A national survey comparing drivers from all 50 states ranked Illinois drivers number 22, in terms of safety. The survey used several different factors, including car accident fatalities per 100 million miles driven, to identify which drivers were the worst. Louisiana drivers ranked as the least safe in the country while the safest drivers were found in Vermont. Illinois finished with the same composite safety score as drivers from New York and Wisconsin.
The survey was conducted by CarInsuranceComparison.com. In addition to the number of fatalities per mile driven, it used data concerning traffic tickets for speeding, careless driving, failure to obey traffic signals and failure to obey seat belt laws. It also used the number of DUI infractions issued in each state to create a picture of overall safety of motorists. The data was gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the National Motorists Association.
Illinois drivers suffered fewer fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles travelled than the majority of states. That skill at avoiding fatal car crashes was offset by high numbers of drunk driving infractions and speeding tickets. Illinois finished in the middle of the pack in terms of careless driving infractions and failure to obey traffic signals or seat belt laws.
Missouri drivers finished worst among neighboring states, ranking as the 7th worst drivers in the nation. Iowa finished the best with only 7 states testing better in terms of driver safety.
Source: USA Today, "Which state has the worst drivers," by Larry Copeland, 16 December 2013