News & Politics

DC Is Home to America’s Best Drivers. Wait, What?

A new study ranked the worst drivers by state, and Washington came in last.

The corner of 14th and T streets. Photograph by Evy Mages .

It’s official: when it comes to the best drivers, DC is No. 1. That’s according to a new study from Forbes Advisor, which compared driving data from fatal car accidents to determine the states with the worst drivers. The District came in last.

Forbes compared all 50 states and DC across six categories. Five of the six categories looked at number of fatal car accidents per 100,000 licensed drivers–specifically, those caused by distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, driving the wrong way on a one-way or on the wrong side of the road, and failing to obey traffic signs, signals, or a traffic officer. The sixth category looked at number of drivers who looked at a phone per mile, relative to the nationwide average.

Across those categories, DC had the lowest total score in the nation, with 3.17 drunk driving accidents, 0.47 distracted driving accidents, 0.19 drowsy driving accidents, and 0.19 driving the wrong way accidents per 100,000 licensed drivers.

Here are the study’s top 10 best states:

  1. DC

  2. Vermont

  3. Minnesota

  4. Massachusetts

  5. Connecticut

  6. New Hampshire

  7. New York

  8. Rhode Island

  9. Ohio

  10. California


Meanwhile, Maryland drivers (No. 40) were ranked as better than Virginia drivers (No. 28, tied with North Dakota). Maryland had 7.43 drunk driving accidents, 0.89 distracted driving accidents, 0.23 drowsy driving crashes, and 0.41 crashes involving a driver going the wrong way per 100,000 licensed drivers.

Virginia had 9.1 drunk driving accidents, 1.47 distracted driving accidents, 0.7 drowsy driving accidents, and 0.37 driving the wrong way accidents per 100,000 drivers.

According to the study, Texas has the worst drivers in America, with 17.24 drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers.

Here are the study’s top 10 worst states:

  1. Texas

  2. Louisiana

  3. Kansas

  4. Oklahoma

  5. Kentucky

  6. New Mexico

  7. Wyoming

  8. Arizona

  9. Montana

  10. South Carolina

Katie Kenny
Editorial Fellow