(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

One New England state is the worst when it comes to distracted driving. And another state isn’t doing so great, either.

 

I’ll tell you this right up front, though: neither state is Massachusetts. Which is a welcome change of pace, frankly. Already this year, I’ve written about how bad road rage is in Boston (it’s not the worst, mind you, but still). Massachusetts also made a recent Top 10 list of impolite states. And the Commonwealth isn’t exactly known as the safest place to drive, either. It can be very dangerous at times.

 

That’s why I was surprised to see Massachusetts not pop up at the top of this recent piece put together by Assurance. It’s called The Worst States for Distracted Driving, and it focuses on the type of activities drivers indulge in behind the wheel that lead to distracted driving. Things like selecting music, eating, checking the GPS, and, of course, texting while driving.

 

Which New England State Tops This Distracted Driving List?

Here’s the methodology behind the Assurance report: “To understand how prevalent distracted driving is on roads today, we surveyed over 3,200 U.S. drivers about their distracted driving habits from texting and checking their phones to applying makeup and changing music. Further, we wanted to find out which states had the most distracted drivers based on how often residents in each state are texting while driving.”

 

So what’s the New England angle? The Granite State tops their list, with half of all respondents admitting to texting while driving. And the Ocean State landed on the shortlist of “texting most often” that the report shared. I’ve shared the graphic below, which you can also see on the full report here. But let’s look and see what other states are guilty of distracted driving or, more specifically, texting while driving.

  • 1) New Hampshire

    50% of all drivers in New Hampshire copped to texting while driving. That put them in a first-place tie with Mississippi. Not the kind of company you want to keep.

  • 2) Missouri

    Missouri drivers aren’t much better. They were only a point behind New Hampshire and Mississippi, with 49% of drivers admitting to texting behind the wheel.

  • 3T) Alabama

    Alabama rounds out the Top 3 with a tie for third. 48.1% of drivers are guilty of texting while operating. Neil Young should rewrite this song as a PSA.

  • 3T) Louisiana

    Louisiana also landed in third with 48.1%. As the state’s Highway Safety Division states below: “Stop always means stop.” That means texting while driving, too.

  • 4) Illinois

    Rounding out the Top 5 is Illinois with 46.2% of drivers admitting to texting while operating their vehicles. Better than the others mentioned, but still not great.

  • Honorable Mention

    While Rhode Island didn’t notch a high percentage, they did land on the “Texting while driving most often” list. Residents averaged 8.4 instances of texting while driving per month. Be careful out there!

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