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  • Posted June 30, 2017

Where are the nation's worst drivers? We promise you'll be surprised


Joshua Emerson SmithContact Reporter

Motorists in the San Diego region routinely get slapped with tickets for speeding, frequently crash their cars and are extremely likely to get pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances.

That’s according to a report released Tuesday by QuoteWizard, an online company that compares insurance rates for consumers.

The analysis found that San Diegans rank as the fifth-worst drivers in the United States, while Los Angeles motorists come in sixth.

Surprisingly, places often labeled as having poor drivers — including Boston and Miami — were nowhere near the top of the QuoteWizard list.

In general, Californians often get into trouble when they get behind the wheel, according to the new findings, which were based on the company’s data from 2016. Five of the top 10 regions with the highest number of bad drivers were located in this state.

QuoteWizard ranked Sacramento as having the worst drivers; the city had highest rate of traffic citations in the country last year, according to the new report. Sacramento also had high rates of accidents and driving under the influence.

San Diego and Los Angeles both showed high rates of DUI incidents in 2016, QuoteWizard said. San Diego ranked second for most DUIs in the nation, while Los Angeles came in ninth.

Southern Californians racked up lots of DUI tickets, said Adam Johnson, a spokesman for QuoteWizard. “It could be that the (California) Highway Patrol takes a stronger approach for drunk drivers than other parts of the country,” he said.

The company looked at the nation’s 75 largest metropolitan areas and ranked them according to four categories: accidents, speeding tickets, driving under the influence and other traffic citations.

“People always assume that their city has the worst drivers, so it’s interesting to compare,” Johnson said. “Even if you’re a clean driver, if there’s a bunch of people around you (in your city) that are bad drivers, that’s going to lead to higher insurance quotes.”

Boston — which for several years has been named as home to the nation’s worst drivers by similar reports from the insurer Allstate — scored as the 19th worst in Tuesday’s analysis.

On the other end of the list, Detroit had the best drivers last year; it logged the lowest rate of accidents and the second-lowest for speeding tickets.

The new comparison is QuoteWizard’s first such analysis of major metropolitan regions. In December, it took a similar look at states, and California was named the second-worst (behind Utah) at the time.