Nobody likes rude drivers, but they certainly exist in just about every urban area — outside of them, too — in the United States. Generally, aggressive driving can be a part of the upbringing in a specific region: If the area requires a more in-your-face approach to driving, then chances are it’ll be looked at negatively by others who must deal with drivers from those regions. Insure.com wanted to find out how the states ranked as perceived by others, and the site surveyed around 2,000 drivers from across the country to find out.
“Call it brusque, boorish or downright barbaric,” the site says. “Whatever you call it, weaving in and out of traffic, laying on the horn and saluting with an upright digit is universally regarded as rude. We found that roadway rudeness reaches its zenith in the following 10 states.”
The survey also covered what makes drivers the most mad about other drivers. Many said cellphone use, though not using blinkers, tailgating, and weaving were all hot topics, as well. Read on to see the top 10 rudest drivers by state, then hop on over to Insure.com to see how the remaining 40 stacked up.
According to one Utah resident, everyone in the state appears to be in a race. “But nobody knows where it ends or how to get to the finish,” he said. “So everyone drives 5, 10 or 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. They tend not to signal, because they wouldn’t want anyone to know their next move. They don’t let people merge. They just keep looking straight ahead and pretending not to see that car trying to squeeze in next.” According to Insure.com, Utah drivers get on the nerves of Californians the most.
“When I first moved here, I told my husband, ‘It’s not a matter of if we get in an accident here. It’s a matter of when we get in an accident here,’ ” a resident of Las Vegas said upon first moving to Nevada. It’s not just the casual dismissal of other drivers or general indecency — it’s legitimately scary, she said. “It’s more than rude, it’s really dangerous. You have to be totally on the defensive [when] driving here. You see accidents almost every time you go out.”
8. New Jersey
”People in our state love to try and pull onto the road with far less space than they should, never like to let the other car merge in, and don’t seem to realize that yellow means ‘slow down,’ ” a New Jersey resident lamented. In fact, the driving in the state is considered so generally inconsiderate that there’s a maneuver known as the Jersey Slide: skipping across more than one lane using the same blinker. “A favorite phrase of one of my female acquaintances is, ‘Learn to [expletive] drive!’ which she learned from an aunt who [nonetheless] loves to text, email and Facebook while on the road.” Interestingly, and perhaps not coincidentally, New Jersey has some of the highest car insurance premiums in the country.
7. Vermont (tie)
This one came as a bit of a surprise — known largely for its bucolic settings and peaceful way of life, Vermont is actually tied at sixth for having some of the rudest drivers. However, the state’s long, winding, and often largely empty backroads present some seriously tempting opportunities for drivers to get a bit experimental. A study found that Vermont ranked first in the greatest increase in fatalities per distance driven of any state over the same period, Insure.com said.
7. Delaware (tie)
Tied with Vermont is Delaware, where, like Vermont, speed is reportedly a big problem — as is tailgating, at least for one Delaware resident. “When doing the speed limit, I should not have to wonder about the make of a vehicle behind me, due to the fact the car is tailgating me so horrifically I cannot even see its hood!” She added that despite the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit and the presence of kids, residents travel 45 to 50 miles per hour down the main thoroughfare, often on their cellphones. “And they flip off residents who signal them to slow down,” she added.
There are some cities, like New York, that are laid out in a grid, which is intuitive and relatively easy to navigate. Then there are cities like Boston, which is so chock-full of one ways, dead ends, and bizarre turns that you need a rally racing navigator to point you to where to go. Needless to say, drivers there have adapted accordingly: “While other states may try to deny or downplay their rudeness, Massachusetts drivers embrace it, as evidenced by their ‘Masshole’ bumper stickers,” Insure.com reports.
“They honk if you’re not fast enough making a turn. They tailgate, even in very heavy traffic, as if they can make you go faster in bumper-to-bumper traffic,” a frequent visitor said.
Apparently, Wyoming ranks second in roadway fatalities involving pickup trucks and SUVs, at 45 percent, behind only North Dakota. The Cowboy State takes a seemingly similar carefree approach to its driving. Despite having one of the smallest human populations of all 50 states, Wyoming still had the second highest roadway fatality rate per 100,000 people in 2012 — again, following North Dakota. However, it’s not just a traffic death issue: Men’s Health gave drivers in Cheyenne an “F” for quality of driving, Insure.com said, noting that “running red lights, disregarding stop signs, merging without signaling and speeding are some common traffic problems that lead to auto accidents.”
3. New York
Its streets might be more easily navigated than Boston’s, but the drivers aren’t any more pleasant than those in Beantown: “I’m trying to figure out if that woman talking on her cell and smoking a cigarette is going to run a stop sign,” a local reports while driving. “Good thing she did 75 miles an hour up to the stop sign and then flipped me off for not letting her go.”
“It’s not often that you see a driver in New York raise their hand [politely] or make some other gesture saying thank you to another driver for letting them through,” another local said. “What’s more, pretty much no driver in New York bothers to indicate before turning.”
2. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., is known for gridlock, and not just the political kind. Traffic in the Capitol is renowned for its inability to remain in motion, and naturally, that can have an effect on its citizens. “Driving in D.C. can be compared to the recklessness of our politics: self-serving, abrasive and unsafe,” a Los Angeles transplant said. D.C. is No. 1 in speeding tickets per capita and was rated 198th out of 200 in Allstates’ Best Drivers survey.
“The roadways of Idaho present a dichotomy of drivers: Those who are moving so slowly that they’re judged to be rude, and the aggressive drivers who speed around them and flip them off,” Insure.com said. “Together, with their opposite yet equally vexing styles of driving, they push Idaho to the top of the rankings.”
A local chimed in: “If you’ve driven that hundreds of times, you know [the road] and pick up your speed. So those driving them for the first time may have the experienced drivers honking their horns and flipping them the bird,” he said. Interestingly, Idaho has some of the lowest insurance premiums in the country, according to Insure.com.