Editorial: New Jersey, home of bad drivers

New study ranks the Garden State as fourth worst in the nation

New Jersey is known for a lot of things. We’re the Garden State, with the freshest and best produce around. We’re the diner capital of the country, boasting more than 500 of these eateries serving up pancakes all hours of the day. We’re home to the first drive-in movie theater, the first baseball game and the first Native American reservation in the country.

It’s also no secret that New Jersey is known for its bad drivers. It’s an oft-repeated joke in movies and TV shows, the sight of a Garden State license plate zooming past, eliciting a collective groan of disapproval.

For those who argue against this generalization, QuoteWizard is here to tell you that you’re wrong. The company recently put out its rankings of the best and worst drivers by state, and New Jersey came in at fourth worst, behind only Wyoming (1), Virginia (2) and Colorado (3). 

That’s right. Pennsylvania, the neighbor to the west that we love to credit with horrible driving, was ranked not only better than New Jersey, it didn’t even make it into the worst half, coming in at No. 29. 

The rankings were determined by four factors: accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs and citations. The worst states had the highest rates of each.

The study found the Northeast was the worst offender in accidents, and New Jersey’s neighbors Delaware and New York both made the top five in having a serious case of lead foot. DUIs piled up most in the Midwest, while the top five in citations spread across the country.

New Jersey actually didn’t crack the top five in any of the four categories,   perhaps the silver lining to our poor No. 4 ranking. Of course, since the Garden State came in at 24 in the same study issued by QuoteWizard in January of 2019, that silver lining really may not say much.