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Least and Most Safe States to Drive

Savvy readers might remember that we analyzed a list of the best and worst states in which to drive at the start of this year, and how we voiced our concerns about the weight metrics being less than fair. For example, average gas prices were 12.86% of the grade for a state, while bad driving habits of the inhabitants was 2.73%.

As a result, Hawaii was deemed the worst state in the nation for driving because despite being one of the safest states to drive in according to WalletHub, the cost of maintaining a vehicle was the highest in the nation, amongst other things.

Now we are looking at a different list that came out. Insurify, an insurance comparison website, has compiled the data of 2.5 million insurance applications from across the nation.

Methodology

As to be expected, statistics is a little more than just gathering data, but also translating it into a way that can be understood.

Insurify took each driver and sorted them into their state, then compared each state to see what percentage of drivers sampled from that state had one or more:

  • Speeding ticket(s).
  • At-fault accident(s).
  • DUI violation(s).

They measured each of these metrics individually, but also the cumulative rate for the state in regards to these issues. To understand what this means, take a sneak peak at Colorado, the tenth-least safe state on the list. Colorado has 13.1% of drivers with a speeding ticket, 11.95% of drivers with an at-fault accident, and 3.14% of drivers with a DUI violation; but the total driving incident rate for the Centennial State is 27.66%, which is lower than the sum of the initial three numbers. This means some drivers had more than one type of incident on their record.

The final number of all driving incidents is the metric Insurify uses to order the states.

10. Safe: Florida

Total incidents: 20.60%

Speeding ticket: 7.19%

At-fault accident: 10.41%

DUI violation: 0.07%

10. Unsafe: Colorado

Total incidents: 27.66%

Speeding ticket: 13.1%

At-fault accident: 11.95%

DUI violation: 3.13%

9. Safe: West Virginia

Total incidents: 20.40%

Speeding ticket: 7.89%

At-fault accident: 9.55%

DUI violation: 1.67%

9. Unsafe: Wyoming

Total incidents: 28.07%

Speeding ticket: 13.93%

At-fault accident: 11.03%

DUI violation: 4.74%

8. Safe: New York

Total incidents: 20.39%

Speeding ticket: 6.22%

At-fault accident: 9.41%

DUI violation: 1.36%

8. Unsafe: Maryland

Total incidents: 28.49%

Speeding ticket: 10.01%

At-fault accident: 14.93%

DUI violation: 1.25%

7. Safe: Kentucky

Total incidents: 20.35%

Speeding ticket: 6.65%

At-fault accident: 9.41%

DUI violation: 2.20%

7. Unsafe: Maine

Total incidents: 29.33%

Speeding ticket: 10.85%

At-fault accident: 14.29%

DUI violation: 2.26%

6. Safe: Oklahoma

Total incidents: 20.07%

Speeding ticket: 9.38%

At-fault accident: 8.72%

DUI violation: 1.35%

6. Unsafe: Iowa

Total incidents: 29.75%

Speeding ticket: 15.7%

At-fault accident: 11.93%

DUI violation: 3.35%

5. Safe: Louisiana

Total incidents: 19.99%

Speeding ticket: 7.42%

At-fault accident: 10.91%

DUI violation: 1.23%

5. Unsafe: Virginia

Total incidents: 29.78%

Speeding ticket: 15.98%

At-fault accident: 12.28%

DUI violation: 1.88%

4. Safe: Arkansas

Total incidents: 19.83%

Speeding ticket: 8.5%

At-fault accident: 9.18%

DUI violation: 1.92%

4. Unsafe: Nebraska

Total incidents: 29.93%

Speeding ticket: 13.96%

At-fault accident: 13.56%

DUI violation: 3.57%

3. Safe: Mississippi

Total incidents: 19.12%

Speeding ticket: 9.63%

At-fault accident: 7.04%

DUI violation: 1.28%

3. Unsafe: South Carolina

Total incidents: 29.99%

Speeding ticket: 15.64%

At-fault accident: 14.17%

DUI violation: 1.08%

2. Safe: Nevada

Total incidents: 18.78%

Speeding ticket: 7.19%

At-fault accident: 9.03%

DUI violation: 1.72%

2. Unsafe: Wisconsin

Total incidents: 30.29%

Speeding ticket: 14.83%

At-fault accident: 11.58%

DUI violation: 3.81%

1. Safe: Michigan

Total incidents: 16.44%

Speeding ticket: 7.26%

At-fault accident: 5.51%

DUI violation: 1.55%

1. Unsafe: Ohio

Total incidents: 30.35%

Speeding ticket: 16.1%

At-fault accident: 13.37%

DUI violation: 2.72%

Conclusion

As always, the methodology is arguably questionable. Insurify determined a state’s eligibility based on the percentage of drivers with any accident, without regard to which accident it was. While speeding tickets are an indicator of unsafe driving, they pale in comparison to the severity of DUIs. Florida has the lowest DUI rate in the nation, but was still deemed the 10th most dangerous state in the nation. Whereas the WalletHub article weighed too much in one direction, the Insurify article does not weigh in one direction enough.

How do you feel about this list, and what changes would you make to it, given the chance? Should red light violations be counted in the metrics as well? Should at-fault accidents be a more significant indicator of danger than speeding tickets? Let us know in the comments below.

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