MADISON COUNTY, Ala – Alabama has been ranked in the top ten for states with the worst drivers. That is according to a study from SmartAsset, a financial advice tech company.
People don’t seem surprised by the ranking.
“A lot of people in Alabama, especially in the bigger cities like Birmingham and Huntsville, are crazy,” Meghan Shippey from Fort Payne said.
According to the study, the state ranked 7th place for several reasons. About 1.5 people die for every 100 million miles driven. That’s the eighth-highest rate in the country. Also, people Google traffic or speeding tickets at the fourth-highest rate in the country.
“Think it goes without saying that speeding is the most prevalent law that most folks break and still today you talk to people, you pull people over the first thing they say is well I wasn’t speeding,” Trooper Curtis Summerville said.
Some say the reason why Alabamians are making the list is because when people look in their rear view mirror they’re not expecting to see a member of law enforcement behind them.
“By having enough law enforcement out as we used to, it was a deterrent. I don’t think we have enough to be a deterrent anymore,” Lieutenant Donny Shaw with the Madison Sheriff’s Office said.
Grant money is being used to change that. Several agencies in north Alabama have been given funding for overtime to specifically pay for officers to patrol for traffic violations. Madison County deputies will patrol designated hot spots.
“Areas where there is a high frequency of accidents, and some of those as you can imagine Highway 53, Highway 231, Highway 72, Nick Davis Road out in the west side of the county,” Shaw said.
Madison County began the extra patrols last weekend and will continue through Labor Day.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is also running two safe driving campaigns Booze It or Lose It and Click It or Ticket. These campaigns encourage people to drive sober and wear their seatbelt.
Mississippi ranked number one in the country for worst drivers. Tennessee came in second.