This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Despite what battle-weary commuters may think, Salt Lake City drivers are not the worst in the nation.
They are the second-worst.
That's according to a study released Tuesday by QuoteWizard, a website for comparing auto insurance.
It looked at 2 million data points nationally about such things as car crashes, traffic tickets and drunken driving from motorists who use its service.
In a similar study last year which ranked states, not cities QuoteWizard ranked Utah drivers as the worst in the nation.
Among the nation's 75 most populous cities, Salt Lake City ranked worse than all but the drivers in Sacramento, Calif. Just slightly better than Salt Lake City were Riverside, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; San Diego; and Los Angeles.
The best drivers in the nation, the study said, were in Detroit, followed by Providence, R.I., and Orlando, Fla.
The study said Salt Lake City's "high ranking on our list is due primarily to lead feet they have the second-highest speeding ticket rates." And that speeding occurs in an area where urban freeway speed limits are already at an unusually high 70 mph.
"Salt Lake City's drivers are also racking up traffic citations at the fifth-highest clip" in general, the study said.
Sacramento drivers managed to rank worse, the study said, "due to the highest rate of traffic citations in the country. They're also close to the top for accidents and DUIs, at fourth."
At the other end of the spectrum, Detroit drivers were ranked the best because it "has the lowest accident rate and second-lowest amount of speeding citations."
Despite that, the study noted that Detroit still has the most expensive car insurance rates in the country and a high number of uninsured and often unlicensed drivers.
QuoteWizard is not the only group to give Utah drivers poor ratings, although some also give them high marks.
A study by Allstate Insurance last 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 three 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.