Does Rhode Island Have the Worst Drivers?

honking a car

The Worst Drivers or Just the Most Vocal?

Earlier this year, junk car removal service,, took to Twitter and compiled information from over 250,000 tweets containing the word “drivers, followed by each state’s name,” to figure out which state had the most negative tweets about their drivers. The results reinforced the sentiment that Rhode Island has the worst drivers, as we came in at the number one spot, with 71% of all tweets being negative towards our Ocean State drivers. 

However, this study reflects opinions and does not necessarily prove that Rhode Island has the worst drivers. While we may be the loudest regarding our opinions about bad driving, actually being bad drivers still needs to be explored.

Road Island

Many factors can play into a car accident, and even more can influence the perception of Rhode Island having the worst drivers. Weather conditions, traffic congestion, and distracted drivers are a few examples. Still, one factor that definitely can’t be ignored, which may contribute to auto accidents and the negative perception, is the Rhode Island roads. 

A recent article by reported that 75% of Rhode Island’s roads and 17% of its bridges are in poor and mediocre condition. Referred to by some as the Pothole State, The Providence Journal stated earlier this year that there have been 17 Rhode Island roads with 13,000 potholes since 2021. One state senator compared driving around potholes in Rhode Island to “playing Mario Kart, with an actual risk of crashing.” 

These numbers clearly show that Rhode Island has some of the worst roads in the U.S., which can lead to unsafe driving conditions and be the culprit of many auto collisions. However, I’m still not convinced that Rhode Island has the worst drivers in the U.S.

The following five roads have had the most potholes since 2021: 

● Mendon Road
● Route 94
● Route 295
● Route 146 
● U.S. 6

Numbers Game

Opinions can often be swayed due to one’s mood, time of day, or by wanting to take a popular stance in a conversation. However, numbers never lie.

In November 2022, put together a report ranking all 50 states and looked to determine which states were the most dangerous for drivers.

The study was measured by the following five key metrics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

● Number of Fatal Car Accidents per Capita – 25% of score
● Total People Killed in Car Accidents per Capita – 25% of score
● Percent of Fatalities from Speeding – 20% of score
● Percent of Fatalities from Impaired Driving – 20% of score
● Percent Change in Total People Killed in Car Accidents – 10% of score 

One may assume that if Rhode Island did have the worst drivers, it would be reflected in these results, but the rankings may surprise you.

Out of all 50 states, when it came to being the most dangerous state for drivers, Rhode Island came in at #32 out of 50 for driving safety. Based on the five key metrics per capita, there are 31 states ranked below us, and therefore, it would be safe to say that Rhode Island does not have the worst drivers in the U.S. However, that’s no reason to start celebrating. 

When it comes to which states had the highest number of drunk driving-related accidents, Rhode Island came in at an alarming #2 out of 50, just slightly behind Montana, with a staggering 49% of fatal accidents being the result of an impaired driver, while 30% of accident-related fatalities were due to speeding drivers. 

Our findings show that Rhode Island does not have the worst drivers in the nation. Still, based on popular perception, we can all agree that we can do better. From potholes to bad weather, when it comes to driver safety, many accidents cannot be avoided due to circumstances and conditions that are out of our control. All we can do is be more vigilant and aware as we navigate this great State of Rhode Island. 

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from our findings is that areas we have complete control over, such as being impaired while driving and speeding, have led to the highest percentages of fatalities for Rhode Island drivers. So, while this article aimed to examine whether Rhode Island actually has the worst drivers in the nation, I hope that we can all agree to do our part to make driving in Rhode Island the safest we possibly can.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, it’s important that you contact an experienced Rhode Island personal injury attorney who has your best interests in mind and can help you navigate through the legal process. Contact the attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush today.  

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