These 10 States Have the Most Street Racers in 2022

Chase Gardner

By: Chase Gardner

Published August 4, 2022

Reading time: 8 minutes

Street racing is one of the flashiest — and most dangerous — realities of American roads. In these 10 states, drivers feel that need for speed more often than anywhere else in the nation.

Two street racers at the ready on an open road.

Street racing may look cool in the movies, but it’s incredibly dangerous when practiced by nonprofessional drivers on public roads. As a result, street racing is one of the more serious violations a driver can commit, counting for more than twice as many points against their driving record as a minor speeding citation in most states.

These serious consequences, however, have not dissuaded all drivers from road racing. In fact, street racing activity spiked across the U.S. during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, as roads were emptier than ever.[1] New York City even experienced a fivefold increase in road racing complaints in 2020 compared to 2019. Given that rates of similarly hazardous driving behavior — like speeding and reckless driving — have remained at elevated levels over the past few years, this recent surge in street racing is showing few signs of slowing down.[2]

Curious to see where drivers are most often cited for overly competitive — and dangerous — racing behavior, the research team at Insurify, a site for comparing car insurance quotes, turned to their database of over 4.6 million car insurance applications to determine the 10 states with the most street racers in 2022.

Bar chart depicting the 10 states with the most street racers in 2022, plus the national average.

Insights

  • National averages. Across the United States, 3.48 per 100,000 drivers have a street racing violation on record. Plain old speeding is much more common, as a whopping 9,175 drivers per 100,000 report a speeding ticket on their record — that’s nearly 1 in 10 drivers. The penalty for street racing differs widely by state, ranging from as little as $20 to as much as $2,500 among states with the most street racers. Jail time and temporary license revocation are also possible punishments.

  • Despite the attention, street racing is still rare. Road racing has been on the rise for the past couple of years in America, and its flashy nature tends to draw headlines. Overall, however, street racing is a rare occurrence. For perspective, police issue more than 2,600 speeding tickets for every 1 street racing citation. Despite racing’s outsized fame, plain and simple speeders are who pervade the roads.

  • Street racing is inversely related to population density. Researchers at Insurify found a significant negative correlation (R = −0.27, p < 0.05) between a state’s street racing rate and its population density. This means that states with fewer residents per square mile are more likely to have high rates of street racing and that states with a high number of residents per square mile are more likely to have low rates of street racing. Coupled with the knowledge that road racing levels increased during early COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, this is further evidence that emptier roads are attractive to drivers with a penchant for racing.

Methodology

The data scientists at Insurify, a platform for comparing insurance quotes online, referred to their database of over 4.6 million car insurance applications to identify the states with the most street racers. When applying for car insurance, users submit their state of residence and driving history, including any violations on their record. For each state, Insurify’s analysts compared the number of drivers reporting at least one street racing violation on record within the past seven years to the total number of drivers from that state in the database. The 10 states with the highest proportion of drivers with street racing citations were identified as the states with the most street racers in 2022. Statewide speeding rates were also gleaned from Insurify’s database using the same methodology.

Penalties for street racing by state were found using state-specific government and law resources.

The findings in this article represent statistical trends found in Insurify’s database of over 4.6 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.

Where is street racing most popular in 2022?

  1. Wyoming - 45.10 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  2. North Dakota - 43.30 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  3. Wisconsin - 18.41 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  4. Idaho - 15.95 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  5. Montana - 14.32 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  6. Oregon - 14.30 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  7. Virginia - 13.93 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  8. Hawaii - 13.66 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  9. Nebraska - 13.13 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

  10. Kansas - 11.25 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation

10 States that Have the Most Street Racers in 2022

10. Kansas

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 11.25 per 100,000 (3.2 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: up to $500 fine, up to six months in jail

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 11,756 per 100,000 (28% higher than national average)

Plenty of Kansas drivers must feel the need for speed, as the state ranks 10th in the nation for street racing and also has an above-average speeding rate. 11.25 per 100,000 motorists in the state report a street racing violation on record, a share that’s over three times greater than the national average.

9. Nebraska

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 13.13 per 100,000 (3.8 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: $1,000 fine, up to six months in jail

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 10,678 per 100,000 (16% higher than national average)

Nebraska has plenty of straight, open roads that are perfect for easy driving. Some of the state’s residents, however, apparently believe that these roads are also perfect for street racing: 13.13 per 100,000 Nebraska drivers have a street racing violation on record, the ninth-highest rate in the nation.

8. Hawaii

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 13.66 per 100,000 (3.9 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: up to $500, up to six months in jail

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 9,425 per 100,000 (3% higher than national average)

A drag race set against Hawaii’s stunning natural beauty feels like a scene out of a movie, but it happens in real life, too. 13.66 per 100,000 Hawaii drivers have a street racing violation on record, which makes street racing nearly four times more common in the state than in the country as a whole.

7. Virginia

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 13.93 per 100,000 (4.0 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: up to $2,500 fine, up to one year in jail, six-month license suspension

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 12,654 per 100,000 (38% higher than national average)

With nearly 14 drivers per 100,000 having a street racing citation on their record, Virginia has some of the speediest, most competitive drivers in the nation. Those who street race in the state are especially bold, since the penalty for doing so is relatively steep: up to $2,500 in fines and a year behind bars, not to mention six months without a driver’s license.

6. Oregon

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 14.30 per 100,000 (4.1 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: $435 fine

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 10,834 per 100,000 (18% higher than national average)

With 14.30 per 100,000 drivers in Oregon reporting a street racing citation on record, the Beaver State ranks sixth on the list of states with the most street racers. Unlike many other states on this list, Oregon’s penalty for street racing does not include the possibility of jail time, assuming no other violations (like reckless driving) were committed.

5. Montana

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 14.32 per 100,000 (4.1 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: up to $500 fine, five points against driving record

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 9,406 per 100,000 (3% higher than national average)

Who knew that Montana is home to the shortest river in the world?[3] And who knew that the state is also home to the fifth-highest number of street racers in the country? 14.32 per 100,000 Montana drivers report a street racing citation on record, a share that’s 4.1 times higher than the national average.

4. Idaho

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 15.95 per 100,000 (4.6 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: up to $1,000 fine, up to six months in jail, four points against driving record

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 11,568 per 100,000 (26% higher than national average)

Despite a possible penalty of up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail, Idaho drivers still get cited for street racing at the fourth-highest rate in the nation. Overall, 15.95 per 100,000 drivers in the state have a street racing violation on record. Gem State drivers are frequent speeders, too, receiving speeding tickets 26% more often than the average American motorist.

3. Wisconsin

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 18.41 per 100,000 (5.3 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: $20 to $400 fine

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 13,427 per 100,000 (46% higher than national average)

Wisconsin is known for its rich dairy and brewing industries, but it could also be known for its fast and furious drivers. 18.41 per 100,000 Wisconsin motorists have a street racing citation on record, which is the third-highest share in the country. Beyond street racing, Badger State drivers also accrue speeding tickets 46% more often than the national average.

2. North Dakota

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 43.30 per 100,000 (12.5 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: $100 fine

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 14,409 per 100,000 (57% higher than national average)

With 43.30 drivers per 100,000 reporting a citation for street racing, North Dakota has the second-highest rate in the country. Its share of drivers cited is over twice as high as Wisconsin’s, the third state on this list, and a whopping 12.5 times greater than the national average. The Cornhusker State also has one of the lightest penalties for street racing: a $100 fine.

1. Wyoming

  • Drivers with a street racing violation: 45.10 per 100,000 (13.0 times greater than national average)

  • Street racing violation penalty: $210 fine

  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 12,015 per 100,000 (31% higher than national average)

Out of every 100,000 Wyoming drivers, an average of 45.10 have a street racing violation on record, making the Cowboy State the street-racing capital of the country. In fact, drivers there get cited for street racing an incredible 13 times more often than the national average. While the state’s penalty for street racing more than doubles North Dakota’s fine, it’s still lower than almost any other state with on this top 10 list and doesn’t include the possibility of jail time.

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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Sources

  1. AP News. "Street racing surges across US amid coronavirus pandemic." Accessed July 28, 2022
  2. Insurify. "Insuring the American Driver: Trends in Costs & Coverage." Accessed July 28, 2022
  3. NBC Montana. "Roe River revered as shortest river in the world." Accessed July 28, 2022