Ohio tops list of most dangerous states to drive; Michigan is safest

Dec. 18, 2020
Policy holder data from insurance comparison site Insurify found Ohio to have the most dangerous drivers, while Michigan had the safest overall.

Based on metrics gathered from non-commercial driver car insurance application data, Ohio was named the most dangerous state in which to drive, according to Insurify, an insurance comparison website. The Buckeye State earned the infamous honor last year as well.

The analysis was collected from an auto insurance database holding the application records of 2.5 million drivers across the nation and separately measured the amount of drivers with: a speeding ticket, at fault accident, and DUI violation. Insurify also tabulated how many drivers sampled held one or more of these driving incidents on their application.

At the time of data analysis, 16.10% of Ohio drivers had one or more speeding tickets on their record, 13.37% had at least one at-fault accident, and 2.72% had one or more DUI violations. There were 30.35% who at least one of these on their records.

Wisconsin was second highest, with 30.35% with at least one incident. Curiously, the state between the top two offenders, Michigan, was found to be the safest state. It had nearly a third fewer at-fault accidents than Ohio with 5.51% (and was best in the country). Overall, Michigan nearly halved Ohio’s amount of drivers with at one of these driving violations (16.44%).

The intent of the report is to alert drivers this holiday season as to what states they should be more cautious in.

Drivers could use this data to make sure that they're planning their routes through the states to be a little shorter,” suggested Tanveen Vohra, an insurance expert with Insurify. “Truckers and fleets with long routes and driving hours can also plan to drive through the states when they're well rested at the beginning of their journey rather than towards middle or the end.”

There are expected to be fewer drivers on the road at the close of 2020. Insurify projected 92 to 100 million drivers out over the Christmas holiday this year, versus 104.8 million last year.

A Samsara report found a link between fewer drivers and higher incidents of speeding, which means drivers of commercial and passenger vehicles all need to be more careful.

The National Safety Council also recently reported that fatalities rose 20% in the first half of 2020 versus January through June 2019, even though the number of miles driven dropped 17%.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the number of the state’s traffic fatalities increased 6% year over year (as of Dec. 18) to 1,181. The OHP did report traffic fatalities over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday dropped 50%, from 18 in 2019 to 9 in 2020.

The NSC found 5% to be the national average increase of traffic fatalities through September 2020, with 30,390 killed in the years first nine months.

That number is likely to increase as the mix of winter weather, fatigue from interstate travel and celebratory drinking create a more dangerous driving environment.

Distractions such as texting can also lead to deadly consequences. For parents of new drivers who also may have just received a new smart phone, here is a helpful statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for at least five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”

“A safe travel season could help instill much-needed hope as we start a new year and close an unrelenting one,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO. “We can all do our part by buckling up, driving sober, slowing down, avoiding distractions and looking out for one another.”

About the Author

John Hitch | Editor

John Hitch, based out of Cleveland, Ohio, is the editor of Fleet Maintenance, a B2B magazine that addresses the service needs for all commercial vehicle makes and models (Classes 1-8), ranging from shop management strategies to the latest tools to enhance uptime.

He previously wrote about equipment and fleet operations and management for FleetOwner, and prior to that, manufacturing and advanced technology for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest. He is an award-winning journalist and former sonar technician aboard a nuclear-powered submarine.

For tips, questions or comments, email [email protected].

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