… a state where drivers probably have one too many beers before sitting behind the wheel, or fail to obey traffic signs and signals, or don’t pay attention to pedestrians, or are careless and speed drive when they shouldn’t. Or most likely drivers in this state tend to score badly on all of these components. And they certainly do in Montana and South Carolina – the two states that hold the award for the worst drivers in America.
The conclusion was made by Car Insurance Comparison, a web site that provides comparison of rates and coverage among various car insurance companies, which examines the results of all states in the country. By combining driving statistics from various reliable sources, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the website forms a total score for each state based on which the comparison is drawn.
And since April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we decided to share a few thoughts!
South Carolina scored the lowest, thus the worst score of all states on the category for Fatalities Rate. However, Montana is right by its side. According to the U.S. Census data for 2009, Montana’s rate of fatalities is more than double the rates of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York or New Jersey!
Montana also remains at the top position for Drunk Driving. So, if you are planning on visiting the Montana Folk Festival in July, you’d better have your drinks after you get there! Are drivers there irresponsible or too happy when they get too much to drink? We don’t know. But you’d better keep an eye out while crossing those roads.
To some, however, the #1 ranking for Drunk Driving doesn’t come as a surprise. As locals say, Montana has built itself a reputation as a place where “you could crack open a beer while driving down the interstate,” but that should never be an excuse or an acceptable action. Alcohol is the reason for about one-third (31%) of the total fatalities nationwide. Throughout 2013, thirty-one states recorded declines in the number of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, with Ohio scoring the largest decrease, with 118 fewer lives lost in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in 2013.
Even though Montana and South Carolina have the overall worst drivers in the nation, we can’t ignore the fact that they have improved their positions in some of the other categories in the survey. Montana ranks #44 in Careless Driving which places it among the top 10 states where drivers pay attention to surrounding environment, pedestrians and cyclists. South Carolina has improved its position in Failure to Obey, placing 8 levels higher than the previous year’s survey, now ranking at #31. So, we can bravely say that even though they have the worst drivers in the nation, Montana and South Carolina are slowly but steadily improving their driving skills and might be soon ready to give the first place to another state.
After all, you can’t be completely safe wherever you are because driving is a two-sided process. Even if you haven’t had anything to drink, while you are suppose to go behind the wheel, someone who had had plenty, might decide to jump right in front of your vehicle in the last minute! Life is full of chances. But also full of responsibilities. So, we’d better be careful and help our states move up towards the top positions for safest places to drive, rather than end up at the bottom.
In case you, dear reader, are from Montana or South Carolina, you might want to know what else makes you such bad drivers. Even if you are from Minnesota, the state with the best overall score in the survey, you might want to consider some of these factors to improve your driving skills.
- If you are driving the same route home every day, you are more likely to make mistakes on the road. Try to make changes to your route in order to keep your brain engaged and alert. It will help you notice more quickly any sudden changes in the behavior of others on and off the road.
- Researchers say that the images and words on billboards on the highway can affect your driving and particularly your speed. As much as you want to see that new ad for Wonderbra, try to stay focused, please!
- Music that is too familiar may distract you from the traffic signs. Try choosing songs with few words or instrumental music, like jazz, instead of Taylor Swift’s next big hit. Your brain will be less distracted when there are no lyrics to remember.
- Don’t drink and drive!
Sometimes, however, your driving skills might be solely in the hands of your fate… and your zodiac sign! InsuranceHotline.com, a Toronto-based company that provides insurance rates, did a survey on the relation between zodiac signs and driving patterns. The balance that the Libras are supposed to embody is apparently not present on the road because the Libra turned out to be the worst driver from all 12 signs! So whether you are in Montana and South Carolina or anywhere else, do not let any Libra get behind the wheel! It’s for your own safety!
Please, do share your experience and suggestions when it comes to safety on the road. We would love to hear your opinion. Thanks!