Florida is among the worst states for drivers — or are we the best?

Let’s get this settled once and for all: Florida is among the worst states for drivers.

Oh no, wait — we actually have some of the best drivers?

One recent report says Florida is one of the worst states for drivers, while another says we have the second-best drivers in the U.S. ... Huh? (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
One recent report says Florida is one of the worst states for drivers, while another says we have the second-best drivers in the U.S. … Huh? (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A new report from Bankrate says Florida is the ninth-worst state for drivers. But that report comes less than two weeks after one from Quotewizard that Florida had the second-best drivers in the U.S., after only Rhode Island.

» RELATED: Study: Florida drivers second best in U.S. Pause for laughter.

So if our drivers are so good, why is the state so bad for them? In determining Florida’s ranking, Bankrate looked at average commute times; average yearly car insurance, repair and fuel costs; rate of car thefts related to population; and the number of car crash fatalities related to the number of miles driven. The average Florida commute is about 27 minutes, and we pay more than $1,100 a year on average for car insurance, and more than $1,000 yearly for gas. Compare that to Bankrate’s No. 1, Iowa, which has higher gas costs but much lower commute times and annual insurance costs.

Quotewizard did its ranking by looking at similar data, but with a few additions, including traffic citations, crashes, DUI arrests and speeding tickets.

Gigi Hadid perfectly summing up our feelings on Florida drivers. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Gigi Hadid perfectly summing up our feelings on Florida drivers. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Two other states as examples:

• Iowa was ranked first in Bankrate’s report, but solidly in the middle of the pack at 29th by Quotewizard.

• California seems to be the one state on which both analyses agree: While Bankrate put the Golden State in last place, Quotewizard said it has the second-worst drivers.

So this juxtaposition may still be possible: Florida could have good drivers — but just be a really bad place for them.

Check out the full ranking from Bankrate

 

Study: Florida drivers second best in U.S. Pause for laughter.

A new analysis says Florida has the best drivers in the nation after Rhode Island. The folks behind the number-crunching at car insurance shopping site Quotewizard almost can’t believe it themselves.

“Florida is best known for two things: the “Florida Man” headlines generated by its eccentric residents, and its many retirees, ” their explanation goes. “You wouldn’t expect either of these demographics to produce excellent driving stats, but this sunny state has the second-best driving record in the U.S. What’s keeping them from being number one in the country? Their fatality stats are notably higher than Rhode Island’s, but according to our data points Floridians actually get fewer citations.”

bad-driver-on-boardThe ways of measuring best and worst can of course vary depending on what data you use and how you analyze it. Florida has ranked among the worst-driver states in the not-so-distant past, such as No. 3 bad in 2011 as rated by carinsurancecomparison.com. Yet there may be a trend emerging: the same group had Florida drivers moving into the top 20 best by last year.

In this case, Quotewizard said it ranked the states based on more than 2 million data points relating to total accidents, speeding tickets, DUI, citations and fatalities.

If Florida drivers truly do deserve a little credit, many would like to see it reflected in their car insurance bills. Yet Floridians pay the fourth highest premiums among the states.

Why? Pull up a chair. Florida is one of a handful of states with a no-fault system, meaning drivers are required to pay for $10,000 of coverage for minor injuries no matter how much health insurance they already have. The Personal Injury Protection system has been preyed upon by a whole cottage industry dedicated to bleeding it dry, ranging from accident fakers to exorbitant costs for hospital scans that can use up the entire benefit in one day.

Giving a decent and proper burial to the PIP requirement — even while asking Floridians to pay a little more for coverage such as bodily-injury liability — could save drivers a net $81 per car or close to $1 billion a year, The Palm Beach Post reported about a $125,000 actuarial study this year. Consumers who care about this may want to tell their state legislators, who have the power to retire PIP in the session that begins in early 2017.