Driving the open road is a quintessential, American dream. With highways sprawling across the nation since the 1950s, cars crisscross the states with ease today. However, there tend to be dangerous drivers concentrated in certain states. Learn more about the top 5 worst states for drivers right now.
According to Forbes, the worst state for drivers is Texas. Experts evaluated several key statistics, such as drunk, drowsy or distracted drivers. In addition, they considered wrong-way driving in the state. When compared to other states, Texas has the highest concentration of these driving habits.
Certainly, the experts didn't rely on just a single, annual report. Indeed, they pulled most statistics from a three-year average between 2018-2020. With this information, local lawmakers can create new laws or offer enhanced education about the dangers of poor driving behaviors. Also, safe drivers know what to look for as they take on the open road.
In second place, Louisiana reflects poor statistics regarding distracted and drowsy drivers. Possibly, these statistics stem from more activity on cellphones compared to other areas of the nation, suggests PBS. Because people spend a lot of commuting time in their vehicles, they'll naturally perform other tasks. Speaking on the phone is a major distraction, for example.
Additionally, these studies suggest that state laws play a part in road behavior. Generally, the South doesn't have very strong laws regarding cellphone use or texting. As a result, drivers use their phones more often than others in states with strict laws.
Similarly, Kansas comes in third with distracted and drowsy drivers, too. Also, the state reports high, fatality numbers when disobeying traffic lights or signage. Some experts speculate that this state's statistics might originate from long, monotonous drives across the plains. With scenery and topography that doesn't change for many miles, drivers can become sleepy during average commutes. To combat drowsiness, they might use their cellphones, become distracted and create accidents.
In 2016, Kansas prioritized speeding enforcement among law officers, which brought fatalities down. Hypothetically, cracking down on distracted driving might have the same effect. Across the state, however, there may be too many roads and highways to cover to make an effective difference in overall statistics.
Next, Oklahoma has a high rate of drunk and distracted drivers along with others failing to obey the road rules. Because this state has a similar layout to Kansas, long drives across rural areas can contribute to drowsy conditions. In addition, experts point out that these rural roads often have high speed limits coupled with cramped, two-lane roads. Any deviation from the route, and drivers might find themselves in an accident. Accidents also frequently occur in the state’s largest city, Oklahoma City saw 1,700 incidents that resulted in 99 fatalities in 2021.
Lastly, Kentucky ranks fifth as the worst state for drivers. Here, wrong-way accidents are a big concern along with drowsy and distracted driving. The Courier Journal also points out that Kentucky residents were also ranked as poor drivers in the rain. Remarkably, the Forbes ranking doesn't include weather factors, which can certainly explain a lot of accidents in the South. With nearly every weather condition you can imagine, including rain, snow, ice, wind and even tornadoes, Kentucky drivers have plenty of challenges during the commute.
Ideally, staying off the cellphone and pulling over when drowsy are two guidelines that all drivers should abide by. As a result, Kentucky may not be in the top 5 worst states next year.
Annual statistics will change as drivers alter their behavior and new laws go into effect. Indeed, safety technology within cars will also make a difference in time. In the end, the worst states for drivers can improve with this reality known to the local population.