Driving can be stressful, especially if you aren’t familiar with the area and factor in circumstances such as road conditions, construction, traffic, and other driver mishaps. However, stress can lead to danger when other drivers ignore driving rules and disregard safety regulations.
Is your state home to the rudest drivers? Are you guilty of doing some of the rudest actions? Read on to learn more about where your state stacks up, and some of the most common citations.
RUDE DRIVER INSIGHTS
There are a number of offenses that constitute rude driving, including:
- Failure to yield (the right of way, or to a pedestrian)
- Failure to stop (at a stop sign, red light, or school bus)
- Improper backing
- Passing where prohibited
- Street racing
- Fleeing the scene of an accident
On average in the U.S., the share of drivers with “rude” infractions on their record is 29.6 per 1,000 drivers, up from 25.90 in 2020. Some states were new to the top 10 list, while others moved up a few spots, proving drivers became even more mean on the roads in 2021.
TOP STATES WITH THE RUDEST DRIVERS
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 48.5 out of 1,000
Virginia earned the top spot of rudest drivers for the second year in a row, with drivers being rude more than 64% more often than drivers in other states. This is an increase from 41% in 2020, when they also earned the spot of the top rudest state. Tailgating happens about 2.44X the national average, and failure to yield the right of way to other drivers also happens more than 2X as frequently than in other states. Failure to stop happens 32.1% more frequently.
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 47.5 out of 1,000
Up one spot (from #3 to #2), Idaho’s rates of tailgating are nearly 5X the national average, and these drivers are 2.6X more likely to commit a failure to yield to a pedestrian violation. They are also 2.07X more likely to fail to yield the right of way to another driver.
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 45.9 5 out of 1,000
Wyoming, which was ranked #5 in 2020, now has the third-rudest drivers in the nation. This state has the highest rates of hit-and-runs, occurring 3.6X more often than the national average. Failure to yield to a pedestrian also happens 72.90% more often than in other states, plus tailgating (37.8% more often) and failure to yield the right of way (32.1% more often) are also major offenses.
4. New York
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 42.6 out of 1,000
New York didn’t make the list of the top 10 rudest drivers in 2020, but these drivers fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians 6.15X more often than the national average. They also have 47% more drivers receiving a citation for running a red light.
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 41.4 out of 1,000
Most frequent citations: Tailgating, failure to yield the right of way, passing violations
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 41.1 out of 1,000
Most frequent citations: Hit-and-run violations, tailgating, failure to yield
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 40.5 out of 1,000
Most frequent citations: Improper passing, running red lights
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 40.4 out of 1,000
Most frequent citations: Hit-and-runs, failure to stop for a red light, failure to yield the right of way
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 39.1 out of 1,000
Most frequent citations: Failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, tailgating
- Drivers cited for rude behavior: 38.9 out of 1,000
Most frequent citations: Failure to yield the right of way, passing violations, tailgating
STATES WITH THE NICEST DRIVERS
Not all states have rude drivers. In fact, there are three states that rise above the rest with the lowest share of rude drivers. Also known as the nicest driving states, the rate of rude drivers is:
- Kentucky: 9.9 per 1,000 drivers, with significantly lower-than-average rates of failure to yield violations and tailgating.
- Mississippi: 13.3 per 1,000 drivers, with particularly low rates of tailgating and failure to yield violations.
- Vermont: 17 per 1,000 drivers, with failure to stop for a red light and stop sign at much lower rates than the national average, as well as tailgating.
HOW TO AVOID RUDE DRIVERS
Whether you live in a state topping the charts with the rudest drivers, or you simply want to be safer behind the wheel, doing what you can to avoid making another driver angry can help you be a better driver. Here are a few tips:
- Be courteous when driving. Avoid cutting people off, flashing your lights, or doing other actions that could be mistaken for aggression. Also pay attention to your surroundings and move to a slower lane if someone is trying to pass you.
- Don’t tailgate, not only because it’s rude, but also because being too close to someone if they have to stop suddenly could cause an accident.
- Avoid rude gestures, which can only escalate situations.
- Use common sense. For example, don’t block parking spots or streets, avoid double parking, don’t take a spot someone is waiting for, etc.
- Pay attention to the road at all times. Put down your cell phone, set your GPS before starting the trip, and make sure kids or pets are securely situated prior to leaving. Avoiding distractions can ensure you’re keeping others around you safe.
- Be apologetic if you make a mistake. Sending a quick wave or smile to the other driver can go a long way.