Why Colorado Drivers Are Some of the Worst in the Country

We've previously posted about the theory that Colorado drivers are terrible — an extremely important consideration on a day like today, when roads are icy and often treacherous owing to the impact of yesterday's steady snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures that continue to linger at this writing.

Now come facts and figures to support this supposition.

The insurance-based website QuoteWizard recently published its list of the best and worst drivers by state. We've got the complete roster below, ranked from the finest to the lousiest.

As you'll see, Colorado is in the bottom ten.

Why? To answer that question, we reached out to QuoteWizard content manager Adam Johnson.

According to Johnson, corresponding via e-mail, "We sampled incident data (with more than 2 million data points) from the users of our website and linearly extrapolated it to Federal Highway Administration fatality data. To quantify overall driver standards for comparison, we weighted various incident counts for each state with its occurrence percentage. The final rankings are a sum of weighted means calculated from total accidents, speeding tickets, DUI, citations and fatalities."

Johnson notes that the information was collected at the state level, "so it doesn't detail drivers in different parts of Colorado." In addition, he goes on, "We didn't break out that data by location, time of year, weather conditions, etc. Our goal is to present our findings and let Colorado drivers come to their own conclusion."

As for why Colorado fared so badly, Johnson reveals the state's standings in five major categories. Here they are, displayed in descending order.

Fatalities: 30th most in the U.S.

Accidents: 20th most in the U.S.

DUIs: 11th most in the U.S.

Speeding: 10th most violations in the U.S.

Citations: Number 1 — worst in the U.S.

By the way, Johnson defines citations as "minor violations such as failure to signal, illegal turns, not wearing a seat belt."

The findings show that Colorado drivers are particularly prone to driving too fast and ignoring the rules of the road — and given the proclivities of folks here to drive drunk and get into accidents, it's a minor miracle that the death figures aren't higher.

Continue to see the photo-illustrated QuoteWizard list of driving by state, starting with the best drivers and ending with the worst.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts