If you're feeling the need for speed, we've got a list of states you might want to avoid.
Driverside.com has put together a list of what it calls the “Top Ten Speediest States.” Because they count speeders by the number of speeding tickets issued, we think it’s more like the 10 states with the busiest traffic police. After all, are there more fast drivers where the police issue a lot of tickets, or where they issue very few? Maybe these are just the top 10 states where speeders are likely to get caught. At any rate, they're the states with the most speeding tickets issued per capita.
Jalopnik adds, “A lot goes into these statistics besides how fast residents are driving, including the number of law enforcement officers on the road and the population of each individual state.”
Whichever way you look at it, the list has some important information for those of you who tend to find their right foot getting a little heavy on the highway.
Try the cruise control in wide-open spaces, for instance -- states like North Dakota and Wyoming have a lot of highway miles through beautiful, sparsely-populated country, and a lot of cops who patrol them. Another important lesson: when a state is generous with its speed limits, don’t push your luck. New Mexico is happy to let you go 75 on many of its highways, so why do New Mexico police have the opportunity to issue so many tickets? Are drivers really pushing 90 out there? Won't 75 get you there fast enough?
We also tried teasing out some of the psychology of speeders in other states. Delaware has no sales tax, so maybe drivers there feel like they have extra cash to spend on speeding tickets. Or maybe, since Delaware bills itself as "The First State" (it was the first state to ratify the constitution), Delaware drivers feel the need to be first everywhere.
Massachusetts has universal healthcare, so maybe drivers there speed because they're not worried about medical bills. But we're stumped as to why Vermonters are speeding. We've always been under the impression that Vermont is populated by aging hippies driving beat-up cars running on biodiesel, not speed machines.
If you're looking to avoid a ticket, you shouldn't apply for jobs here at U.S. News Automotive. In the nation’s capital, where our offices are, Driverside says police managed to issue 434,301 traffic citations last year. That’s impressive, considering that the District of Columbia has only a little over 550,000 residents. Of course, many of us commute in from Maryland (which made the list) and Virginia (which missed it). At this rate, perhaps we should begin reviewing bikes.
The complete list ranks states from low to high, based on the number of speeding tickets issued per capita.
8. South Carolina
7. New Mexico
4. North Dakota
1. Washington, D.C.