Cities With the Most Reckless Drivers in Every State in 2021

Chase Gardner

By: Chase Gardner

Published December 17, 2021

Reading time: 7 minutes

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.

Map of the U.S. showing the city in each state with the highest share of drivers with a reckless driving citation on record

Insights

  • National average. Across all U.S. metropolitan areas, an average of 9.6 per 10,000 drivers have a prior reckless driving citation on record. Among the top cities in each state, the average jumps to 26.9 per 10,000 drivers, which is 180% greater than the national average.

  • Virginia is for lovers … of reckless driving. Though reckless driving unfortunately happens everywhere, it’s more common in Virginia than in any other state. A full 53.7 per 10,000 Virginia drivers report a prior reckless driving violation on record, a share that’s nearly 5.6 times greater than the national average. Three Virginia cities— Newport News, Hampton, and Richmond —also rank among the country’s top five most reckless driving cities.

  • Minnesota has the fewest reckless drivers. With a mere 0.9 drivers per 10,000 reporting a reckless driving citation on record, Minnesota has the lowest reckless driving rate of any state in the nation. Even Minneapolis, Minnesota’s city with the most reckless drivers, has only 1.8 per 10,000 drivers with a prior reckless driving violation, a share that’s 81% less than the national average.

Methodology

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

Alabama: Birmingham

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 9.0 per 10,000 (2.6 times greater than state average)

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Alaska: Fairbanks

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 85.1 per 10,000 (2.3 times greater than state average)

Arizona: Peoria

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 18.8 per 10,000 (2.2 times greater than state average)

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Arkansas: Rogers

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 19.2 per 10,000 (2.5 times greater than state average)

California: San Leandro

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 56.5 per 10,000 (6.7 times greater than state average)

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Colorado: Loveland

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 47.6 per 10,000 (2.9 times greater than state average)

Connecticut: Norwalk

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 15.4 per 10,000 (4.8 times greater than state average)

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Delaware: Newark

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 16.7 per 10,000 (2.0 times greater than state average)

Florida: Largo

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 40.8 per 10,000 (3.7 times greater than state average)

Georgia: Savannah

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 44.7 per 10,000 (2.9 times greater than state average)

Hawaii: Honolulu

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 5.8 per 10,000 (1.1 times greater than state average)

Idaho: Pocatello

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 40.3 per 10,000 (2.2 times greater than state average)

Illinois: Aurora

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 22.2 per 10,000 (5.0 times greater than state average)

Indiana: Terre Haute

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 36.5 per 10,000 (3.6 times greater than state average)

Iowa: Sioux City

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 29.4 per 10,000 (2.8 times greater than state average)

Kansas: Kansas City

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 13.9 per 10,000 (2.3 times greater than state average)

Kentucky: Bowling Green

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 26.4 per 10,000 (2.3 times greater than state average)

Louisiana: Bossier City

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 36.5 per 10,000 (6.9 times greater than state average)

Maine: Bangor

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 33.9 per 10,000 (2.5 times greater than state average)

Maryland: Waldorf

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 35.0 per 10,000 (2.9 times greater than state average)

Massachusetts: New Bedford

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 24.1 per 10,000 (6.4 times greater than state average)

Michigan: Ann Arbor

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 17.6 per 10,000 (2.5 times greater than state average)

Minnesota: Minneapolis

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 1.8 per 10,000 (2.0 times greater than state average)

Mississippi: Meridian

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 30.2 per 10,000 (4.2 times greater than state average)

Missouri: Florissant

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 11.0 per 10,000 (2.6 times greater than state average)

Montana: Great Falls

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 65.6 per 10,000 (1.4 times greater than state average)

Nebraska: Lincoln

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 53.6 per 10,000 (2.3 times greater than state average)

Nevada: Reno

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 27.5 per 10,000 (2.3 times greater than state average)

New Hampshire: Manchester

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 15.4 per 10,000 (2.7 times greater than state average)

New Mexico: Las Cruces

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 7.4 per 10,000 (4.0 times greater than state average)

New Jersey: Toms River

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 29.3 per 10,000 (3.4 times greater than state average)

New York: Hempstead

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 16.9 per 10,000 (3.5 times greater than state average)

North Carolina: Gastonia

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 59.1 per 10,000 (3.3 times greater than state average)

North Dakota: Bismarck

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 114.6 per 10,000 (2.7 times greater than state average)

Ohio: Dayton

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 35.0 per 10,000 (2.1 times greater than state average)

Oklahoma: Oklahoma City

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 9.2 per 10,000 (2.5 times greater than state average)

Oregon: Springfield

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 53.8 per 10,000 (2.7 times greater than state average)

Pennsylvania: Lancaster

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 16.7 per 10,000 (2.7 times greater than state average)

Rhode Island: Cranston

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 15.0 per 10,000 (2.1 times greater than state average)

South Carolina: Rock Hill

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 50.2 per 10,000 (1.8 times greater than state average)

South Dakota: Rapid City

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 45.9 per 10,000 (1.5 times greater than state average)

Tennessee: Hendersonville

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 19.5 per 10,000 (1.9 times greater than state average)

Texas: Euless

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 16.7 per 10,000 (16.3 times greater than state average)

Utah: West Jordan

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 14.9 per 10,000 (2.5 times greater than state average)

Vermont: Burlington

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 18.0 per 10,000 (4.0 times greater than state average)

Virginia: Newport News

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 91.9 per 10,000 (1.7 times greater than state average)

Washington: Auburn

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 68.4 per 10,000 (2.9 times greater than state average)

West Virginia: Parkersburg

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 36.0 per 10,000 (2.8 times greater than state average)

Wisconsin: Green Bay

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 27.2 per 10,000 (1.4 times greater than state average)

Wyoming: Cheyenne

  • Drivers with a reckless driving citation on record: 31.5 per 10,000 (1.3 times greater than state average)

Data Attribution

The information, statistics, and data visualizations on this page are free to use, we just ask that you attribute any full or partial use to Insurify with a link to this page. Thank you!

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

Chase Gardner
Chase Gardner
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Data Journalist

Chase Gardner is a data journalist at Insurify. He informs readers on major developments in the auto and home industries through research into driver behavior, homeownership tendencies, cost of living trends, and more. He received a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in Environmental & Urban Studies and Statistics from the University of Chicago. Chase’s work has been cited in MSN, Yahoo News, The Street, and dozens of local news outlets across the country.

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