Best Drivers in the U.S. by State [2022 Study]

Here are the top seven states with the best drivers based on fatal accident rates, high-speed expressway fatalities, and percentage of uninsured drivers.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 16, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • Massachusetts and New Jersey are the states with the most insured drivers
  • Utah had the lowest percentage of fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers in the U.S.
  • Safe drivers in any state can earn discounts on their auto insurance rate

What makes a bad driver? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), the most common bad drivers speed, drive recklessly, and fail to maintain their lane or yield to other drivers and pedestrians. They’re also more likely to drive without car insurance.

On the other hand, the states with the best drivers will have lower traffic fatality rates and fewer uninsured motorists on the road. This article covers the top states with the best drivers in the country. 

The best drivers in the U.S. live in:

  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire

We used resources from the NHTSA and Insurance Information Institute (III) to find the best drivers by state. We also examined the number of uninsured drivers and accident fatalities per population size and miles driven to determine the states with the best drivers. 

Auto insurance companies reward safe drivers with reduced rates and discounts. You’ll likely pay less for car insurance if you live in the top seven states discussed below.

Best Drivers in the U.S. by State

The states with the cheapest auto insurance rates will have fewer traffic fatalities than the national average.

On average, 11 people get killed in an auto accident for every 100,000 people in the country. Hawaii has the least fatal traffic accidents on this list, but Massachusetts has the fewest auto accident fatalities per capita in the U.S.

StateNumber of Fatal Traffic Deaths per YearNumber of Deaths per 100,000 PeopleNumber of Deaths per 100 Million Vehicle Miles DrivenNumber of Fatal Accidents on an ExpresswayPercentage of Uninsured Drivers
Connecticut2958.2.99206.3%
Hawaii855.9.9709.3%
Massachusetts3344.9.63123.5%
Minnesota3946.9.7579.9%
New Hampshire1047.5.8736.1%
New Jersey5846.3.88493.1%
Utah2768.4.9106.5%
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Massachusetts and New Jersey have the lowest rate of uninsured drivers by state. However, New Jersey has the highest number of high-speed fatalities on this list, possibly due to the state’s long commute times. New Jersey still ranks as one of the states with the best drivers based on its low number of fatal accidents per 100,000 people and 100 million miles.

Hawaii and Minnesota have the highest rate of uninsured drivers, but it’s still much less than the national average of 12.6%.

What happens after an auto accident without insurance? If you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, you’ll likely pay for your repairs and medical bills out of pocket. You could You’ll also see your auto insurance rates increase after an accident if you don’t carry uninsured motorist protection.

For this reason, it’s important to know the number of uninsured drivers in your state to know what type of auto insurance policy to carry.

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Driving Trends in the States With the Best Drivers

These seven states are home to the safest drivers due to the low number of fatal auto accidents and uninsured drivers. So how do these states compare to the drunk driving rates, multi-vehicle accidents, and seat belt usage across the country?

We’ll take a closer look at the driving trends in the states with the best drivers to determine which state has the safest drivers.

Drunk Driving in the States With the Best Drivers

According to the NHTSA, drunk drivers were responsible for 19% of fatal auto accidents across the country in 2019. Here are how the states with the best drivers compare:

  • Connecticut: 27%
  • Hawaii: 24%
  • Massachusetts: 24%
  • Minnesota: 16%
  • New Hampshire: 26%
  • New Jersey: 16%
  • Utah: 11%

Utah has the lowest rate of fatalities caused by drunk drivers in the country. Both Minnesota and New Jersey are below the national average, but an impaired driver causes over a quarter of the fatal accidents in the other states. 

In fact, Connecticut is the third-highest state for drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents in the U.S. However, it still has fewer traffic-related deaths per capita than most states.

Multi-Vehicle Accidents in the States With the Best Drivers

Almost half — 45% — of fatal accidents in the U.S. involved two or more vehicles. 

Single-vehicle accidents are less of a threat to other drivers on the road, so here is the percentage of multi-vehicle accidents in the states with the best drivers:

  • Connecticut: 43%
  • Hawaii: 39%
  • Massachusetts: 44%
  • Minnesota: 43%
  • New Hampshire: 41%
  • New Jersey: 42%
  • Utah: 46%

Only Utah had more multi-vehicle accidents than the national average, but it still has fewer fatal accidents than most states and zero high-speed accidents on freeways.

Rate of Seat Belt Use in the States With the Best Drivers

Drivers don’t wear seat belts in nearly half — 42.6% — of fatal car accidents across the country. Here is the percentage of accidents per state where a driver didn’t use a seat belt:

  • Connecticut: 41.6%
  • Hawaii: 34.8%
  • Massachusetts: 48.5%
  • Minnesota: 31.1%
  • New Hampshire: 62.3%
  • New Jersey: 41.5%
  • Utah: 32.2%

All states on our list are below the national average except Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Drivers in New Hampshire are 20% more likely not to wear a seat belt and be involved in a fatal car accident. 

How Your Location Affects Auto Insurance Rates

If you live in one of the states with the best drivers, you may have cheaper auto insurance rates. For example, drivers in states with fewer traffic fatalities and more insured drivers are less likely to file a claim. Insurance companies often offer cheaper auto insurance rates for this reduced risk.

However, your coverage level also impacts how much you pay for car insurance. You must carry the minimum car insurance required in your state. Still, you can also add collision and comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle and passengers in case of an accident.

Use this table to compare auto insurance rates for each level of coverage by state:

Average Annual Liability and Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates by State

StatesAverage Annual
Liability Auto Insurance Rates
Average Annual Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates
Alabama$394.21$868.48
Alaska$539.68$1,027.75
Arizona$508.76$972.85
Arkansas$394.13$906.34
California$489.66$986.75
Colorado$520.04$981.64
Connecticut$650.94$1,151.07
Delaware$799.30$1,240.57
District of Columbia$628.82$1,330.73
Florida$857.64$1,257.13
Georgia$557.38$1,048.40
Hawaii$458.54$873.28
Idaho$344.29$679.89
Illinois$446.72$884.56
Indiana$382.68$755.03
Iowa$299.18$702.46
Kansas$358.24$862.93
Kentucky$529.21$938.51
Louisiana$775.83$1,405.36
Maine$338.87$703.82
Maryland$609.74$1,116.45
Massachusetts$606.04$1,129.29
Michigan$795.32$1,364
Minnesota$456.82$875.49
Mississippi$460.50$994.05
Missouri$415.88$872.43
Montana$386.29$863.52
Nebraska$364.64$831.02
Nevada$681.56$1,103.05
New Hampshire$400.56$818.75
New Jersey$869.57$1,382.79
New Mexico$488.03$937.59
New York$804.51$1,360.66
North Carolina$359.42$789.09
North Dakota$298.18$773.30
Ohio$397.11$788.56
Oklahoma$461.01$1,005.32
Oregon$584.13$904.83
Pennsylvania$499.06$970.51
Rhode Island$759.80$1,303.50
South Carolina$527.09$973.10
South Dakota$300.22$766.91
Tennessee$413.91$871.43
Texas$528.75$1,109.66
Utah$497.53$872.93
Vermont$343.12$764.02
Virginia$425.61$842.67
Washington$596.67$968.80
West Virginia$491.83$1,025.78
Wisconsin$374.37$737.18
Wyoming$321.04$847.44
National Average$538.73$1,009.38
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These rates are averages, and individual factors such as your age, gender, and driving record will affect your auto insurance quotes. To find the cheapest car insurance in your state, shop around with at least three local companies and compare quotes to see which offers you the most affordable rates.

Do safe drivers pay less for auto insurance?

Your driving record has the most significant impact on your auto insurance quotes. Bad driving record auto insurance is always going to be more expensive. This table shows how average auto insurance rates vary with each driving offense:

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record

Driving CitationAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rate
Clean record$3,328.16
With 1 speeding violation$3,617.80
With 1 accident$4,303.39
With 1 DUI$4,464
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Safe drivers with clean records are eligible for reduced rates and auto insurance discounts from the biggest insurers:

auto insurance discounts from top companies

CompanyGood Driver Discount Details
Nationwide20% - 35% with no violations for three years or more
ProgressiveUp to 31% with no accidents or tickets in last three years
Safe Auto10% discount for those who are six months claim free
Safeco20% with no at-fault accidents, DUIs, or traffic violations for two years or more
State FarmUp to 15% with no claims or accidents for three years or more
Travelers10% - 23% for no accidents or violations for three to five years
USAA4% - 12% depending on driving record and must be accident free for five years
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If you live in one of the seven states with the best drivers, you likely qualify for these and more safe driving discounts. Shop around with multiple companies and compare quotes and discounts before buying to find the best auto insurance rates in your state.

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What You Need to Know About the Best Drivers in the U.S. by State

The best drivers in the U.S. follow the posted speed limit, yield to other drivers on the road, and carry at least the minimum auto insurance required in their state. 

Overall, the states with the best drivers are:

  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Utah

The top state with the best drivers in the U.S. is Massachusetts, with the lowest rate of traffic fatalities and uninsured drivers in the country. The Northeast has the best drivers, with Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey appearing in the top 10 of these lists year after year.

If you live in a state with fewer traffic fatalities and more insured drivers on the road, you likely pay less for auto insurance. Insurance companies reward safe drivers with discounts and reduced rates for remaining accident-free. 

Compare auto insurance quotes from multiple companies to find one that rewards you with the best rates for your driving record.

Methodology for Finding the Best Drivers in the U.S.

To find the top safest drivers by state, we looked at the 2019 NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System data for the number of traffic fatalities per state per capita. Next, we considered how many auto deaths occurred per 100,000 persons to find an accurate representation based on the state’s population size. 

We compared this number to the national average of 11 per 100,000 people and only considered states with less than 10 deaths per 100,000.

Speeding is the number one cause of auto accidents in the United States, and we considered how many auto deaths occurred on a freeway or expressway, where posted speed limits are often 55 mph or higher.

Since accidents are more likely to occur the longer you’re on the road, we also examined how many auto deaths occurred per 100 million vehicle miles driven. Then we compared this to the national average of 1.11. States with less than one death per 100 million miles are considered home to the safest drivers.

Finally, we included uninsured drivers because driving without insurance is illegal in 48 states. Responsible drivers will carry at least the minimum liability coverage required in their home state to protect others on the road.

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