Reckless driving is an unfortunately common practice in the U.S., especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the cities in each state where drivers exhibit reckless behavior most often.
As drivers across the country travel to see friends and family during the holiday season, the roads become especially crowded. While the added congestion (and inclement weather) can be frustrating for many motorists, some use this as an excuse to drive aggressively and, in extreme cases, recklessly.
Reckless driving—defined as driving with deliberate disregard for the safety of other people or property—is one of the most severe moving violations a driver can receive, and for good reason. Traffic fatality rates have increased by over 25% in the past two years, which can be primarily attributed to the increased rates of reckless driving that began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To locate where the nation’s reckless drivers are most prevalent on the roads this year, the research team at Insurify turned to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications and identified the city in each state with the highest rate of reckless driving in 2021.
The data scientists at Insurify, a car insurance comparison site, referred to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to determine the city with the most reckless drivers for each state. When applying for auto insurance, drivers disclose their city and state of residence, in addition to any prior infractions on their record within the past seven years. Insurify’s research team compared the population of drivers with at least one reckless driving citation to the total number of drivers across 603 U.S. cities. The city with the highest share of drivers with a reckless driving citation in each state was selected as the city with the most reckless drivers in its respective state.
In this analysis, cities were designated using the United States Census Bureau’s classification of an “urbanized area,” defined as an urban area with a population over 50,000. If a state had fewer than five urbanized areas with at least 50,000 residents, the state’s top five most populous urban areas were considered.
The findings in this article represent statistical trends found in Insurify’s database of over 4 million car insurance applications. The findings of this study are not meant to imply the direction nor necessarily the existence of a causal relationship. Rather, this is a presentation of statistical correlations of public interest.
Which city has the most reckless drivers?
Drivers in Bismarck, North Dakota get the most reckless driving citations in the nation compared to drivers in all other U.S. cities. As of 2021, 114.6 per 10,000 drivers in Bismarck have at least one reckless driving violation on their driving record from within the past seven years, a share that’s nearly 12x higher than the national average.
City in Each State With the Most Reckless Drivers
California: San Leandro
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Indiana: Terre Haute
Iowa: Sioux City
Kansas: Kansas City
Kentucky: Bowling Green
Louisiana: Bossier City
Massachusetts: New Bedford
Michigan: Ann Arbor
Montana: Great Falls
New Hampshire: Manchester
New Mexico: Las Cruces
New Jersey: Toms River
New York: Hempstead
North Carolina: Gastonia
North Dakota: Bismarck
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
Rhode Island: Cranston
South Carolina: Rock Hill
South Dakota: Rapid City
Utah: West Jordan
Virginia: Newport News
West Virginia: Parkersburg
Wisconsin: Green Bay
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