Mind Your Manners: States with the Rudest Drivers (2021)

Rude drivers are everywhere, but which states are home to the worst of them all?

Driving is risky enough as is, even when you’re trying your best to be safe; external circumstances such as road conditions and surrounding traffic can lead to dangerous driving mishaps for even the most careful drivers. However, it’s an entirely different level of danger when drivers completely ignore all driving decorum, disregarding the rules that are meant to regulate traffic and keep both drivers and pedestrians safe. Rude driving behavior at its most egregious can mean running through red lights, failing to yield the right of way, or even causing an accident and fleeing the scene, among other offenses. Not only are these violations unkind, but they’re also extremely dangerous and warrant greater scrutiny and awareness.

Rude drivers are everywhere — in city streets, on open country roads, and flying through suburban enclaves. However, some states see higher rates of the most extreme forms of rude driving behavior than others. To see where rude driving is unfortunately more of the norm, the data scientists at Insurify looked to their database to identify the states with the rudest drivers in 2021.

Heat map of the United States showing the share of drivers cited for rude behavior by state.

Insights

  • National average. The average share of drivers with “rude” infractions on their record in the United States is 25.90 per 1,000 drivers. Among the 10 states with the rudest drivers, the average share of rude drivers is 46 percent higher, at 37.88 per 1,000 drivers.
  • Rude, repeatedly. Eight of the ten states in the rankings in 2021 maintained their position within the list of states with the rudest drivers in 2020. The state in the number one spot, Virginia, has remained consistent between 2020 and 2021.
  • Pull out the stops. Failing to stop at a red light is the most common rude violation, while street racing is the least common, which occurs 99 percent less frequently. However, among the eight of the top ten states with the rudest drivers, the most common rude violation is failure to stop at a stop sign.
  • Nice drivers finish last. The states who came in last place, with the lowest share of rude drivers, otherwise known as the nicest driving states, are Kentucky, Mississippi, and Maine. The rate of rude drivers in these three states is 10.01 per 1,000, 14.15 per 1,000, and 14.61 per 1,000, respectively.

Bar graph showing the 10 states with the highest rates of rude driving compared to the national average.

Methodology

The data scientists at Insurify, a platform to compare auto insurance quotes, referred to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to identify the states with the rudest drivers.

When applying for car insurance, applicants disclose their state of residence and any prior violations on their driving record. Insurify determined the following violations as most indicative of rude driving: 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. 

Analysts compared the number of drivers in each state with one or more of these violations on record to the total driving population. The states with the highest share of drivers with these penalties were determined as the states with the rudest drivers.


States with the Rudest Drivers

10. Alaska

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 33.53 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a red light (47% higher than the national average)

Given Alaska’s vast natural landscapes and sense of overall tranquility, one might assume that the roads in the Last Frontier are equally peaceful. However, this assumption would be wrong: drivers in Alaska are cited for rude behavior on the roads at a rate that exceeds the national average by 23 percent, making them the tenth-rudest drivers in the nation.

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9. Iowa

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 34.80 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign (32% higher than the national average

Iowa has the ninth-highest rate of drivers cited for rude driving. Drivers in Iowa are caught engaging in uncivil and dangerous behavior on the roads 26 percent more than the average driver. The most frequent cause of Iowan drivers’ rude road habits? Running through stop signs 45 percent more frequently than the national average.

8. Nebraska

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 35.14 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign (23% higher than the national average)

The eighth state in the rankings is Nebraska, where drivers are cited for rude behavior at a rate that’s 27 percent greater than the national average. Maybe it’s something in the maize, but drivers in the Cornhusker State are most often caught plowing through stop signs without braking 23 percent more often than the average driver.

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7. Wisconsin

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 35.29 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign (23% higher than the national average)

There’s nothing cheesy about exhibiting harmful driving behavior, but that hasn’t stopped drivers in America’s Dairyland from earning themselves the seventh spot in the rankings for the nation’s rudest drivers. Wisconsinites drive rudely at a rate that exceeds the national average by 27 percent. Their most common rude offense is running stop signs, for which they are found at fault  23 percent more frequently than average.

6. Ohio

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 37.67 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign (34% higher than the national average)

Drivers in the Buckeye State are the sixth-rudest in the nation. In Ohio, wanton disregard for the rules of the road, demonstrated by rude driving behavior, is 32 percent higher than the national average. Failing to stop at a stop sign is the most common rude driving violation in Ohio, for which drivers are caught 34 percent more often than the average American driver.

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5. Wyoming

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 38.35 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign (37% higher than the national average)

It’s wilder out west, and at least in Wyoming, it’s ruder too. Drivers in Wyoming are fifth-worst in the nation when it comes to rude behavior on the roads, receiving rude driving citations 33 percent more frequently than the national average. Cowboy State drivers are especially prone to disregarding stop signs — their failure to stop rate for stop signs exceeds the national average by 37 percent.

4. Georgia

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 39.53 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign (29% higher than the national average)

Being on the road with Peach State drivers is less sweet than you’d think, because they are the fourth-rudest in the nation. Drivers in Georgia are cited for rude behavior on the roads 35 percent more frequently than the national average. Additionally, they could benefit from a reminder of what to do at stop signs, as their failure to stop rate is 29 percent higher than the national average.

3. Idaho

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 39.97 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign (29% higher than the national average)

Idaho is the state with the third-rudest drivers in the nation. Gem State drivers are cited for exhibiting less-than-kind behavior at a rate that’s 36 percent higher than the national average. Like many of the other states in the top ten, Idaho’s most prevalent rude citation is failure to stop at a stop sign. While Idaho has improved somewhat since last year(the state had the second-highest rate of rude drivers in the nation in 2020), it’s clear that there’s still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to safe driving in this state.

2. Delaware

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 41.25 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a red light (59 percent higher than the national average)

Delaware may be the first state to be established in America, but it’s also the second in the nation for its share of rude drivers. Drivers in Delaware rack up rude driving citations 38 percent more often than the average American driver. Interestingly, Delaware is one of two states on the list where the most common rude violation is failure to stop at a red light, which occurs at an alarmingly high rate: Delaware’s is more than double the national average.

1. Virginia

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 43.26 out of 1,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign (40% higher than the national average)

The rudest state of them all has maintained its number one spot over the past year. As it was in 2020, Virginia remains the state with the rudest drivers in the nation in 2021. Drivers in the Old Dominion are rude on the roads 41 percent more often than drivers in the rest of the country. Virginians are most prone to running stop signs, which they do 40 percent more frequently than average.

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

Updated March 22, 2021

Insurify Insights

Insurify’s team of data scientists and content specialists presents Insurify Insights, a series of automotive, home, and health studies focusing on the topics that impact us all. Through expert analysis of over 4 million car insurance applications and an array of top data sources, the Insurify Insights team produces new data-driven articles, trend analyses, regional superlatives, and national rankings every week. See Insurify Insights as featured in Forbes, Fox News, USA Today, NPR, and more.