Does Emily Post Need to Write a Book on Driving? Rudest Drivers Part II

Last week the Victor crew took a look at some pretty rude driving habits from all over the United States. This week we get to the top for states for rudest drivers and some of their bad manners on the road.

Number 4 Wyoming

The Cowboy State, Wyoming, comes in at number four. Morbid, but ironic Wyoming ranks number two for roadway fatalities involving pickup trucks and SUVs – in fact 45% of roadway fatalities in the Cowboy State involve such a vehicle. According to one study Wyoming had the second highest fatality rate per 100,000 people in 2012 second only to North Dakota.

Only a few years ago the Wyoming Tribune Eagle Men’s Health magazine rated Cheyenne drivers at an “F” for driving quality. The newspaper cited “running red lights, disregarding stop signs, merging without signaling and speeding are some common traffic problems that lead to auto accidents.”

Number 3 New York

New York and specifically New York city’s high ranking for low standards seems to be directly related to foul language, crude gestures and a general disregard for other drivers. One New York woman reported that an incident in which another driver was screaming at her to get her vehicle off the road—the third in a four car pile up – the woman was quoted as saying she would have been happy to oblige if she weren’t headed to the hospital in an ambulance.

A Staten Island resident reports not only rude drivers, but rude pedestrians. In one incident he witnessed a woman pushing a baby stroller across an intersection against the traffic signal. She mustered up some choice words to make a sailor blush for the driver because as he states, “…because I interrupted her texting and emailing.”

Number 2 District of Columbia

In our nation’s capital it seems every one is in a huge hurry. One study found that Washington D.C. has more speeding tickets per capita than anyone other state in the union. A second report noted that D.C. ranked 198 out of 200 in a ranking of cities for America’s best drivers. Among these demerits, D.C. drivers are also known for tailgating, falling to signal before changing lanes and using their high beams because their regular headlights are burnt out.

Number 1 Idaho

Most of us probably wouldn’t have bet on Idaho as having the nation’s rudest drivers—however an interesting combination of landscape and at-odds driving speeds lead to a lot of road rage in the state. Many Idaho drivers choose to putz along well under the speed limit – something reminiscent of a “Sunday drive” from an old black and white movie – while others, stuck behind them, begin to simmer in their own sauce so to speak.

One Idaho driver points out that the state’s many mountainous roadways can cause many drivers new to the area to be cautious and drive slower, which is good practice. But he also notes that many long time residents simply choose to drive well under the speed limit any road, at any time in any weather.

Joe Victor

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