No matter where people live in this country, it can sometimes feel as though the worst drivers are in your area. However, there is empirical evidence that drivers in some states are worse than others. A recent study by SmartAsset, a personal finance company, lists the 25 states with the worst drivers, ranked beginning with the worst.
The good news is that Mississippi wasn't number one. The bad news is that we were number two second only to Florida. A number of states that border Mississippi didn't fare so well, either. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee were all within the top 15.
The study looked at four factors:
The number of vehicle-related fatalities
The number of DUI arrests
The percentage of drivers who are insured
How often people in the state who Google "traffic tickets"
Mississippi wasn't actually the second worst in all of these areas. The rankings were based on a combination of these factors. Obviously, some are more indicative of just how dangerous our roads are than others -- such as the number of fatalities and DUI arrests. There are also factors not considered here, such as the number of non-fatal accidents and perhaps the number of people driving without a valid license (although that's virtually impossible to accurately measure).
Law enforcement officials in Florida place a large part of the blame for their state's ranking on tourists and retired people. Of course, here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we get our fair share of tourists as well. It's always important to be on the lookout, particularly during the summer months, for drivers who may not be familiar with the area and be extra cautious (and patient) around them.
While over 77 percent of Mississippi drivers are insured, according to this study, that leaves almost 23 percent who aren't. If you're involved in an accident that's the fault of a driver who doesn't have auto insurance, and your own insurance isn't enough to cover your medical costs, damages and other expenses, it's wise to explore your legal options for seeking compensation.
Source: Good Housekeeping, "Is Anyone Surprised That Florida Is Home to the Country's Worst Drivers?," Heather Finn, Aug. 03, 2016