Before the Coronavirus pandemic drivers would white-knuckle their way through a commute from Northern Virginia to Washington D.C. and other points to get to work. Commuters cursed each other for their sloppy and dangerous driving on already crowded major roads. While the majority of the nine-to-five crowd now get to work from home while adhering to social distancing the memory of bad traffic experiences still lingers in the minds of commuters.

This begs the question: Are drivers in Virginia the worst in the nation?

The Seattle-based online insurance quote company QuoteWizard has complied the fifth iteration of their best and worst drivers by state list. The company compiles information from over two million insurance quotes and uses them to determine a picture of road safety or lack thereof in each state of the union.

It’s worth stating that many of the top insurance companies observed seeing a drop in claims during coronavirus lockdown months according to QuoteWizard’s Public Relation Specialist Emily Lamb.

“Those overall numbers may be lower than usual because of the Coronavirus. While nothing specific in the data shows a coronavirus impact, with fewer cars on the roads there is less chance of an incident occurring.” Stated Ms. Lamb in an e-mail to the Fairfax Times.

QuoteWizard uses four metrics derived from the date to determine their list, those metrics include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations. The list’s rankings are based on a composite score of all four metrics. States with the highest rate of these incidents are considered to be the worst drivers while those with a lower number of incidents are considered states with better drivers.

So how did Virginia do? The short answer is really not good since the Commonwealth is considered the state with the second worst drivers in the nation outdone only by Wyoming. 

According to Lamb, Virginia ranks pretty high in the metrics that the company uses to compile their list. Working with the company’s analyst Adam Johnson they found that while the Commonwealth ranks 20th in both speeding and DUIs it also ranks ninth and 10th in accidents and citations respectively. 

For comparison, the states that topped in each metric were Rhode Island for most accidents, California for speeding, Wyoming for DUIs, and Alabama for most citations.

There is good news for the Fairfax County area, while the state is considered to have the second worst drivers the area isn’t considered the worst in the state. While many commuters are understandably critical of Washington D.C. area traffic it doesn’t even make that list.

In QuoteWizard’s fastest driving cities of 2018 Richmond comes in at number five and Virginia Beach comes in at number 10.

Ms. Lamb also offered advice for the future:

“Safe driving habits on the roads of Virginia will help keep everyone safe and car insurance rates low!”

So which state was considered the safest driver on the list?

The answer is West Virginia.


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