U.S. States With the Absolute Worst Drivers: 2022 Study

A few different car safety reports are done annually to show which states have the worst drivers, best drivers, and even the rudest ones. Each one seems to use different data from various reports to determine how well a state performs in driving. Here, we look at one of them to see which state has the worst drivers. 

How does SmartAsset come up with the data for its worst drivers study?

A potentially distracted driver which is one of the worst drivers.
Person driving | Getty Images

According to SmartAsset, it takes data from all states using four different categories and comes from various reports. The first area the site pulls information from is the NHTSA’s fatalities per 100 million miles driven. This year’s data came from a 2020 report. 

The site next looks at the number of DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers. SmartAsset gets the figures for this from the FBI, from the Department of Transportation, and also comes from 2020 reports. 

Google’s search engine also plays a part in the data gathering. The site researches how often internet users use search terms like “speeding tickets” and “traffic tickets.” Data came from Google trends information from May 2021 to May 2022. 

Lastly, the site looks at the percentage of drivers that are insured. This comes from the most recent data from the Insurance Research Council, which Forbes reports. The most current information used in this year’s survey is from 2019. 

What did the 2022 study results show?

While the site ranks all states based on how bad or good their drivers are, Mississippi is the number one ranked state for the most irresponsible drivers. While the survey doesn’t distinguish what age groups might be the worst, we can’t help but wonder if those considered Millennials might have something to do with it.

The most interesting information in the survey is that 29.4% of drivers in the state don’t have car insurance, which is the country’s highest. 

The second state ranked with bad drivers is Tennessee. It had 23.7% of its drivers without auto insurance, which is also the second highest in the country behind Mississippi. Tennessee ranked 16th for DUI arrests, which equated to 3.70 per 1,000 drivers. 

Going down the list, Massachusetts is ranked at number 50, number one for the best drivers. It only had 3.5% of uninsured drivers and .63% fatalities per 100 million miles driven. 

How does this year’s data compare to previous years?

How does this report compare to previous years? Looking at 2021’s survey, we see that SmartAsset ranked Mississippi number one last year as well. Uninsured numbers were the same for both reports. It’s interesting to note that this state was also ranked first in 2020 as well. The difference here is that those without insurance in that report were only 23.7% but it was still the worst in the country.

In 2020, Tennessee ranked third. In 2021, it tied with Oklahoma for sixth spot. In second place for 2020 was Nevada, which had 10.6% uninsured drivers and 5.54% DUI arrests. In 2021, Nevada dropped to the fifth spot, while North Dakota rose from twentieth in 2020 to being ranked the second worst driver state with 13% uninsured drivers. 

Regarding the state with the best drivers, Massachusetts ranked fiftieth for irresponsible ones in 2020 and 2021. But first for great drivers, depending on how you want to look at it. The state went from 6.2% uninsured in 2020 to 3.5% in 2021. Other reports say that Florida and North Carolina are the safest places to drive.

Mississippi is currently the worst state for drivers when you look at SmartAsset’s data. In fact, it’s been the worst state since 2018. However, other sites chose Ohio instead. According to the SmartAssets surveys, Massachusetts has the least amount of irresponsible drivers since 2017. If you plan to travel to one of these states, you’ll know to be extra careful driving there or feel a bit safer. 

RELATED: Top 10 States With the Worst Drivers in 2021