Do We Need Ms. Manners to Visit Driver’s Ed?

Unfortunately the “rude driver” has become a parody onto itself in the United States – the image of the road raging whoever cutting people off in traffic; laying on the horn if the person in front of them doesn’t leap of the line the moment the light turns green; blasting through a traffic signal that turned red when they were fifty feet back from it – all these have become a daily reality of the commute. Lampooned by television and movies and the fodder of stand up comedians, the rude driver can seemingly be found in every state in the Union. Insure.com dared to do a study, questioning about two thousand Americans, to rank the states by rudest drivers. Ohio came in at 24th, right in the middle, with only fairly rude drivers.

I think you’ll be surprised and maybe even giggle about the surprising top ten and some tidbits about what earned these states their rude, but prestigious rankings.

Number 10 Utah
According to a Utah resident interviewed by Insure.com, the whole state of Utah is a giant raceway where people often drive way over the speed (15 MPH or more!) and that drivers don’t use their turn signals because “they wouldn’t want anyone to know their next move”. Yield signs translate to mean: don’t bother to stop and look. And drivers treat parking lot lanes like pacing laps at a stock car race.

Number 9 Nevada
One interviewee of the survey from Nevada claims that Nevada and specifically Las Vegas she sees accidents almost every time she is on the road. The favorite rude driving practice and a dangerous one is when there is a left turn signal turning red or a red light in general many vehicles barrel through the light, having long turned red.

Number 8 New Jersey
New Jersey is apparently the state where drivers like to turn out onto roads with only just enough space not to cause a major accident. A Jersey resident also describes the “Jersey Slide” where drivers like to “slide” across two to three freeway lanes with a single use of their turn signal (if they use one at all).

Tied for Number 6 Delaware and Vermont
In Delaware drivers love to tailgate people driving the speed limit so closely the victim cannot decide the make of the car because the hood emblem is hidden somewhere under their bumper! Also, Delaware drivers treat neighborhood roads like a Formula 1 track—all while texting and talking on cellphones.

Vermont boasts the funniest story, but the most tragic statistic. Apparently the state installed an unmanned “Your Speed Is” digital sign in a particularly bad area to ward off Speed Demons. Before the $3,200 sign could even be insured, it was stolen! Vermont may also be the most dangerous state to drive in – citing another study, we are told the rate of fatality increases per distance driven more than any other state!

Number 5 Massachusetts
Massachusetts, frankly, sounds like a terrible place to drive – interviewees claim these drivers are guilty of all our favorites: extreme tail gating, road rage, driving while distracted by food, cell phones, make-up. A motorcyclist even claimed he saw a man smoking a cigar and trying to use an iPad while driving!

Next week we will look at the top finalists for the rudest drivers in the United States.

Joe Victor