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"Colorado Driver" has been a running gag for some time. It seems, though, one insurance site has determined Colorado drivers are in fact the third-worst in the nation.

For the last five years, the website QuoteWizard has published a report ranking drivers across all 50 states. As the site fully admits, you could go to any state in the union and they'll all tell you the same thing - their state has the worst drivers.

In years past, California has ranked near the top in the nation when it comes to bad drivers. Data for 2020 suggests Californians have miraculously improved when it comes to driving skills, moving them to 14th in the nation.

While Colorado was ranked third-worst in the country, at least we did a little better than our neighbors directly north. Wyoming brought home the blue ribbon when it comes to being the worst of the worst. To find 2nd place, you have to jump all the way to the East Coast. Virginia brought home the red ribbon.

How precisely did QuoteWizard reach their conclusions? According to their website, they analyzed over two-million insurance quotes from QuoteWizard drivers. They then built a composite score using these four factors:

  • Accidents
  • Speeding tickets
  • DUIs
  • Citations

Their conclusions are fascinating. Oddly, while Colorado was ranked third-worst in the country overall, we didn't place in the top five in any of the four categories.

In my mind, the single most significant factor when it comes to "bad" Colorado drivers involves the diversity of our drivers. Here you are in a mountainous state filled with a mixture of natives combined with flatlanders. Even in Grand Junction, you can be heading down Highway 50 in a 45-mile-per-hour zone, and find yourself faced with a wide assortment of drivers. You can have locals doing 50 in the 45, only to come up upon Farmer John doing 10-miles-per-hour in his tractor. Coming up behind you quickly is a California transplant doing 65.

I guess congratulations are in order. This is a distinction we may not want, but it seems we have it. Colorado just ranked third-worst in the nation in driving, even though we aren't in the top five in any of the survey's categories.

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