Most people will agree that not many things are worse than a rude driver. And if you don’t agree with that, you might be a rude driver yourself. Often, rude drivers create situations that do the opposite of promoting car safety. For instance, a new trend sees some diesel trucks accelerate and aim big plumes of sooty exhaust at cars or pedestrians, also known as coal-rolling.
But a rude driver isn’t always a categorically bad driver. So which states have the rudest motorists? And contrary to some beliefs, Massachusetts is not one of them.
What constitutes a rude driver?
Different people might have different opinions on what actions make someone a rude driver. One person might think motorists who honk at you for seemingly no reason are impolite, and another might get upset by drivers who don’t merge correctly.
Because of this, Bankrate, which released a list of states with the rudest drivers, used multiple datasets to compose its roundup. Researchers used five studies that looked at things like states with the worst drivers, rankings for the rudest states in general (not just for driving), and other rankings of places with the rudest drivers.
One interesting thing they found is that the states with the worst drivers are not always the states with the rudest drivers.
What states have the rudest drivers?
Somewhat unsurprisingly, thanks to its large population, California has the rudest drivers. Not only did the Golden State rank high in overall rudeness, but it’s also known for having some of the worst drivers in the nation. In fact, Bankrate cited a 2019 study that showed Sacramento drivers were America’s worst.
A close runner-up is Nevada. That state ranks high in overall rudeness, bad drivers, and rude drivers. And Nevada took the number-two spot in the 2021 World Population Review’s Bad Driving Index.
Florida placed third, with high rankings in rude drivers, overall rudeness, and bad drivers. The Sunshine State also gas the second-highest annual car insurance premiums, which would probably make most drivers unhappy.
Rounding out the top five states are Oregon and New Mexico. And for those who thought New York or Massachusetts would be high on the list, they rank 29 and 33, respectively.
Which states have the most polite drivers?
The state with the fewest ill-mannered drivers, according to Bankrate’s rankings, is Vermont. It’s near the bottom of most lists for overall rudeness, bad driving, and rude drivers.
Nebraska and Maine ranked 49 and 48, with Nebraska not even showing up on the list of rudest drivers in the study that researchers analyzed. Maine also ranked near the bottom of all the lists.
The 47th state on the list, with the fourth-smallest number of rude drivers, is Minnesota. The only surprising thing about this ranking was that Minnesota wasn’t number one despite being known for having the nicest people in the country.
And rounding out the top five least rude states is Delaware.
One interesting caveat is that many of these rankings are subjective. Bankrate notes that, for 2021, Minnesota is ranked as the state with the best drivers, but three years ago, a different source ranked it the sixth-worst state for drivers.
And last year, MotorBiscuit published a list of states with the rudest drivers, and the top states in that list were Idaho, Colorado, and Virginia, with Mississippi, Vermont, and Kentucky having the nicest drivers.
But wherever you live, remember that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And for Pete’s sake, use the zipper method when merging.