Driving is usually the fastest and easiest way to reach our day-to-day destinations, yet it can also be one of the riskiest.
In the United States alone, over 37,000 people die in vehicle crashes each year, 1,600 of whom are children under the age of 15. In addition, another 2.35 million are injured or disabled in such accidents – some permanently.
Insurance comparison website Insurify set out to discover which states have the best drivers, as determined by the lowest percentage of residents who have received a moving violation in the last seven years. To produce an accurate and comprehensive analysis of the quality of each state’s drivers, Insurify calculated the percentage of drivers in each state who have received one or more of 19 different types of moving violation, and ranked the states from lowest to highest. Here are the 10 states that received the best scores for driving based on Insurify’s data.
Insurify provides car insurance quotes based on customers’ answers to questions about driving history, vehicle type, and other personal data. The rankings in this article are based on a set of 1.3 million auto insurance shopper applications. Each shopper was asked whether any drivers on their policy application had been ticketed for one or more of 19 different types of moving violation, including at-fault accidents, speeding, failure to stop infractions, reckless driving, and driving under the influence (DUI), in the last seven years. This data allowed Insurify to calculate the percentage of drivers in each state who have a history of moving violations. This overall data is presented alongside the percentages of drivers who specify a history of speeding tickets and driving under the influence.
Oklahoma takes tenth place in the list of safest-driving states, with just over 18% of drivers having received a moving violation in the last seven years. The number of drivers who have received a speeding ticket is also in tenth place at 9.67%.
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Next on the list is Arkansas, with reported moving violations just slightly below Oklahoma’s. The state also placed ninth with regards to speeding tickets. Drunk drivers beware: in 2015 Arkansas’s Supreme Court ruled that alcohol-related DWIs are not “strict scrutiny” offences, meaning that prosecutors don’t have to prove intent to convict.
Arizona drivers report a moving violation rate of just under 18%. The percentage of drivers with a record of speeding tickets and DUIs also came in eighth overall. That may be in part because Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws in the nation, and the state’s speeding tickets include up to an 83% surcharge that helps fund various civil programs. With such heavy penalties looming over them, it’s not surprising that Arizona drivers are more law-abiding than most.
Just over 17% of Nevada drivers report having received a moving violation, and the state placed fifth for speeding tickets. However, Nevada drivers have the highest rate of driving under the influence among the ten safest states, with almost 2% admitting to an incident in the last seven years.
Slightly less than 17% of Connecticut drivers report having received a moving violation in the last seven years; the state also boasts the lowest percentage of drivers with speeding violations of any state on this list. DUI violations are slightly higher, placing Connecticut seventh on the list overall in that category.
Illinois sits in the middle of the pack for moving violations at 16.94%, and the state came in seventh in terms of speeding tickets. However, Illinois drivers have the lowest rate of DUI of any state on this list, at well under 1%. That may be a reflection of the seriousness with which the state treats DUI violators – a first offence can result in as much as a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
New Jersey drivers report a moving violation rate of under 16.5%, and an even better ranking with regards to speeding tickets – the state came in second in that category. New Jersey’s rate of DUI violations is the third lowest on the list. That’s not entirely surprising given that DUI punishments in this state are quite significant – a first offence can result in a fine of up to $500, up to thirty days in jail, and an auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years.
Texas drivers can be proud of their low rate of moving violations, which at just over 16% puts the state in third place. The state doesn’t rank quite as well for speeding violations, with a fourth-place ranking in that category. Texas is the second-lowest state in terms of DUI violations – perhaps due to the hefty penalties that result from a DUI conviction in this state. In fact, a first offense can cost as much as $8,000 in penalties and fees.
Pennsylvania ranks second in moving violations, with a rate just under 16%. The state’s drivers rank well with speeding tickets also, coming in third. The care with which Pennsylvania residents drive is paying off, as the state’s Department of Transportation reports that in 2016 Pennsylvania saw the lowest number of traffic fatalities on record.
Michigan is perhaps best known for its automotive manufacturing facilities, but it should also be recognized for the safety of its drivers. The state boasts by far the lowest rate of moving violations on this list, at just under 14.5%. Though the state scored sixth in terms of both speeding and DUI infractions, its drivers nonetheless have records to be envious of.