Where NJ driving skill ranks, who’s better and who’s worse
When you need to slam your brakes to avoid being obliterated by a careening Ram doing the Jersey slide to make their exit, it’s very hard to imagine our state’s drivers being any worse. But it turns out, according to some numbers you may or may not believe, New Jersey drivers actually rank among the best in the nation. Well in the upper half, anyway.
Now this might have you thinking either this report is wrong or just how god awful are drivers in other states. We’re going to tell you.
Last month Forbes Advisor analyzed six metrics to rank the worst drivers in the country. They looked at drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents, distracted drivers involved in fatal accidents, fatal crashes involving drowsy driving, wrong-way driver fatal collisions, fatal crashes where a driver ignored a sign or signal, and number of drivers looking at a phone per mile.
Turns out New Jersey is 36th. Keep in mind this is a worst list, meaning the bigger your number the safer, better drivers your state has. Now this list includes the nation’s capital so it totals 51. So that’s like saying New Jersey has the 16th safest drivers in the United States with 15 better but 35 states worse.
Do you buy it? And where would you guess the worst drivers in America are if not here?
Then scroll through the list to find out if you’re right. Remember, number 1 means the worst drivers of all. We’ll start with number 51, the safest.
51 — Washington, D.C.
Now I’ve driven here, and for the life of me I don’t know how they scored the best drivers. But somehow they did.
50 — Vermont
Next safest was Vermont. Since my son is attending college there in the fall, I’m glad.
49 — Minnesota
Is that because it’s just too darn cold to go out?
48 — Massachusetts
Here’s where I part ways with this list. I lived there for a short time and I found their drivers to be Massholes.
47 — Connecticut
Didn’t David Letterman live here back when he was constantly getting speeding tickets? ‘Nuff said.
46 — New Hampshire
This one I could believe for good drivers. First of all, just like Vermont, with all that snow you have to learn your car really well. Plus each state has like only four people.
45 — New York
Really? Have you seen New York plates on the roads in New Jersey? Of course, you have. Because they park right in front of you in the left lane!
44 —Rhode Island
8th safest drivers? Since Rhode Island has nothing else going for it I’ll give it to them.
With their Nazi speed enforcement, they’d have to be good.
42 — California
Outrunning wildfires develops driving skills
41 — Washington
I’ll believe it if only because I’m neutral on this state.
40 — Maryland
Hello, the Beltway? Shut the hell up.
39 — Pennsylvania
13th safest? Tell that to the deer.
38 — Utah
Well yeah, God is their co-pilot.
37 — Hawaii
36 — New Jersey
As we all know in New Jersey, YOU belong this high on the list, just nobody ELSE does.
35 — Michigan
Lived there too. I would actually rank them as far better drivers than we have in New Jersey.
34 — Maine
I’ll take their word for it since the only things I know about Maine are Stephen King and rocky beaches.
33 — Nebraska
Is there anything to even hit in Nebraska? Shouldn’t they be ranked safer?
32 — Alaska
“Ice Road Truckers” alone should show they have mad driving skills.
31 — Delaware
I think the number one cause of accidents here is boredom.
30 — South Dakota
28 — North Carolina (tie)
Maybe why they’re approaching the middle of the list and getting near bad driver territory is so many New Jersey transplants live there.
28 — Virginia (tie)
I lived in Virginia two different times and I don’t recall drivers being either great or terrible. I guess being in the middle of the pack as they’re ranked makes sense.
27 — Iowa
Would probably have more accidents if farm trucks weren’t slowing everybody down.
26 — Tennessee
From here on out we just get worse and worse drivers until the total train wrecks at number 1.
25 — Nevada
In the bottom half of drivers in the country.
24 — Wisconsin
Maybe if they took the cheese off their heads they’d have better peripheral vision.
23 — Indiana
Indianapolis 500, yet terrible drivers.
22 — Oregon
They’re so busy being woke, recycling and aligning their chakras they don’t have time to remember things like right-of-way.
21 — West Virginia
To be fair to these bad drivers you do have some pretty tricky mountain roads here.
20 — Georgia
Don’t even get me started on the living hell that is Atlantic traffic.
19 — Colorado
Long, straight roads that can lead to highway hypnosis are big here.
18 — Mississippi
Pretty bad drivers here. The banjo gets in the way of the steering wheel.
17 — Florida
Florida man, 106, drives wrong way on highway with alligator on lap.
16 — Idaho
With a population under 2 million, it’s amazing these bad drivers can find anyone else to crash into.
15 — Illinois
According to this report the 15th worst drivers in the country. The only thing Illinois has going for it is they’re not as bad as the next 14.
14 — North Dakota
Not only awful drivers, imagine having to exchange information after an accident in that awful Fargo accent.
13 — Arkansas
It has Little Rock and Big Bad Drivers.
12 — Missouri
Does this explain why Bill Doyle gets so many tickets?
11 — Alabama
“Sweet Home Alabama” if you can get around the 11th worst drivers in America.
10 — South Carolina
Proudly appearing in the Top 10 of lousy drivers, South Carolina has also been ranked among the worst states to raise a family and let's not even get started about their palmetto bugs.
9 — Montana
You’d be 9th worst driver too if you had to constantly be on the lookout for moose and bison.
8 — Arizona
Sad that a land so beautiful could have drivers so dumb.
7 — Wyoming
With no motorcycle helmet law and with Beartooth Highway, a winding mountain road being deadliest in the state, it’s no wonder they rank 7th worst.
6 — New Mexico
With the roadrunner as their state bird, it’s not a leap to have ACME dynamite and anvils, fake tunnels painted on sides of mountains and the 6th worst drivers in the country.
5 — Kentucky
Factors like 4th highest distracted fatalities and 8th highest drowsy fatalities combine to put Kentucky in the Top 5 of worst drivers. And it can’t be easy holding onto a steering wheel with the colonel’s secret recipe greasing up your fingers.
4 — Oklahoma
Apparently, stop signs and red lights are just a suggestion here. So is not living in a tornado zone.
3 — Kansas
Can’t be easy being the third worst drivers in the nation, but carry on my wayward sons.
2 — Louisiana
Almost the worst drivers anywhere but at least they know how to party.
1 — Texas
Yes, according to the Forbes Advisor report, Texas has the worst drivers in America. Hey, they do everything BIG there!
Now a couple things. If you want to some hard data on each state instead of my snarky comments find the full report here. The other thing, if it’s true that New Jersey has the 16th best driving in the nation, why are our auto insurance premiums so high? Take your time. I’ll wait.
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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