(NEXSTAR) – Millions of Americans are expected to hit the road during the July Fourth weekend, according to AAA. Drivers in some states may want to take extra precautions, a new study has found.
Reviewing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the FBI, and the Insurance Research Council, as well as Google Search trends, SmartAsset ranked each state based on how irresponsible its drivers are.
States were ranked using three metrics: the percentage of uninsured drivers, the number of driving under the influence arrests per 1,000 drivers, and the number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven. As a control for the number of drivers, SmartAsset used how often residents were searching terms like “traffic ticket” or “speeding ticket” on Google over the last year.
With the largest rate of uninsured drivers at nearly 30% and the second-most fatalities, Mississippi topped out the list. Four states within the southeastern U.S. ranked among the top five in SmartAsset’s analysis – Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Arkansas. Also landing in the top five was California.
Here are the 10 states with the most irresponsible drivers:
- South Carolina
- Colorado and Florida (Tie)
Oregon and Washington came in tied, ranked at 22nd on the list. Oregon has 3.38 DUIs per 100 drivers and 1.57 deaths per 100 million miles driven. Washington came in with 3.81 DUIs and 1.04 deaths. Washington has, roughly, twice the percentage of uninsured drivers as Oregon, at 21.7%.
Alternatively, states primarily in New England were found to have the fewest irresponsible drivers. Massachusetts has the least, according to SmartAsset, followed by Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Nebraska.
These 10 states were found to have the fewest irresponsible drivers:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
South Carolina had the highest fatalities per 100 million miles driven at 1.97, based on data from 2020. Close behind was Mississippi at 1.9. Only eight states had fewer than one fatality with Massachusetts reporting the fewest at 0.63.
According to SmartAsset's analysis, South Dakota reported the most DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers in 2020. Overall, South Dakota ranked 23rd on the list. Pennsylvania, the state with the second-fewest irresponsible drivers, had the fewest DUI arrests at 0.02 per 1,000 drivers. Close behind was Illinois at 0.03.
While Mississippi has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the U.S., New Jersey was found to have the lowest at just over 3%. Massachusetts was a close second at 3.5%. Only 19 states have uninsured driver rates at or below 10%, SmartAsset found.