The headlines that come out of the Sunshine State might lead an outsider to believe that Florida is full of bad drivers: “‘I’d rather go to jail than go back home’: Florida man drives 100 mph down interstate while standing through sunroof,” and “Drunk Florida Man Insists He Didn’t Drink and Drive, Only Drank at Stop Signs,” for example.
Florida Man’s reputation as a questionable-at-best driver doesn’t stoke much confidence in Florida’s drivers. However, according to QuoteWizard data, these assumptions would be wrong.
Florida regularly ranks among the nation’s best drivers in QuoteWizard’s annual best and worst driver study—second-best two years in a row! Every state has their fair share of bad drivers, and Florida Man likely overstates the quality of drivers in the Sunshine State. That’s why we set out to find the best of the best drivers in Florida and, well, the worst of the best.
To determine overall driver quality in Florida, we ranked the 50 largest cities in the state. We analyzed over 400,000 insurance quotes from Florida drivers using QuoteWizard.com and ranked cities by the highest rate of incidents. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations.
Worst Driving Cities in Florida
It should come as no surprise that the city with the highest “Florida man” population has the worst drivers. Understandably so, a number of large interstates do run through Jacksonville, Florida’s largest city. I-10 and I-95 bring traffic up and down the east coast of Florida right through Jacksonville. Drivers passing through: Beware of the locals on the road. Duval County had 16.10 road fatalities per 100,000 in 2017, which is slightly over the state average of 14.83.
Another city along the Florida–Georgia line that tops our list of bad drivers in the state. The I-10 corridor from Tallahassee to Jacksonville must be a hotspot for the worst of the Florida drivers. Tallahassee locals probably contribute their fair share of incidents; however, it could be the 32,000 students of Florida State that rack up the incidents in the city. Leon County does have a fairly low road fatality rate of 11.71 per 100,000 people.
Down into Central Florida is Clearwater, which rounds out the top three worst driving cities in the Sunshine State. There appears to be a pattern of bad driving behavior on the east side of Tampa Bay: Clearwater, Largo, and St. Petersburg, all East Bay cities, rank in the top 11 worst driving cities in Florida, while their West Bay counterparts, Tampa and Town ‘n’ Country, rank among the best. Pinellas County did have 12.16 road fatalities per 100,000 in 2017.
Best Driving Cities in Florida
Rank (best) City 1 Pembroke Pines 2 Daytona Beach 3 Miami Beach 4 The Villages 5 Poinciana 6 Lauderhill 7 Weston 8 Kissimmee 9 Pompano Beach 10 Delray Beach 11 West Palm Beach 12 Spring Hill 13 Tamarac 14 Palm Bay 15 Fort Lauderdale 16 Sunrise 17 Hialeah 18 Tampa 19 Deltona 20 Port St. Lucie 21 Brandon 22 Hollywood 23 Riverview 24 Town ‘n’ Country 25 Boynton Beach
As you make your way to the southern parts of Florida, the quality of driving improves. Ranked 16th best city in Broward County by Broward Palm Beach New Times, Pembroke Pines takes the top spot as the best driving city in Florida, according to our data. Hang your hat on that one, folks of Pembroke Pines! Broward County as a whole was accountable for 11.62 road fatalities per 100,000 people in 2017.
Given that the words “Daytona” and “driving” are synonymous, one might fully expect Daytona to show up near the top. However, Daytona is also often associated with racing. Our data shows Daytona Beach as having a low rate of incidents, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fatality data could explain why Daytona is a racing city: there were 24.13 road fatalities per 100,000 people in Volusia County in 2017—a significant jump from previous years, and one of the highest fatality rates in the state. High speeds are typical of fatal crashes, and Volusia had 130 fatal crashes in 2017.
The natural geography of Miami Beach is what likely keeps its rate of incidents so low. The longest road in town, Collins Avenue, likely leads drivers to slow down as they cruise along the beachfront. The frequent tourism also creates a slow-go in and out of town, keeping incidents down. Although Miami Beach is a small piece of Miami-Dade County, the county accounted for 10.36 road fatalities per 100,000 people in 2017.
The QuoteWizard research team evaluated driver quality from the 50 largest cities in Florida by population. We analyzed 2018 data of over 400,000 insurance quotes from Florida drivers using QuoteWizard to find the rate of overall incidents in each city. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations.