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Surprised? Texas near top of list for worst drivers in America

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Austin Photo Set: News_John Egan_Austin Traffic_Aug 2012_traffic jam
How 'bout using that turn signal, buddy? Courtesy photo

Everyone thinks his state has the worst drivers, but a new study reveals which ones are actually the worst in America. Most are in the South, including Texas.

The study, conducted by CarInsuranceComparison.com, ranks states based on data collected from several sources, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Motorists Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

 Texas' drunk-driving score dropped 16 places to 47th — the fourth worst in the U.S. 

Each state is scored in five categories — fatality rate (per 100 million vehicle miles traveled), failure to obey traffic signals and seat belt laws, drunk driving, tickets and careless driving — from 1 to 51 (District of Columbia is included), with 51 as the worst possible.

So how terrible are Texas drivers? The Lone Star State came in fourth-worst overall, although it's a slight improvement from last year's third place. With the state's drunk-driving score dropping 16 places to 47th in the country (meaning it's the fourth worst), it's not surprising that Texas drivers come in so high on the overall list. The state's "best" factor score — failure to obey — came in at a unimpressive 33rd.

The study also revealed that the absolute worst state for driving is Louisiana, which came in at No. 1 on the list for the second year in a row. The state ranked in the top 13 for all five categories but was only five points higher than the No. 2 state, South Carolina, which moved up significantly from last year's No. 11 spot.

Furthermore, of the top 10 worst states for driving, six — including Mississippi, Alabama and Florida — are located in the southern United States.

Now that the worst states for driving have been established, how about the best? Vermont came out at No. 51 on the list, with the lowest ranking for careless driving. All but one of the state's five scores were in the bottom 10.

Check out the complete list of states to find out what kind of driving — terrible or otherwise — you can expect when visiting your out-of-state relatives this holiday season.

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