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Best and worst drivers ranked by state
Old 02-07-2019, 10:15 AM   #1
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Best and worst drivers ranked by state

Clark Howard has an article on a study of the best and worst drivers ranked by state. The article details the criteria used in the study which ranked Maine as having the worst drivers and Michigan having the best.

This was what I found most interesting - and completely illogical:

Quote:
...you’d expect residents of Maine — the state with the worst drivers — would pay some of the highest auto insurance rates. Likewise, you’d expect those who live in Michigan — the state with the best drivers — to pay some of the lowest rates.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth!

According to Insure.com, Michigan is the single most expensive state for a sample auto insurance policy ($2,738), while Maine was the cheapest state in the Union ($808).
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:22 AM   #2
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THAT just doesn't make sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


where do INS companies get their price structure?
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:27 AM   #3
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Perhaps even though they drive bad they don't wreck their cars?
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RobbieB View Post
Perhaps even though they drive bad they don't wreck their cars?
Nope. From the study:

Quote:
A drastic rise in traffic citations and fatalities are to blame for Maine’s jump from seventh worst last year to the absolute bottom of the bunch this year. But don’t just take our word for it. According to Maine.gov, there was an increase of more than 1,500 car crashes from 2016 to 2017.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:37 AM   #5
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Florida is #40 on the list? I thought it would be the worst due to the geriatric crowd?
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:40 AM   #6
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Based on the local snow bird population, they should assess how out of state drivers fare when they are away from home... which should put Iowegians at the worst.


And speaking from my former morning commute of death, there is no way AZ comes in at #47. PHX is having to wire the entire freeway in order to warn of wrong way drivers.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:44 AM   #7
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Florida is #40 on the list? I thought it would be the worst due to the geriatric crowd?
Trust me it is worse...... and it is mostly younger drivers texting.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:47 AM   #8
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Maybe high insurance costs keep the drivers in proper form. With accident surcharges they would pay even more.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:50 AM   #9
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Florida is #40 on the list? I thought it would be the worst due to the geriatric crowd?
I don't think they count golf carts in The Villages in their statistics
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:08 AM   #10
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Accident severity? # and amount of lawsuits from accidents? # of uninsured drivers? From the study:

Quote:
There’s one catch – our study only accounts for insured drivers, and this state has plenty of rule breakers. Although Michigan’s insured drivers are the best in the country, one in five don't have car insurance.
and from the referenced site on insurance costs:

Quote:
Michigan employs a unique no-fault car insurance system, which is the main reason car insurance is so expensive. Like other no-fault states, Michigan requires all drivers out on the road to carry PIP coverage. PIP will help cover any medical expenses that the policyholder, members of the household and even passengers who are injured in an auto accident.
Michigan differs from other PIP states in the limit department. Most other no-fault states put a limit on the PIP amount but Michigan guarantees unlimited lifetime medical benefits to auto accident victims, which dramatically increases an insurers risk.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:12 AM   #11
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Also, the "worst drivers" wasn't only based on # of accidents:

Quote:
Special attention was paid to the following measures to determine the final rankings:
  • Accidents
  • Speeding tickets
  • DUIs
  • Citations
  • Fatalities

And that little tidbit about 1500 more car crashes in Maine from 2016 to 2017 isn't really proof of much of anything. That's about 4 more crashes per day over the whole state. Is that a lot? A big % jump? Or did they just grab some number out of the data to try to show some rationale, whether it's meaningful or not.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:13 AM   #12
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Florida is #40 on the list? I thought it would be the worst due to the geriatric crowd?
I'll take the geriatric set driving over the texting while driving 'younger' set
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:23 AM   #13
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I would guess that insurance companies have some sophisticated algorithms to determine their prices (and they vary by zip code).

I know that my state is notorious for having high car insurance rates (mine jumped quite a bit when I moved here), and I was told it's because we have a high percentage of uninsured drivers. That kind of makes sense to me.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:25 AM   #14
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I was told it's because we have a high percentage of uninsured drivers. That kind of makes sense to me.
I think the insurance companies have that *excuse* on their expansive list of "why are my rates so damn high?!?" answer book that all the CSRs have to reference. It's excuse number 16B...to be used every other Thursday and Friday on even days of the month.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:35 AM   #15
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California is only 4th worst? Hard to believe there's 3 ranked lower.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:55 AM   #16
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I can tell you that at least three in the top ten have huge issues with wildlife. Many accidents and many, many wrecked outfits from hitting wildlife. A huge part of insurance rates for some of those states because of hitting wildlife.

Also those three state have very extreme weather conditions (ice, snow, blizzards etc.). You drive for everything in those states because they are very rural.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:57 AM   #17
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When i'm on I-75 in Northern Ohio, and a car passes me like i'm standing still, 9 times out of 10, it has Michigan plates. If you head North from Toledo, the roads instantly become bumpy, and annoying, which may be the reason for high Ins rates.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:29 PM   #18
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I worked in the actuarial field for 23 years, specializing in personal auto insurance. I can tell you that there are many, many factors which affect how much you pay for your car insurance.


While one's driver record plays a role in one's insurance rate, it is hardly the only factor. Maine is a very rural state, with no really large urban areas, unlike Michigan which has the Detroit area. A driver in Detroit who has a clean driving record will pay more than a Maine driver with a spotty record, for sure. Simply living in an urban area will drive up your insurance rate.


RunningBum mentioned how Michigan has a unique and unusually costly PIP coverage compared to other states (and only about 1/3 of the states even offer PIP, the rest offer the far cheaper Medical Payments coverage instead). I found it odd that the list of rates by state didn't include either coverage. Michigan also has a special Property Damage coverage (PPI) and some unique Collision coverages. Are they more expensive than the more ordinary coverages found in other states, I am not sure. But it would make Michigan an outlier.


The list of rates by state didn't include Uninsured Motorists (UM) coverage, either, so the percentage of uninsured drivers in a state played no role. The only coverages impacted by uninsured drivers are UM and Underinsured Motorists (UIM). UM and UIM are a pretty small part of your overall insurance bill, so a state which has a large uninsured population will not have a big impact on your insurance bill.


The rate list by state didn't describe the model year and symbol of its "typical" car. I would hope they used the same one across all states. But even then, which one they chose would affect the state rankings.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:17 PM   #19
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I'm not surprised California was 4th worst. We have the most people, the most traffic, and very aggressive drivers. Road rage anyone?

I'm in process of teaching my younger son how to drive, and just got my older son licensed last year. I have to keep preaching about defensive driving, don't let aggressive drivers force you to be aggressive... let them pass you, cut you off... just drive defensively and calmly. There are multiple opportunities to practice defensive driving everytime I take them out driving.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:23 PM   #20
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This Mainer calls BS.

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Originally Posted by Spock View Post
Based on the local snow bird population, they should assess how out of state drivers fare when they are away from home...
If I had to guess, I'd say this is the #2 biggest factor. Maine is a mostly very rural state with a huge tourist influx. And I can tell you from personal experience the tourists leave their common sense at home when thy drive up here. They are responsible for probably 90% of the near-accidents I've managed to avoid, simply because I was the one paying attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
And that little tidbit about 1500 more car crashes in Maine from 2016 to 2017 isn't really proof of much of anything. That's about 4 more crashes per day over the whole state.
Most Mainers drive a long way to work, or to the grocery store, every day. Did they take into account total miles driven?

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Originally Posted by street View Post
I can tell you that at least three in the top ten have huge issues with wildlife.

Also those three state have very extreme weather conditions (ice, snow, blizzards etc.).
Right. Although, again, it's usually the ones "from away" who haven't learned to drive in snow yet who cause the problems. They'll pull out in front of someone who can't stop because of slick conditions, or otherwise cause more than their share of accidents.

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Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
Maine is a very rural state, with no really large urban areas, unlike Michigan which has the Detroit area.
I think this is probably the biggest issue. You'd have to compare rural to rural, urban to urban, to get real numbers.

One way this impacts the numbers is you have to drive to survive in most parts of Maine. Everyone - even those who really shouldn't be - is driving almost every day. If you live in a city, those less skilled can get around other ways.

Finally, Maine does require insurance for all, which skews a survey like this which only counts insured drivers.
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