15. Pennsylvania

highway near Chester, Pennsylvania

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 60
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 56
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 92.4%

The Keystone State ranks 15th on MoneyGeek’s list of the worst states because it has one of the worst rates of speeding-related fatality rates in the nation (No. 10) and is in the top 20 states for fatalities without a safety restraint.

14. Alabama

highway near Mobile, Alabama

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 60
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 56
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 81.6%

Alabama drivers are on the list due to all-around low performance. Notably, the state has the nation's seventh-highest rate of fatalities without a safety restraint and one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the nation.

13. Louisiana

traffic in French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 62
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 46
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 87%

Louisiana drivers may be on top of being adequately insured, but the state’s low ranking in safe habits and choices bumps them down the list. It doesn’t work in Louisiana’s favor that the state has the sixth-highest DUI rates.

12. Colorado

Driving in a snowstorm near Denver, Colorado

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 58
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 54
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 86.7%

Colorado has one of the lower rates of seatbelt usage at 78%, which puts it near the bottom of MoneyGeek’s list of worst states for drivers making smart choices behind the wheel.

11. Texas

aerial view of busy highway during the day in Dallas, Texas

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 48
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 66
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 85.9%

Texas's high DUI rank, combined with its top ranking in distracted driving, lands it on the list of states with the worst drivers. Texas ranks seventh in distracted driving and fourth in DUIs, which results in its low safe-choice score.

10. Missouri

city traffic in Kansas City, Missouri

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 60
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 45
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 86%

According to the numbers, Missouri drivers tend to go fast without wearing their seatbelts. The state ranks seventh for the most speeding-related fatalities and eighth for the most unrestrained fatalities in the nation, putting them in the top 10 of the states with the worst drivers.

9. Arizona

overview of busy highway in Arizona

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 50
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 58
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 88%

Arizona falls in the middle of most rankings, but the fact that it has the seventh-highest DUI fatality rate in the nation ranks the state No. 9 on MoneyGeek’s list.

8. Arkansas

road with light traffic in suburban Arkansas

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 63
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 36
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 83.4%

With the second-worst safety belt usage and one of the nation's worst unrestrained fatality rates (No. 9), Arkansas finds itself at No. 8 on the list of states with the worst drivers. The Grand Canyon State also makes the list of the top-20 states for DUIs.

7. Mississippi

Side of the road entering Mississippi with a sign welcoming visitors to the state

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 75
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 19
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 76.3%

Mississippi's decent safety choices can’t cover for its poor safety habits that land it at No. 7 on MoneyGeek’s list. That state comes in at No. 1 for the nation’s highest unrestrained fatality rates and the third-worst state for safety belt usage in the nation.

6. New Hampshire

a winding road in rural New Hampshire with fall foliage

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 51
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 30
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 90.1%

Drivers in the Granite State are well insured but still fall low on the list for several other factors. New Hampshire ranks No. 6 on the list because it has one of the worst ranks for speeding-related fatalities (No. 4) and is in the top 10 for unrestrained-related fatalities.

5. New Mexico

a road entering the Valley of Fire in New Mexico with red rock mountains visible

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 50
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 45
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 79.2%

While New Mexico’s overall safe choice and safe habit score fall in the middle of the rankings, the state makes the top five for worst drivers in the nation for its No. 1 ranking in distracted driving. New Mexico has high speeding and DUI fatality rates, both of which are among the 10 worst rates in the nation.

4. South Dakota

motorcycle riders on a road in South Dakota heading toward Mount Rushmore

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 40
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 23
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 92.3%

South Dakota ranks No. 4 on MoneyGeek’s list of states with the worst drivers because it has the worst DUI-arrest ranking in the nation. This correlates with its DUI fatality rate, which puts it among the worst five states for drivers.

3. Alaska

road in Alaska heading towards mountains covered in snow with overcast sky

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 14
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 61
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 84.6%

The state of Alaska sits consistently at the second-worst state for all categories related to safe habits behind the wheel. Because of its DUI fatalities and arrests and speeding fatalities, Alaska finds itself at No. 3 on the overall list of states with the worst drivers.

2. South Carolina

a winding road in South Carolina with fall foliage on the trees and a rock wall to the right

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 16
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 39
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 90.6%

The Palmetto State is No. 2 on MoneyGeek’s list of the worst states for drivers because it has the worst rate of speed-related fatalities in the nation and is among the top 10 states for fatalities without a safety restraint, DUIs and distracted driving.

1. Montana

a highway in Montana with snowy mountains in the background

  • Safe Choice Score (out of 100): 22
  • Safe Habit Score (out of 100): 27
  • Percentage of Drivers Insured: 90.1%

Montana tops the list of the states with the worst drivers because it has the nation's highest DUI fatality rate and is in the top five worst states for fatalities without a safety belt and speeding fatalities.

Sara East is a writer for MoneyGeek and content marketing professional based in Reno, NV. Sara has been a published writer for more than 10 years having written articles about finance, business, entrepreneurship, education, travel, real estate, insurance, healthy living, social media, travel and study abroad.

About the Author

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