California

One survey called Californians the worst drivers. Why two other studies disagree

Morning rush hour traffic crawls along a freeway in the Los Angeles area on Jan. 12, 2017. While one survey called Californians the nation’s worst drivers, two other studies showed the Golden State in a more favorable light.
Morning rush hour traffic crawls along a freeway in the Los Angeles area on Jan. 12, 2017. While one survey called Californians the nation’s worst drivers, two other studies showed the Golden State in a more favorable light. AP

A survey released in December called California home of the nation’s worst drivers.

Not so fast, two other recent studies say.

The Golden State ranks 47th of the 50 states, according to WalletHub’s research. With an overall score of 48.6, California – which tops Maryland, Washington state and Hawaii – is second to last in “cost of ownership & maintenance” but tops the list in “access to vehicles & maintenance.” Texas is No. 1 with a score of 63.68.

Another study paints California drivers in a more favorable light.

The Golden State is 15th on CarInsuranceComparison.com’s Worst Drivers list that covers the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Careless driving is the main reason Californians were dinged on this study, ranking ninth in that category.

The website called Montana the worst for the third time in four years, while Iowa has the best drivers on the 2017 study.

The survey that called Californians the worst was done by QuoteWizard, which used methodology that included accidents, fatalities and driving under the influence cases. In an added shot to local readers, it said Sacramento had the worst drivers of any U.S. city in an earlier survey.

However, CarInsuranceComparison.com – which uses data solely from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to formulate its ranks – called out QuoteWizard in a 2016 article done on Minnesota drivers, questioning the transparency of its study and the timing of the release.

WalletHub’s research comes from several sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI, NHTSA, American Automobile Association and the Federal Highway Administration.

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