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After looking at 2 million data points nationally about such things as car crashes, traffic tickets and drunken driving, a new study reaches a dark conclusion about the Beehive State.

"Utah's drivers are the worst in the nation," says the study by QuoteWizard, a website for comparing auto insurance.

It says Utah is "second [worst] in the rankings for both accidents and speeding, as well as fourth-worst for minor citations."

It adds this sting: "Surprising for a state known for its non-drinking populace, Utah actually made the top 10 for DUIs, coming in at number nine."

It offered a sliver of good news.

"On the bright side, Utah missed our list of worst state for fatalities, so at least fewer people are dying in all those accidents."

QuoteWizard released its rankings Thursday. It said it sampled incident data supplied from drivers who used its website, and extrapolated findings with federal fatality data.

This is not the first study to give Utah drivers poor ratings, although some also give them high marks.

A study by Allstate Insurance earlier this year ranked Salt Lake City drivers a mediocre 78th best among the nation's 200 largest cities for safety. Drivers in West Valley City ranked No. 87.

Insure.com two years ago ranked Utah drivers as the 10th rudest in the nation.

But on the other end of the spectrum, CarInsuranceComparison.com ranked Utahns as the nation's second-best drivers in 2014, leaning heavily on low fatality and drunken-driving rates then.

After ranking Utah in the cellar, the new study says the nation's other worst drivers are in California and Virginia.

"The economy might be to blame for California's low rankings," the study said. It explained that a recent upswing in the economy there increased the number of miles its motorists are driving, "and more driving means more accidents."

Virginia is the worst for speeding and No. 2 in citations, QuoteWizard said, but the state doesn't end up on lists for the worst accident or fatality rates. "It seems that despite all that law breaking, they don't get into many fender benders."

The study said the nation's best drivers are in Rhode Island, followed by Florida and Mississippi.

Rhode Island has "extremely low fatalities per licensed driver" and "good scores across the board," the study said. But the state is so small — 48 miles long and 37 miles wide — that with road trips, "by the time the damage is done, they're probably past the state line and it's Connecticut's problem."

The study also sought to answer a few rivalry questions such as whether East Coast or West Coast drivers are the best.

"The East Coast wins with a 13 percent margin of victory. Not too surprising, considering two of the worst states — Utah and California — are on the West Coast, while the East Coast has Rhode Island, the best state overall," it said, apparently without a close examination of Utah's place on the map.

The study also looked at whether Republican or Democratic states have the best drivers, based on how they voted in the presidential election this year.

"Republican-leaning states have better drivers," by a 7 percent margin, it said. "Democrat-leaning states on average come in behind Republican states in terms of accidents, speeding, DUIs , fatalities and citations overall."

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