Drivers in the Golden State don’t seem to follow the golden rule when they’re on the road, according to a new study from Bankrate, in which California earned the top spot for rudest drivers on the nation’s roadways.
The findings on a high level of rudeness mirror California’s rankings in previous studies as one of the worst states for bad drivers. In fact, one 2019 study determined that drivers in Sacramento were the actual worst drivers in the nation. These findings support the premise that reckless and inconsiderate driving combined with a higher-than-average alcohol involvement can lead to rude driving.
To determine its picks for states with the most or fewest rude drivers Bankrate examined several previous studies and crunched the data. These studies included rankings of the rudest drivers, rankings for the rudest states, and the states with the worst drivers.
In general, states with larger cities and popular tourist destinations, seem to have more rude drivers, according to the study authors.
Other states that ranked among Bankrate’s top five for rudest drivers include Nevada, which came in second, followed by Florida, Oregon and New Mexico.
Nevada offers a perfect storm for bad driving. It has a rapidly changing population that includes many new arrivals who may be unfamiliar with the state’s roadways. Add to this a heavy tourist industry and, at least in some sections of the state, a party atmosphere with heavy drinking. It all adds up to high incidences of poor, reckless and rude driving.
Ranking third in the study, the Sunshine State can be pretty dark when it comes to driving. The authors point out that Florida ranks second in the country for highest average auto insurance premiums — theorizing that perhaps the state might not provide the most hospitable environment for drivers.
While Oregon may be stereotyped as a mellow kind of place, it took fourth place on Bankrate’s list of states with the rudest drivers. The state appeared in the top half of rankings of one of the studies Bankrate examined for rudest drivers, and also appeared in the top half of the rankings for rudest states and both studies for worst drivers.
Finally, New Mexico earned fifth place. While the state did not do as badly in the studies Bankrate examined for rude drivers, it did rank as the 21st rudest state, and in the top 20 for both of the worst driver studies Bankrate reviewed.
On the upside, the authors note that states considered somewhat isolated and tranquil seem to have fewer rude drivers. Vermont captured first place for the least rude drivers on Bankrate’s list followed by Nebraska, Maine, Minnesota and Delaware.