Website confirms it: We really do have the worst drivers in the U.S.

A Miami Shores sign in November, 2015
A Miami Shores sign in November, 2015 MIAMI HERALD

The website SmartAsset.com got down in the data dirt and unearthed the conclusion anecdotally reached by many who have braved Sunshine State streets: Florida ranks as having the nation’s worst drivers.

And the site didn’t have to count Jessica Crane, the driver deemed so dangerous, only no-bond incarceration could protect the public from her driving. Nor did it consider Florida is where you find electronic road signs that say, “Obey the stop signs” or remind drivers that the law says you’re supposed to signal a lane change. Has there been a car into a building this week?

SmartAsset got the percentage of drivers insured from the Insurance Research Council; number of DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers; number of deaths per 1,000 drivers; and Google trends on driving tickets. Each category was given equal weight. Florida finished as the worst, right under Mississippi, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Delaware and Alabama.

We ranked 49 out of 50 in insured drivers (76.2 percent) and ranked last in the Google trends. The DUI arrest rate, 4.45, was middle of the pack, although the statistic does seem to point out that number is at the mercy of enforcement. Kentucky, where bourbon for breakfast isn’t out of the question, came in at only 0.79 DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers. And our 0.13 death rate looks like a safety belts-and-Volvo paradise compared to New Jersey (0.62) and Delaware (0.73).

So, we’re not the worst at all things driving. We’re just kind of all-around bad.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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