Many who drive in the Phoenix metro area and elsewhere around Arizona would have expected the state to be ranked at the top of a list of worst drivers. So there might be a small sense of relief that Arizona drivers were only ranked the sixth-worst in the nation, according to a recent study.
Financial advising company SmartAsset used data from four metrics to rank drivers in each of 50 states. They analyzed the numbers in each state’s percentage of insured drivers, fatalities per 100 million miles driven, internet search trends and the number of drunk driving arrests per 1,000 drivers.
Best and worst
Massachusetts drivers were ranked best in the U.S., while Mississippi drivers took home the ignominious “worst drivers” title – their second in a row.
Our state’s drivers have little reason to gloat, however. At 3.63 DUI arrests per thousand drivers, our drunk driving arrest rate is worse than Mississippi’s, though we do not finish last in that category either. That dubious distinction belongs to South Dakota and its jaw-dropping 9.23 DUI arrests per thousand drivers rate. It should be noted that North Dakota is not far behind its neighbor with a 9.15 arrest rate.
The best DUI arrest rate can be found in Illinois with its 0.32 rate, followed by Delaware at 0.54.
Arizona is strictest
Some of our readers will recall that Arizona has repeatedly been rated the strictest state for DUI penalties. Our first-offense punishments – up to 10 days in jail and a driver’s license suspension of up to a year – are often cited in those rankings.
Though our drunk driving sanctions are well-known, Arizona drivers have legal options available to help them avoid the harshest of those punishments.