was identified as the city with the rudest drivers for its respective state. States with insufficient municipal data were excluded from the analysis (Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming).
No matter where you drive, you’re likely to encounter a rude driver or two. It’s important to drive defensively and lobby your local government to combat patterns of aggressive or rude driving. You can also protect yourself by ensuring you have sufficient insurance, including a policy that can protect you against uninsured or underinsured drivers.
Emily Guy Birken
Emily Guy Birken is a former educator, lifelong money nerd, and a Plutus Award-winning freelance writer who specializes in the scientific research behind irrational money behaviors. Her background in education allows her to make complex financial topics relatable and easily understood by the layperson.
Her work has appeared on The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Kiplinger's, MSN Money, and The Washington Post online.
She is the author of several books, including The 5 Years Before You Retire, End Financial Stress Now, and the brand new book Stacked: Your Super Serious Guide to Modern Money Management, written with Joe Saul-Sehy.