How is it to drive in Virginia? Pretty bad it turns out

Ever wondered if the bad drivers around you are really the worst? A team of auto experts analyzed Virginia insurance data along with the Federal Highway Administration and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners data and graded the overall state of driving in Virginia. The goal was to give Virginia drivers a full view of how bad drivers really are.

The results? Virginia drivers aren’t the worst, just pretty bad. All the factors evaluated for the Virginia driver grade came from over 102,000 insurance quotes from users of And data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Factors in the driver report are based on the following criteria: driver quality in cities, distracted drivers, driver quality by age group, road infrastructure and car insurance increases

So what were the key findings? 1) Virginia was the 14th worst driving state in 2018. 2) Richmond and Virginia Beach were among the top 10 worst driving cities in America. 3)

Virginia offers up the eighth most distracted drivers in the nation. 4) Ten percent of the commonwealth’s roads are in poor condition, which costs Virginia drivers $430 annually.

All that said, what was Virginia drivers’ grade? D.

The only thing saving Virginia from a failing grade was the improvement in overall driving ranking since 2016. In 2016, Virginia was the third worst driving state from the QuoteWizard best and worst driving state study. In 2018 Virginia drivers improved to 14th worst, which is still not great.

When the QuoteWizard folks analyze the best and worst driving cities in each state, there seems to be common factors beyond just good and bad drivers that lead to more incidents. They typically see the bad driving cities suburban cities that deal with traffic in and out of the big city. Insurance analysts typically find the places with the best drivers outside of the metro areas and in more rural places. Rocky Mount and Blacksburg each have those characteristics. Fewer cars on the road means less chance of an incident. Kudos to the college kids at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg for holding up their end of the good driving.

In drawing up the lists of Virginia’s worst and best driving cities, those with the highest rate of incidents were listed as the worst driving cities.

Worst driving cities in Virginia

Rank (worst)

1          Manassas

2          Salem

3          Staunton

4          Woodbridge

5          Chesterfield

6          Fairfax

7          Petersburg

8          Stafford

9          Front Royal

10        Midlothian

Best driving cities in Virginia

Rank (best)      City

1          Rocky Mount

2          Glen Allen

3          Blacksburg

4          Harrisonburg

5          Lynchburg

6          Bristol

7          Sterling

8          Arlington

9          Portsmouth

10        Ashburn

Virginia infrastructure rating

Over the summer QuoteWizard conducted a study on America’s infrastructure and which states had the best and worst roads. Rankings were a composite score of the following factors: roads in poor condition (%): Virginia 10%; cost per motorist (due to roads in need of repair): Virginia $430; and bridges structurally deficient: Virginia 5%.

Virginia actually fared very well compared to other states’ infrastructure. The 10% of roads in poor condition was among the lowest in the country. Only 5% of bridges and the lower comparative cost to drivers of $430 was also among the lowest in the nation. The only thing to take note of is that the state’s 19% spending on highway maintenance is below the national average, but given the low percentage of poor roads Virginia, drivers should be okay.

But car insurance in Virginia is getting more expensive.

If you think car insurance is always getting more expensive, you’re right, it is. Since 2012 Virginia drivers have seen a 14% increase in car insurance rates. The increase is right on par with the national average. However, the $786 annual average is well below the national average, so Virginia drivers should consider themselves lucky to drive in the state.


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