OT: worst drivers in America

Submitted by Jack Hammer on July 1st, 2016 at 4:00 PM

As I prepare to commute home from my office through Seattle traffic I dread another afternoon of watching drivers around me move well below the speed limit on the freeway, entitled motorists merge with the expectation that moving traffic will adjust to them, approach four-way stops where no one seems to understand the basic rules of a 4-way stop, every teenager texting and driving, idiots driving 45 in my neighborhood and 50 on the freeway, and people unable to execute a left hand turn without a green arrow.

In the past I've commuted in Seattle, Detroit, Tampa, Austin, So Cal, and the Bay Area.  I can say without question the worst drivers I have ever encountered are in Seattle.  The best drivers I've ever seen are in Detroit.  I feel like Michigan, in general, trains the best drivers.

What do you think?  Where are the worst (or best) drivers in America?



July 2nd, 2016 at 12:32 PM ^

Seconded. SC native here. If people aren't just driving horribly because we're stupid, then they are driving to avoid nonstop potholes and road hazards. Worst drivers in America + worst roads in America = death by automobile.

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Blue Ninja

July 2nd, 2016 at 9:51 PM ^

Live in SC and I can agree there are just bad drivers here. BUT, I moved here after living in Ohio and I'd like to put Ohio drivers out there as Exhibit 1 for possibly worse drivers than SC. At least in SC they will generally let you in when merging in stopped traffic. That said, they do NOT know how to properly turn right or left.


July 2nd, 2016 at 10:40 PM ^


Going by the data, people in Ohio seem to die less often than people in Michigan per mile driven, but they're both above average states. OP was complaining about Washington(Seattle area) and those drivers also seem to be better than Michigan's at not getting killed.

The worst drivers in America seem to live in Montana while the best seem to live in Wyoming. Minnesota and Massachusetts drivers also seem to be pretty good.

Blue Ninja

July 3rd, 2016 at 7:50 PM ^

Perhaps, but I'm not certain that vehicular deaths are the absolute only condition to use in determining worst drivers. I think one would at the least include accidents and even road rage incidents. And even then all those as a whole aren't a total indication as for most of us "worst drivers" really pertains to those who perform our largest pet peeves the most and that cannot be measured statistically. Like for me, people who turn slowly or almost completely stop when making a right turn makes you a very bad driver. But there is no way to measure that statistically other than gut feeling. Same with amount of people who tailgate, change lanes without signaling or worst of all maintain legal speed limit or lower in the left passing lanes on the freeway. 

So in a nutshell, nice data. Just don't think it pertains to the argument. 


July 1st, 2016 at 10:14 PM ^

Actually, the the Ohio turnpike is the best maintained stretch of road I have to get driven on. I have seen three snow plows driving in formation on that road. I always know when I am back in Michigan cause 23 gets shitty. The worst, slowest and most timid drivers are in Pennsylvania, it is common for people to stop at the end of an entrance ramp on a freeway


July 2nd, 2016 at 7:38 PM ^

If you think PA drivers are slow and timid, you must never have driven into the state of Wisconsin. 


Wisconsin has by far the slowest drivers of any state I've ever lived in (CT, MI, CA, IL). 


Illinois drivers always seem to be recklessly fast to me. The common joke in my family (which drives from Michigan to Milwaukee very often to visit family) is that once you cross the Illinois-Wisconsin border into WI, the speed limit increases by 10 mph, but everyone's speed decreases by 15 mph. 

(I-294/94 in IL has a 55 speed limit, WI is 65, but everyone drives 80 in Illinois)


July 1st, 2016 at 4:27 PM ^

Ohio is awful I've lived in FL, MA, IL, OH, KY, MI, GA, CO, IN, driven through nearly all lower 48 and by far Ohio is the worst. Maybe because I drive about 100+ everywhere because well driving is really boring and Ohio drivers love to cruise along in the far left lane. The one for passing people.

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July 1st, 2016 at 4:40 PM ^

I like to screw with people like you.  I drive just under 80, and when I see someone blazing along in the left lane, I intentionally get over, speed up just enough so that you're stuck behind me next to a semi or other slower vehicle in the right lane.  Because people who drive that fast are just tools and should be fucked with.

Dennis Leary wrote a song about me.  You may have heard of it.



July 1st, 2016 at 6:08 PM ^

worst state ever. Drivers are horrible, incompetent, and completely inconsiderate. drive at or below the speed limit in the passing lane for MILES with nobody else on the road. Major peeve of mine, any time I am on US 23 and a moron is holding up traffic without fail, Ohio plates...Morans.


July 1st, 2016 at 6:38 PM ^

Just I always assume that people are going to do the worst/dumbest thing they can do when driving. Kinda like the guy who T-Boned me guy thought he killed me saw me crawl outta my car and I said dude its okay, I'm fine I've been hit harder in a hockey game. Never sued him and he ended up having to give me the value of my car at the time. 

Rusty Knuckles

July 2nd, 2016 at 2:55 AM ^

"I've been hit harder in a hockey game."

/Puts on Sunglasses/YEEEAAAAH!

If you get T-Boned again, maybe try:

"I just got knocked the Puck out!"

"5 minutes for roughing!"

"Pffft! You hit like a Sweedish Defenseman! ( unless he or she is Sweedish, then it would be racist)

You'll figure it out, I'm sure of it!

I'm not saying I necessarily WANT you to get T-Boned but if you do, I want you to be prepared. Maybe have something special for every kind of car that might hit you like:

"Couldn't quite DODGE you on that one!"

Lemme know what you come with, maybe we can share! Now I wanna get T-Boned!

Good Luck 

Oh, one more "Do I get mashed potatoes and corn with that T-Bone?"

And don't forget your shades



Michigan Marshmallow

July 1st, 2016 at 4:06 PM ^

While I don't think they have the worst drivers, Boston is a nightmare for me.

Florida has some scary drivers, mostly because they cross 6 lanes at 80 MPH without using an indicator. Oh, and they probably can't see past the windshield.


July 1st, 2016 at 4:28 PM ^

Yeah right. I live here and drive 95 and the Florida Turnpike weekly. I drive 80 and get passed all the time. Florida is the worst end of story. We have all the retirement age people you can get, NYC people who never drove and NJ folks who only make turns 1 way. Plus how many people from other countries are here at a given time legally and illegal?

Clarence Beeks

July 1st, 2016 at 9:14 PM ^

It's funny how different the east coast and west coast are in that respect. On the west side we have all of the upper Midwest and Ontario retirees. Most polite drivers in the world, generally. Totally blows the "Florida is the worst" theme because it's really just the Disney area and 95 (especially the further south you get).

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Boston Cooler

July 1st, 2016 at 5:24 PM ^

It is the out-of-towners that make it a bad place to drive. There are no street signs and pedestrians suck there but Massholes drive fast on the left and slow on the right. It's the New Hampshire drives that mess it all up (and everyone else that doesn't know where they are going or how to follow Bostons unwritten rules). It is normally always listed as the worst or one of the worst places to drive but I always find the cities that have no driving rules much worse...slow in the left lane, slow in the right, fast drivers weaving in and out and passing on the shoulders. Add in drinking and driving at all hours, liberal gun laws and a city that freaks out at the first sign of rain (not to mention ice) and you might as well just stay home.


July 1st, 2016 at 4:07 PM ^

Lived in the northeast, MI, TX, MO, and NC. The worst I've found are in NC. Slow, don't understand what to do for emergency vehicles, and panic in the rain.

Michigan drivers are the fastest. Not sure they are the best.