A national study says Missouri drivers are the seventh-worst in the nation. The survey is is done by a website that compares automobile insurance plans.  It uses statistics from five categories to rank the states with the  safest or worst drivers.  CarInsuranceComparison.com looks at fatality rates, drunk driving statistics, traffic tickets issued, careless driving citations, and failures to obey traffic signals. 

Company Vice-President Tyler Spraul says Missouri’s seventh-place ranking is an improvement from the previous study when Missouri was second to Louisiana.  But actually, the improvement of Missouri drivers is more a case of drivers in other states doing worse.  Missouri drivers’ 2012 statistics gave them the same score as they had in the 2011 survey.  But other states’ drivers did worse.

However, Missouri drivers went from being the nation’s 42nd most careless drivers in 2011 to being the 25th most careless drivers last year.  

The 2012 statistics showed Missouri’s fatality rate as 29th in the nation.  We were 41st in drunk driving and in tickets. Missouri drivers are among the nation’s worst at failing to obey traffic signals and signs. 48th. 

Spraul says insurance companies don’t use the website’s ratings to set their premium prices. He says they run their own studies that are similar to the site’s studies.  But he notes that Louisiana, which has had the worst drivers in both the 2011 and 2012 statistics compiled by the webpage, has the highest vehicle insurance rates in the nation for both of those years. 

On a less serious note, the statistics suggest Missouri football fans going to Southeastern Conference games should be extra careful.  The six states below Missouri are all Southeastern Conference states—Florida, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, and worst of all for a second year in a row, Louisiana.   The survey says drivers in the other four conference states–Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Georgia, are safer.

AUDIO: Spraul interview 9:15