In late 2011, CarInsuranceCompare.com collected information from several sources and compiled a list of the best and worst states in which to drive. Factors included the number of accident deaths, drunk drivers and traffic tickets, and how many drivers were cited for failing to obey traffic signals. Kentucky ranked as the seventh worst state for driving. According to the report, this is not surprising since states in the south seemed to fair worse in the ranking than those in the north. It does to say to keep in mind that many of the northern states are smaller than their southern counterparts, which means people are driving fewer miles to reach their destinations. Also, many of the northern states have large metropolitan areas, such as New York City and Boston, where many people do not own cars, relying on public transportation instead.
While drivers may dispute whether or not their state is one of the worst to drive in, it does seem to have an effect on insurance rates. Louisiana, which was ranked as the worst state for driving, had the highest insurance rates according to several different sources. One source ranked Kentucky as being the 19th most expensive insurance, which isn't the worst, but certainly isn't the best news for Kentucky drivers. Other factors are obviously involved in insurance rates, such as the values of the cars being insured in the state and what kind of coverage a state requires their drivers to carry.
High scores for both drunk driving and driving carelessly landed Kentucky in the number seven slot on the list. While the former may seem to be a more serious offense than the latter, careless driving can be just as deadly. Numerous Kentuckians have lost their lives in the last year due to careless drivers, including the 11 people killed in a van that was hit by a trucker distracted by his cell phone.
Kentucky also ranks seventh in car accident fatalities. Fortunately, this number dropped again in 2011. As of December 21, 701 people had died in car accidents in 2011. This is a significant decrease from 750 in 2010 and a large improvement over 845 deaths in 2007. Kentucky State Police attribute this decrease not only to their efforts in educating drivers and enforcing the laws, but also to drivers paying more attention to driving and being less distracted behind the wheel. Police spokesman David Jude said "distracted driving is really on people's minds and it's starting to make a difference."