December 16, 2013
Analysis Website Determines Louisiana Has Worst Drivers In US
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
While many Americans may think their state is home to the worst drivers in the nation, a new analysis from CarInsuranceComparison.com has given that dubious honor to Louisiana.
In its analysis, the website said it used data on fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled, recorded failures to follow traffic signals and seat belt laws, drunk driving incidents and tickets for speeding or careless driving. Data was culled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the National Motorists Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
The comparison website found Louisiana ranked in the top three for: failure to obey signals, speeding tickets and careless driving. It’s the second consecutive time the Pelican State has been given this unfortunate distinction.
Jeffrey Crews, vice president of CarInsuranceComparison.com, told USA Today that their annual rankings generate debate around the country.
"There are several reasons for that," he said. "One, it's the holiday season. People are traveling, and that comes into play. Plus, this is something that always comes up. Somebody is always saying, 'This is a horrible state to drive in.' And they can take this and say 'I told you so.'
"Plus, people use it as a little prod to kind of jab at each other," he added.
A 2011 ranking by what is now known as National General Insurance, formerly GMAC Insurance, found Washington, DC to have some of the worst drivers in the nation. The company based its rankings on how well drivers understood their local rules of the road and found only 71 percent of drivers in the US capital were capable of passing a written driver’s test.
In 2010, The Daily Beast found North Dakota, Montana, Kentucky and Louisiana had the worst drivers, respectively. The website’s analysis was based on national fatal crash data in which driver error, such as DUI, played a role.
In August, Allstate's ninth annual "America's Best Drivers Report" reported that the nation’s best drivers live in Fort Collins, CO. The insurer’s analysis was based on its internal crash claims data. The company issued the report “to boost the country's discussion on safe driving," according to Michael Roche, Allstate’s senior vice president of claims.
“Best Drivers has generated a lot of attention, which we think is a very good thing,” he told USA Today.
David Alston, a New Jersey school bus driver, told the national daily he was surprised to see his state ranked so low in the CarInsuranceComparison.com report.
"I see people driving with no lights on in pitch black, in snow, rain, fog," he said. "People tailgate me on my school bus. People blow through stop signs. It's unbelievable. New Jersey's got to be No. 1 or No. 2 for worst drivers."
In addition to driving a school bus, Alston said he has driven over 230,000 miles in each of his last two personal vehicles. He recounted the story of a drunk motorcyclist getting killed after running into Alston's car at 65 mph. The incident happened just after Alston's mother was in an accident with an unlicensed driver in Montclair, NJ, he added.