Does Utah Have the Worst Drivers in the United States?

Everyone has strong opinions about which state has the worst drivers.  But setting the jokes and personal anecdotes aside, surveys and statistical data may provide some answers.  So which state actually has the worst drivers?  Salt Lake City car crash lawyer Darwin Overson investigates how Utah drivers stack up to the rest of nation.

Which States Have the Worst Drivers in the Country? How Does Utah Rank?

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Does Utah have the nation’s worst drivers?  It depends on who – and when – you ask.

In August, CBS News published a report on the worst drivers in the country.  The report, which drew on data from sources like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Research Council, compared each state by factors like:

  • The number of speeding tickets in each state.
  • The number of fatal crashes in each state.
  • The number of DUI arrests in each state.
  • The number of drivers who carried auto insurance in each state.

Based on these factors, the survey determined the worst drivers were in:

  1. Nevada
  2. Texas
  3. Tennessee
  4. Vermont
  5. Alabama
  6. Delaware
  7. New Jersey
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Mississippi
  10. Florida

Utah actually performed quite well in this particular study.  Not only was Utah not in the top 10 worst states – it wasn’t even in the top 25.

That’s consistent with an earlier study based on Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data, which revealed that from 2004 to 2008, Utah ranked 39th in the nation, actually making it one of the best states for safe driving.  Additionally, during the same time period, the Utah Department of Public Safety reported that Utah was the:

  • 31st worst state for pedestrian accidents
  • 36th worst state for fatal accidents caused by speeding
  • 37th worst state for fatality rates among young drivers
  • 39th worst state for occupant protection in crashes
  • 42nd worst state for motorcycle accidents

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Though not quite perfect, these are consistently good rankings.  The bad news is, Utah doesn’t always perform quite so well.  When surveyed 2,000 drivers in 2014 to find out which states had the rudest drivers, Utah had the dubious honor of making the top 10, claiming the number 10 slot.  Here’s what one former resident had to say about Utah’s collective driving habits:

“They tend not to signal…  They don’t let people merge.  They just keep looking straight ahead and pretending not to see that car trying to squeeze in next.  They often blow through yield signs as if they don’t exist.  And be careful in that parking lot, or you just might get clipped by someone barreling across the parking lanes to shave 10 seconds off their drive time.”

Interestingly, the survey also identified which states had the biggest gripes with other states.  Utah drivers were “most hated” by California drivers, but Utah didn’t have a most hated state of its own.

Of course, the quote above is just one man’s opinion; but on the other hand, who could say they haven’t experienced one of these issues at some point on Utah’s roads?  After all, in 2014 alone, the Department of Public Safety reported:

  • More than 2,100 injury crashes caused by tailgating
  • More than 1,400 injury crashes caused by failure to yield
  • More than 1,000 injury crashes caused by improper lane changes
  • Nearly 1,000 injury crashes caused by negligent collisions
  • Nearly 400 injury crashes caused by speeding

By the way – in case you were wondering, the state with the rudest drivers turned out to be Idaho (especially if you ask a driver from Arizona).  The most polite drivers were from North Dakota; but that didn’t stop Michigan from hating them anyway.

Salt Lake City Auto Accident Attorney Representing Injured Car Crash Victims

All kidding about state stereotypes aside, poor driving is no laughing matter.  No matter where they are in the country, careless drivers make the roads more dangerous for everyone – including themselves – by increasing the risk of an accident.

If you or one of your loved ones was hurt in a car crash in Utah, you may be able to get compensated for your medical expenses, the income you lost, the pain and suffering caused by your injuries, and other damages arising from the accident.  If you were injured because of a sleepy, intoxicated, distracted, or downright careless driver’s actions, you shouldn’t get stuck paying the price.  But don’t face the insurance company on your own.  Get aggressive legal representation from an experienced Utah County car accident lawyer on your side.

Call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 to set up a free legal consultation today.  We’re here to help you evaluate your legal options if you were injured in an automotive accident.


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