🚗 What state has the worst drivers?
Florida is the worst state for drivers, with three cities — Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa — ranking in the top five.
Until self-driving vehicles are let loose on the roads, today’s drivers are stuck with the human variety and all their gear-grinding behavior: running red lights, hogging the left lane, and forgetting how to drive when a drop of water falls from the sky.
Complaining about other drivers feels like an American pastime more popular than baseball, and it’s easy to do when everyone thinks they have the skills of Ansel Elgort from “Baby Driver.“
Studies have shown that a whopping 80% of drivers believe they’re better than average — a statistical improbability that means some motorists must be subpar, even if they won’t admit the cold, hard truth.
Bad drivers exist everywhere, but in some cities, they’re decidedly worse because of an aggressive driving culture, poor road design, increasing congestion, and long commutes that shorten tempers and cause motorists to make poor decisions.
To determine what cities attract the worst drivers, we used multiple metrics weighted in the following manner:
- 3x: Average annual traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents from 2014-2020
- 3x: Average annual alcohol-related traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents from 2014-2020
- 2x: Days of precipitation per year
- 1x: Average annual vehicle insurance premiums in the state
- 1x: Percentage of uninsured drivers in the state
- 1x: Allstate’s best drivers rank
- 1x: Google Trends for “DUI”
- 1x: Auto repair shops per 100,000 residents
Find out if drivers in your city are getting left in the dust.
🚨 Cities With the Worst Drivers Statistics
- Jacksonville, Florida, is home to America’s worst drivers, while New York City has the best.
- Florida is the worst state for drivers, with three cities — Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa — in the top five.
- About 1 in 5 Florida drivers (20%) are uninsured — a rate that’s 54% higher than the studied city average (13%).
- Jacksonville has the highest number of alcohol-related driving deaths, with 2.9 per 100,000 residents — 66% more than the average city in our study (1.7).
- Memphis is the deadliest city for drivers, with 13.3 fatal accidents per 100,00 residents each year. That’s 2x more than the national average (6.6).
- New York City has the fewest drunk driving deaths (0.6 per 100,000 residents) and the second-fewest driving fatalities per year (3.3 per 100,000 residents).
- Drivers in Detroit pay the highest insurance premiums, which cost $4,726 per year.
- It’s no wonder 1 in 4 Motor City drivers (26%) are uninsured — the highest rate among all 50 cities studied.
- Americans think California is home to the best and worst drivers.
- Drivers in Los Angeles (33%), San Diego (29%), and Sacramento (26%) are considered the best, while drivers in Los Angeles (36%), San Francisco (26%), and San Jose (22%) are considered the worst, according to our survey of 1,000 Americans.
Cities With the Worst Drivers, Ranked
|Rank||City||Driving Deaths / 100K||Drunk Driving Deaths / 100K||Annual Days of Precipitation||Annual Insurance Premiums||Uninsured Rate||Auto Repair Shops / 100K||Best Driver Rank*||Search Activity for DUI**||Public Perception Score***|
|8||New Orleans, LA||7.9||2.4||115||$4,087||11.70%||20.3||177||25||8.90%|
|11||Oklahoma City, OK||8.6||2.4||83||$2,068||13.40%||16.8||45||41||3.40%|
|13||Kansas City, MO||8||2.4||104||$2,154||16.40%||11.3||4||37||3.80%|
|23||St. Louis, MO||7||2.2||114||$1,661||16.40%||7.8||115||29||5.20%|
|29||San Antonio, TX||7.4||2||81||$2,071||8.30%||16.4||138||25||6.30%|
|30||Las Vegas, NV||6.3||1.6||26||$2,856||10.40%||38.9||129||56||10.20%|
|36||Virginia Beach, VA||5.8||1.8||118||$1,606||10.50%||8.3||66||45||6.80%|
|37||San Diego, CA||5.5||1.5||40||$1,844||16.60%||20.7||119||55||21.10%|
|41||Los Angeles, CA||5||1.2||34||$2,688||16.60%||13||195||59||36.40%|
|44||San Jose, CA||4.6||1.2||59||$1,923||16.60%||48.8||170||48||22%|
|46||San Francisco, CA||3.8||0.9||71||$2,295||16.60%||11.6||189||48||26.10%|
|48||Salt Lake City, UT||4.6||1.2||92||$1,531||6.50%||31.5||67||39||6%|
|50||New York, NY||3.3||0.6||125||$4,545||4.10%||6.3||111||27||18.70%|
Most Dangerous Drivers, According to Americans
Drivers everywhere are awful, but some are seemingly so notorious that motorists ready their horn at the first sign of their license plate. Americans are particularly wary of California drivers. In a poll of 1,000 Americans, respondents ranked five cities from the Golden State on their list of cities with the worst drivers.
10 Worst Drivers
- Los Angeles, California (33%)
- San Diego, California (29%)
- Sacramento, California (27%)
- Phoenix, Arizona (25%)
- Birmingham, Alabama (22%)
- San Francisco, California (21%)
- Denver, Colorado (17%)
- Washington, D.C. (16%)
- San Jose, California (14%)
- Hartford, Connecticut (14%)
It’s easy for Americans outside of California to assume that driving in the Golden State regularly resembles a car chase from “Fast & Furious,” but drivers there are also considered some of the most skilled. Six California cities, including the top five, are represented on Americans’ list of cities with the best drivers.
Los Angeles tops both lists, with one-third of Americans (33%) saying drivers in the City of Angels drive more like devils. However, an even greater percentage (36%) believe L.A. has the finest in the country.
Clearly, Americans have either a very negative or very positive view of California drivers.
In all, seven cities made both lists, revealing Americans’ polarizing attitude toward other drivers.
10 Best Drivers
- Los Angeles, California (36%)
- San Francisco, California (26%)
- San Jose, California (22%)
- San Diego, California (21%)
- Sacramento, California (21%)
- New York, New York (19%)
- Washington, D.C. (19%)
- Riverside, California (18%)
- Phoenix, Arizona (17%)
- Denver, Colorado (17%)
15 Cities With the Worst Drivers
1. Jacksonville, Florida
🪦 A Grave Mistake
Jacksonville has the highest number of annual alcohol-related driving deaths, with 2.9 per 100,000 residents.
Four major highways and two interstates converge in Jacksonville, making it a popular thoroughfare for drivers traveling the Sunshine State. But with so many intertwined roads and interchanges, Jacksonville drivers who fail to follow basic vehicle safety, such as using their turn signals, will likely find themselves in an accident.
Interstate 95, which runs through the metro area, is considered one of the deadliest interstates in the country, and unfortunately, the city records 10.9 annual traffic-related fatalities per 100,000 residents — 65% more than the studied city average (6.6). That’s the third-highest number on our list, behind only Memphis and Birmingham.
In addition, Jacksonville has the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths among all 50 cities studied, so it’s no surprise that Jax residents rank No. 7 in search activity for DUI.
It’s clearly not all sunny skies and rainbows in the Sunshine State. For a city that gets 10% more rain each year than the average metro, Jacksonville drivers act like they’ve never seen it before.
About 1 in 8 Americans (13%) agree that Jacksonville has the worst drivers, and they’re generally getting worse. Jacksonville fell 19 spots in the most recent edition of Allstate’s best drivers report, coming in at No. 69.
2. Louisville, Kentucky
🍺 Less Drinking, More Thinking
With 2.5 alcohol-related driving fatalities per 100,000 residents, Louisville has the third-highest number of drunk driving deaths per year.
About 1 in 8 Americans (13%) think Louisville is home to the best drivers, but let’s back that truck up — without looking in the rearview mirror, of course. In addition to having the third-highest number of annual drunk driving deaths, Louisville has the fourth-most traffic-related fatalities.
Louisville drivers must share the road with an increasing number of semis as trucking and shipping become an even greater part of the city’s economy. Although those trucks don’t cause more accidents, those collisions do result in deadlier crashes. Each year, the city records 10.2 driving fatalities per 100,000 residents — 53% more than the studied city average (6.6).
Louisville drivers have made some progress, racing out of the bottom half of Allstate’s best drivers report, but the city still ranks in the middle of the pack at No. 98. Louisville drivers file a claim every nine years, two years sooner than the national average (11). The good news is that Louisville has 20% more auto repair shops than the average city, with 18.3 per 100,000 residents.
3. Orlando, Florida
🚦 Hard Stop
While most motorists experience 19 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles, aggressive Orlando drivers encounter 23.
An influx of summertime tourists who are unfamiliar with the roads make driving in the place where dreams come true something more of a nightmare. In the touristy areas, visitors are constantly staring or snapping photos instead of watching the road, causing 21% more hard-braking events than the national average, according to Allstate’s best drivers report.
One hundred and thirty days of precipitation each year — the 10th-most nationally — don’t make driving conditions any easier to navigate. Orlando drivers file an insurance claim about every nine years — two years sooner than the national average (11).
With 9.1 driving fatalities per 100,000 residents each year, Orlando also records significantly more traffic-related deaths than the average city (6.6).
4. Tampa, Florida
⛔️ Stay in Your Lane
Each year, Tampa has 10 fatal traffic accidents per 100,000 residents — the second-most in Florida and the fifth-most nationally.
Tampa has 51% more yearly driving deaths (10 per 100,000 residents) than the average city in our study (6.6). Whether it’s because of young people who can’t stay off their phones or snowbirds who spread their wings and fly south to jam the highways, these high-risk drivers contribute to some of the highest insurance premiums in the country.
Each year, Tampa motorists pay $3,459 to insure their vehicles — the fifth-highest amount among all 50 cities studied. It’s no surprise, then, that 1 in 5 Tampa drivers (20%) are uninsured.
5. Nashville, Tennessee
🤑 Drive Safe and Save
Although Nashville has some of the lowest car insurance premiums ($1,546) in the country, it has the second-highest percentage (24%) of uninsured drivers.
Nashville is a growing city that, by 2060, is expected to welcome about a million transplants — which will make driving in the city even more difficult. As driving styles from across the country converge in Nashville, the cacophony of automotive fury is its own type of melody in Music City.
One trait Nashville drivers seemingly have in common is their inability to drive without their phones, leading to more distracted-driving collisions and fatalities. Nashville has the seventh-highest number of yearly driving deaths at 9.4 per 100,000 residents — 42% more than the studied city average (6.6).
Distracted-driving fatalities became so bad the state passed the Hands Free Tennessee law in 2019, which makes it illegal to hold a cellphone, write or read texts, record video, and watch videos or movies while driving.
6. Memphis, Tennessee
☠️ Deadly Drivers
With 13.3 fatal car crashes per 100,00 residents annually, Memphis has the most driving deaths out of any city and twice the national average (6.6).
In addition to having the most traffic fatalities per capita, Memphis has the fourth-most alcohol-related driving deaths each year, with 2.4 per 100,000 residents.
Under Tennessee law, it’s legal for passengers to consume alcohol in a vehicle, which may cause sober drivers to behave in ways that are unsafe. Studies have shown that young people who drive their intoxicated peers are more likely to be distracted by in-car vomiting and “roughhousing” that causes stress and risky behavior.
Although Memphis drivers have improved, jumping 26 spots in Allstate’s best drivers report, they still rank in the middle of the pack at No. 100. Motorists file a claim every nine years — two years sooner than the average driver — and experience 28 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles, which is 47% more than the national average (19).
7. Riverside, California
🏁 They’re Fast, We’re Furious
Riverside has the second-highest number of annual alcohol-related deaths per year (2.6 per 100,000 residents), so it’s no surprise the city ranks No. 3 in search activity for DUI.
Driving conditions in Riverside aren’t challenging. There’s no snow and very little precipitation with just 35 rainy days per year, making it the fourth-driest metro area among all 50 studied. Yet Riverside still has 9.4 driving fatalities per 100,000 residents annually — 41% more than the studied city average (6.6) and the sixth-highest number of deaths on our list.
About one-third of Riverside residents commute to work, leading to increased traffic congestion and collisions. As a result, Riverside drivers file an insurance claim every eight years — three years earlier than the national average (11). That caused Riverside to fall nine spots on Allstate’s best drivers report, coming in at No. 134.
Americans tend to agree that Riverside drivers are some of the worst in the country, with 1 in 5 survey respondents (18%) ranking Riverside in the bottom five.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
💰 It Pays to Drive Safe
As car crashes in New Orleans increase, motorists pay $4,087 for car insurance — the highest amount among the 15 worst cities for drivers.
The Big Easy has notoriously lax drinking laws. Although these laws certainly make New Orleans one of the best party destinations in the country, they’re a deadly cocktail for the city’s drivers.
New Orleans has 37% more drunk driving deaths annually than the average city in our study, with 2.4 per 100,000 residents. That number is tied for fourth-most among all 50 cities studied.
A sobering fact is that traffic-related deaths of all kinds are increasing in New Orleans. The city has recorded 7.9 annual driving deaths per 100,000 — nearly 20% more than the studied city average (6.6).
With so many fatal crashes, it’s no surprise that New Orleans fell to the bottom of Allstate’s best drivers report, ranking No. 177 out of 200. Whether they’re dodging clueless tourists or swerving to avoid a pothole on one of the deteriorating streets, New Orleans drivers must stay on guard.
9. Birmingham, Alabama
🚨 Speed Thrills but Kills
Birmingham has the second-highest number of annual traffic-related fatalities with 12.7 per 100,000 residents.
More than 1 in 5 survey respondents (22%) think Birmingham has some of the best drivers in the country, but the facts tell a different story. Birmingham has 91% more traffic-related deaths each year (12.7 per 100,000 residents) than the average city in our study (6.6).
With little public transportation, everyone in Birmingham drives, and motorists have too much Southern politeness to shame reckless drivers by honking their horns and avoiding collisions.
Drivers involved in a collision may be on the hook for repairs. About 20% of Birmingham drivers are uninsured, despite having some of the most affordable car insurance premiums ($1,648) in the U.S.
10. Sacramento, California
⚙️ Prepare and Prevent, Don’t Repair and Repent
With the average Sacramento driver filing a car insurance claim every 7.5 years, it’s a good thing California’s capital has more auto repair shops per capita (26) than any other city in the worst 15.
Not so long ago, driving in Sacramento felt like cruising the streets of a smaller town. As the city grows and becomes more congested, confused and angry drivers are struggling to adjust. Sacramento has 7.3 driving fatalities per 100,000 residents each year — 11% more than the studied city average (6.6).
What’s more, Sacramento has 15% more alcohol-related driving deaths (2 per 100,000 residents) than the average city (1.7), resulting in the highest search volume for “DUI” among all 50 cities studied.
More than 1 in 4 survey respondents (26%) may think Sacramento is one of the top five cities with the best drivers, but the capital city fell near the bottom of Allstate’s best drivers report. Dropping 14 spots from the previous edition, Sacramento ranks No. 163 out of 200.
11. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
A Wheel Problem
Oklahoma City has one of the highest rates of drunk driving deaths, with 2.4 per 100,000 residents each year.
Fewer than 1% of Americans think Oklahoma City has reckless drivers, but motorists in the Sooner State are not OK. In addition to having one of the highest drunk driving fatality rates in the country, Oklahoma City has the 10th-highest rate of traffic-related deaths. Each year, Oklahoma’s capital city records 8.6 driving fatalities per 100,000 residents — 30% more than the studied city average (6.6).
Speeding is one of the leading causes of traffic deaths in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, but eating, texting, or using a cellphone are all careless behaviors that can cause accidents. For Oklahomans who find themselves in need of a car repair, OKC has 11% more auto body shops (16.8) than the average city in our study (15.2).
12. Columbus, Ohio
⛈ Rain and Snow? Take It Slow
With 141 days of annual precipitation — the seventh-most among all 50 cities studied — Columbus drivers face frequent hazardous road conditions.
Just 2% of Americans think Columbus residents are among the country’s most dangerous drivers, but the city ranks in the bottom third of Allstate’s best drivers report at No. 141. Drivers in Ohio’s capital file a claim every eight years, compared to the national average of 11.
Although Columbus doesn’t experience the same collision-causing congestion as other populous metros, it does have some of the wettest weather in the country, leading to slick pavement that increases the risk of accidents and fatalities.
Columbus drivers can’t control the weather, but they can decide whether to drink and drive. Columbus has 2.1 annual alcohol-related driving fatalities per 100,000 residents — 21% more than the studied city average (1.7).
13. Kansas City, Missouri
⚠️ Caution: Hazardous Drivers
Allstate ranks Kansas City drivers as the fourth best, but are they really protected from mayhem? Kansas City has eight driving fatalities per 100,000 residents annually — 20% more than the studied city average (6.6).
Fewer than 4% of Americans believe Kansas City is home to bad drivers, and with a nickname like The Show-Me State, Missourians aren’t likely to change their minds without evidence. But the data speaks for itself.
Not only does Kansas City have the 12th-highest rate of annual driving fatalities, it’s tied for the fourth-most drunk driving deaths. Each year, Kansas City records 2.4 alcohol-related driving deaths per 100,000 residents — 38% more than the studied city average (1.7).
In addition, non-fatal accidents in Kansas City can be more costly. About 1 in 6 drivers (16%) aren’t insured, which is 24% more than the national average (13%).
14. Atlanta, Georgia
🚧 Collision Course
Out of 200 cities, Atlanta ranks No. 178 on Allstate’s best drivers report, with drivers filing a claim every seven years, compared to the national average of 11.
Atlanta is the second-worst city for commuters, with motorists wasting 53 hours of their year sitting in traffic. Rather than inch along, some drivers put the pedal to the metal, only to come to a screeching halt.
Atlanta drivers encounter 32 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles — 68% more than the national average (19). When those brake pads inevitably wear out, motorists may have difficulty replacing them. Atlanta has the second-fewest auto repair shops with 5.4 per 100,000 residents.
As drivers stuck in traffic watch the precious minutes of their personal time tick away, rage and frustration may cause them to make dangerous driving decisions. Each year, Atlanta has 8.1 driving fatalities per 100,000 residents — 23% more than the average city in our study (6.6).
15. Hartford, Connecticut
🚗 Keep Calm and Drive Safely
Hartford has 130 days of precipitation each year, 19% more than the average city in our study.
The New England area seems to have a reputation for aggressive drivers who don’t follow the rules of the road. Boston, for example, has been on more than one list ranking it as the worst city for drivers. Yet, surprisingly, Americans are twice as likely to think Hartford drivers (17%) are worse than those in Boston (8%).
Like most of America’s oldest cities, Hartford’s streets weren’t planned with modern vehicular traffic in mind. The roads are narrow and crowded, which can reduce visibility and increase the risk of sideswipes and head-on collisions.
With all the pedestrians and cyclists on the road, as well as frequent wet weather, the conditions in Hartford can be challenging for even the best drivers.
Rankings by Category
10 Cities With the Best Drivers
Traffic deaths are on the rise across U.S. roads, but the data is making a sharp U-turn in some metros. These cities can take a victory lap for having some of the best drivers in the country:
- New York, New York
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Boston, Massachusetts
- San Francisco, California
- Buffalo, New York
- San Jose, California
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
- Los Angeles, California
Think you know New York City drivers? Fuhgeddaboudit!
The Big Apple may seem like a surprising victor, but to navigate the maze of one-way streets, lumbering city buses, gaping potholes, and oblivious pedestrians, New York City drivers must be some of the most capable.
The city records just 3.3 traffic-related deaths per 100,000 residents each year — the second-fewest in the U.S. behind only Boston. In fact, the death rate is half the national average (6.6) and 75% less than in Memphis, the city with the most driving deaths (13.3).
New York City also boasts the country’s lowest rate of annual drunk driving fatalities at 0.6 per 100,00 residents — 64% less than the national average (1.7) and 79% less than in Jacksonville, the city with the most alcohol-related fatalities (2.9).
Overall, the cities with the best drivers tend to be major metro areas along the East and West coasts with high levels of public transportation use and ride-sharing options. Studies from the American Transportation Association have shown that traffic fatalities and injuries fall when residents rely on mass transportation, and our data supports this finding.
The 10 best cities for drivers record just 4.2 annual driving deaths and 1.1 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 residents — both about 36% less than the national average.
Clever Move compared the 50 most-populous U.S. metro areas across eight metrics, listed below. Each metric was normalized and graded on a 100-point scale. The combined weighted average of each score determined the overall “worst city for driving.”
In cases where data sets included only counties, county data was crosswalked with metropolitan data.
The metrics used are as follows:
- Average annual traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents from 2014-2020
- Average annual alcohol-related traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents from 2014-2020
- Days of precipitation per year
- Average annual vehicle insurance premiums in the state
- Allstate’s best drivers rank
- Percentage of uninsured drivers in the state
- Google Trends for “DUI”
- Auto repair shops per 100,000 residents
Data sources include the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information, the U.S. Census, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Yelp, Allstate, The Zebra, MoneyGeek, and Google Trends.
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What state has the worst drivers?
Florida is the worst state for drivers, with three cities — Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa — ranking in the top five. Learn more.
What city has the worst drivers in Florida?
Jacksonville has the worst drivers with the highest number of annual alcohol-related driving deaths (2.9 per 100,000 residents) and the third-highest number of traffic-related fatalities (10.9 per 100,000 residents) in the country. Learn more.
What city has the best drivers?
New York City has the best drivers, followed by Minneapolis and Salt Lake City. Overall, the best drivers tend to live in major metro areas along the East and West coasts with high levels of public transportation use and ride-sharing options. Learn more.
What city is the most dangerous to drive in?
Memphis has the most driving-related deaths each year with 13.3 per 100,00 residents — twice the national average (6.6). Learn more.