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What States Have the Worst Drivers? How Do You “Define” the Worst Drivers?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


In January this year, before COVID, my wife and I were able to use some regional upgrade certs to fly Delta business class to Hawaii in Delta One-lite. I say “lite” because the service is like a domestic first class flight vs. an international flight in Delta One. Then again, I would have had to use a Global Upgrade cert vs. a Regional if Delta were to change this ten-ish hour flight to Delta One.

During our visit to the Big Island, we rented a car for part of the time to explore the island. Since it was Hawaii, why not rent a convertible and really enjoy the drive (it was fantastic fun, BTW)?

Coming from Indiana, where drivers tend to lean toward the friendly side, I come to expect a certain “type” of driver. Not to say ALL drivers in Indiana are courteous – just more than I have found in, say, Chicago.

And that brings me to today’s post and thoughts in my head. The Swedish news site “The Local” recently had a story “Who are the worst drivers in Europe?“. They found that:

  • French and Greeks are the rudest
  • Swedes most likely to drive too fast
  • Swedes also most likely to drive too close to another car
  • Dutch the most likely to undertake [pass on the right]
  • Spanish most likely to use their horn

At first glance, having been on the roads in all of the above mentioned countries except for Greece, I would tend to agree with this assessment. I have found driving in England unique but they are soon leaving the EU so they no longer count – right? 😉

Well, what about over here in the USA? Is there any data as to who are the worst drivers? Turns out there is:

SmartAsset.com has some data points but they are focusing their data on quantifiable statistics vs. just what you or I may think of people behind the wheel.

Personally, I am stunned by how folks drive in NYC as well as Chicago. I mean stunned in a bad way. How many dents can you have and not feel the need to fix it I ask?

I hate driving in Florida. I mean HATE it. I love when folks put on the right turn blinker and turn left across 3 lanes of traffic.

I have driven a ton in the Salt Lake area due to years of winter visits for skiing. Utahans (is that a word?), I feel, tend to be heavy on the gas pedal but that does not really bother me much coming from a Swedish background.

I would love to get your input. If you were to pick just one state that has the worst drivers what would it be? Also, what one state has the best drivers? Then maybe in a later post I will pop up a poll for everyone to vote on with feedback from this post.

This should be fun! – René

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

6 Comments

  1. I agree that Tennessee has some pretty terrible drivers.

    Since moving to Knoxville from the DC area 4 years ago I see so many drunk drivers and there’s been 2 instances of drunks driving the wrong way on the highway resulting in many deaths.

  2. Interesting U.S. list, Rene!

    Can’t argue with Arthur H above…not sure why the drivers in TN are such a mess. Traveled frequently to Nashville for work, and the skid marks and accidents on the freeways seemed to indicate serious distracted driving issues (via drinking or phone use, not sure).

    Wifey and I have done a fair amount of travel these past 3-4 years, didn’t notice Texans or Arizonans driving like knuckleheads, they seemed similar to what we’re used to here in the Detroit area.

    And don’t break your arm, Hoosier! :-0) I find Indianans tend to drive slowly and politely in the left lane, regardless of the train backing up behind them! (Credit for the state DOT putting up signs warning of fines for not getting back into the right lane, but in practice is a different matter.)

  3. Being a Floridian who is from New York, I was surprised how low both states were on the list. And Rene, the fact that they had their blinker on at all was a miracle. I was in Nashville in June and July as well as headed back today and didn’t think the drivers there were bad, except for me being the tourist.

  4. i would add Turkey to the worst list–we saw people driving on the pavement to get around others. dd Portugal to the Rude list and at home NJ is pretty bad but overall depending on where people(what country)are from you can find sloppy drivers everywhere in the US. Oh i forgot driving in Vietnam–where they balance 10 people on one scooter and then pass u on the right or the left or surprise you.

  5. HuntingtonGuy Reply

    Internationally I would say drivers in Italy and Brazil have caused me the most anxiety. Domestically, and I am from New York, it is NY and NJ who bring up the rear.
    Rudeness, aggressiveness and sheer “what we’re you thinking” belong to Long Island (should be it’s own state) hands down. Factor poor road conditions and the omnipresent traffic and the recipe for lousy drivers is complete.
    I hope Tennessee is not as bad as claimed, I’ve not found that to be a major issue. Maybe the large numbers of north easterners relocating there are a factor (I am soon to be one of them but will bring my A game driving habits with me)
    It has been my experience that knuckleheads are not constrained by borders, bad drivers are everywhere.

  6. Hands down, Florida drivers are the worst for never signaling and for large differences in speed. Younger drivers do well over the speed limit while older drivers drive significantly under the speed limit…often in the left lane which causes many accidents between these 2 groups.

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