Better Buckle Up! 10 Worst State for Drivers in U.S.

Louisiana is famous for celebrating Mardi Gras every spring, but it’s also home to worst drivers in the U.S.

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Thanks for residents’ failure to buckle up, driving carelessly and racking up tickets, says drivers in the Pelican State are the worst in the country, coming in the number one- spot for those three offenses. ranked the 10 worst states for drivers, pulling statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Motorists Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The five categories for each state’s score are ranked by fatalities rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, the failure to obey traffic signals and seat belt laws, drunk driving, tickets and careless driving.

Louisiana takes the top spot for the second time in the survey’s history. Rounding out the top five of states with the worst drivers are South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama.

Unfortunately for drivers, living in one of these states often means auto insurance rates will be higher, says Laura Adams, senior analyst at

“Accident rates do translate into higher costs for consumers, simply because insurance companies are looking at these stats on a regular basis, so they can adjust premiums according to risk,” Adams says. “They base these on state, county and even zip code levels. When they see a higher level of claims coming from these areas, they adjust rates so they can collect more in premiums than they do in paying out claims.”

For example, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average car insurance premium in Louisiana is $1,121.46 per year, higher than the national average of $791.22.

But consumers do have some control over what they pay, and being a safe driver can bring significant savings, according to Adams.

“Keep a clean driving record, do not get into accidents that are your fault,” she says. “Another factor is your credit rating. Insurance companies have a credit-based insurance score so they factor that in with the other things they ask about you.”

She adds that simply asking for a discount could yield savings. “If you are a good student, have an affinity with the military, if you are a teacher or doctor—it’s all about speaking up and asking what discounts may apply,” she says. “You need to shop around and be proactive.”