Furiously Fast: States With The Most Speeding Tickets (2021)

An open road in America with a radar-enforced speed limit of 70 mph.

Some drivers treat the road like a race track, but that doesn’t mean they can always get away with it.

It can feel particularly liberating to speed down the highway without a care in the world. While everyone can admit to zooming a few miles above the speed limit from time to time, some drivers in the U.S. are more prone to breaking speeding laws than others.

Drivers may speed for different reasons. Road rage can oftentimes result in an angry driver speeding down the highway, endangering the lives of those around them. Some drivers ramp up the pace because they’re running late, or simply taking advantage of the freedom they feel where there’s less congestion on their route. No matter the reason, speeding is still a dangerous offense. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 9,378 fatalities caused by speeding in 2018. Curious to see how speeding behaviors play out on the roads in 2021, the research team at Insurify looked to the data to find out which states have the highest rates of speeding violations.

A heat map showing speeding violation rates by state in 2021.

Insights

  • National averages. Across the U.S., the average state-level share of drivers with prior speeding tickets is 10.54 percent. The average state-level share of drivers with a failure to stop violation (at a red light or stop sign) on their record is 1.77%. The median maximum posted speed limit for urban interstates in America is 65 mph.
  • Slowing down out West. The speediest states in America are generally spread across the country. States from the East Coast, Midwest, and the Mountain Region found spots in the top ten. However, no West Coast states made the list for 2021.
  • Speeding and failure to stop violations are significantly correlated. Nine out of the ten states with the most speeding tickets have a failure to stop (at a red light or stop sign) rate that exceeds the national average. Likewise, the data scientists at Insurify found that on the state level, speeding and failure to stop rates have a positive, statistically significant association (p-value < 0.05). This finding indicates that a state with a high proportion of drivers with speeding tickets is also likely to have a high share of drivers with failure to stop violations on record.

 

Methodology

To identify the states with the most speeding tickets, the data science team at Insurify, an car insurance comparison platform, turned to their database of over 2.9 million car insurance applications. When applying for auto insurance, applicants must disclose their state of residence and driving history, including any speeding tickets since 2010. Analysts compared the number of drivers with speeding violations to the total number of drivers in each state to determine the state’s proportion of speedy drivers. Data on failure to stop violations (including failure to stop at a red light and at a stop sign) also came from Insurify’s database. The maximum posted speed limit in each state comes from the Insurance Information Institute.

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States with the Most Speeding Tickets in 2021

1. Ohio – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.12%

2. Virginia – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.76%

3. Iowa – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.62%

4. South Carolina – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.47%

5. Wisconsin – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 14.80%

6. Colorado – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 13.99%

7. Nebraska – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 13.76%

8. Wyoming – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 13.74%

9. Idaho – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 13.28%

10. Delaware – Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket: 13.18%

10 States with the Most Speeding Tickets

10. Delaware

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 13.18%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 3.32 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 55 mph

Delaware may be the second-smallest state in America, but don’t let its diminutive size fool you. What the First State lacks in land mass it makes up for in its share of rule-bending roadsters. Delaware has the tenth-highest rate of speeding tickets in the country, with a population of speedy drivers that exceeds the national average by 21 percent. Not only do Delaware drivers tend to lay heavy on the gas, but they’re also not the best at hitting the brakes; Delaware has the highest state-level rate of failure to stop violations in the nation.

9. Idaho

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 13.28%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 2.23 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 75 mph

Even with a maximum posted speed limit more generous than the national median, drivers in Idaho have still managed to earn themselves the ninth-highest rate of speeding tickets in the nation. Gem State drivers get caught speeding at a rate that’s above the national average by 21 percent. Idaho also has the seventh-highest rate of failure to stop violations in the country. It seems that Idaho drivers are in such a hurry to get to where they’re going that even the law can’t convince them to slow down or stop.

8. Wyoming

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 13.74%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 2.65 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 75 mph

Cowboy State drivers are seriously living up to their Wild West namesake. Wyoming drivers accrue speeding tickets at a rate 24 percent greater than the average driver’s. They also fail to stop at red lights or stop signs at the second-highest rate in the nation (34 percent greater than the national average). Wyoming’s maximum speed limit is already higher than the national median by 10 mph, so it’s both impressive and concerning that drivers still manage to violate speeding regulations at such high rates.

7. Nebraska

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 13.76%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 2.08 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 70 mph

With more space to drive freely, it seems that Nebraska drivers take advantage of their state’s vast open roads to test their driving speeds; Nebraska has the eighth-lowest population density in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Unfortunately, they’re not immune to getting caught. In fact, Nebraska has the seventh-highest speeding violation rate in the nation. Cornhusker drivers are caught speeding at a rate 24 percent above the national average, with an additional failure to stop violation rate that is 15 percent higher-than-average.

6. Colorado

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 13.99%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 2.22 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 65 mph

The mountains aren’t the only rocky parts of the Centennial State — Colorado drivers unfortunately rack up speeding tickets 25 percent more frequently than the average American driver, making it the sixth-most speeding prone state in 2021. While the speed limits on Colorado interstates reflect the nationwide norm, Colorado drivers’ penchant to break regulations of the road is anything but regular — the statewide failure to stop rate also exceeds the national average by 21 percent.

5. Wisconsin

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 14.80%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 2.08 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 70 mph

Wisconsin drivers have the fifth-highest rate of speeding incidents in the nation. While the maximum posted speed limit on Wisconsin’s urban interstates is higher than the nationwide median by 5 mph, this evidently does not deter drivers from dangerously going above and beyond. On the roads of America’s Dairyland, drivers get caught speeding at a rate that’s above the national average by 29 percent.

4. South Carolina

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 15.47%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 1.11 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 70 mph

The Palmetto State is home to beachside vacation destinations, delicious traditional barbecue joints, and evidently, drivers who tend to break traffic laws. Drivers in South Carolina have the fourth-highest rate of speeding violations in the country, with an incident rate that exceeds the national average by 32 percent. Notably, South Carolina is the only state in the top ten that has a failure to stop violation rate that’s below the nationwide mean.

3. Iowa

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 15.62%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 2.40 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 55 mph

You may think that scenery of vast fields and rolling plains in Iowa would lead to more leisurely, relaxed drivers. Think again. Iowa drivers are actually the third-most prone to speeding in America. The rate of speeding violations in the Hawkeye State is 33 percent higher than the national average. Additionally, the statewide rate of failure to stop incidents exceeds the national average by 27 percent.

2. Virginia

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 15.76%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 2.62 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 70 mph

The state with the second-speediest drivers in the nation is Virginia. The rate of drivers who get caught speeding in Virginia is 34 percent greater than the national average. Drivers in the Old Dominion also have the fourth-highest rate of failure to stop violations on record. This is not the first time Virginia’s drivers have been called out for unsavory behavior; Virginia also had the highest statewide rate of reckless drivers in the nation in 2020.

1. Ohio

  • Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record: 16.12%
  • Percentage of drivers with failure to stop violation on record: 2.40 %
  • Maximum posted speed limit (urban interstates): 65 mph

Ohio takes the number one spot in the nation for its population of speedy drivers. Not only does the Buckeye State have the most speeding-prone drivers, but its failure to stop violation rate is the sixth-highest in the nation; Ohio holds a 35 percent lead over the national average when it comes to its rate of speeding tickets, and a 27 percent lead over the national average for its rate of failure to stop violations. Taking a lesson in staying within the legal speed limit could not only increase road safety overall, but save Ohio drivers from paying up to $150 for just a first or second speeding violation — the state’s fines only go up in cost and severity as drivers accrue more violations.

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

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