Study: U.S. Among World’s Most Dangerous Places to Drive

A new study by Zutobi has found that the United States is among the most dangerous countries to drive in, the organization said.

The Zutobi study analyzed factors such as the number of alcohol-related road traffic deaths, the maximum motorway speed limit, and the front seat-belt wearing rate, to reveal the world’s safest—and most dangerous—countries to drive in.

The most dangerous country to drive in is South Africa, which has by far the lowest safety driving score of just 3.41/10, according to the report. There are an estimated 22.2 road traffic deaths per 100,000 of the population in South Africa and only 31% of front-seat passengers in South Africa are estimated to wear a seat belt.

Thailand is the world’s second most dangerous country to drive, scoring just 4.35/10. This is due to Thailand having one of the lowest seat belt wearing rates, and possibly the fact that the primary mode of transport used in the country is motorbikes.

The United States is ranked as the third most dangerous country to drive in, with a driving safety score of 5.03/10. This is due to 29% of road traffic deaths in the US being attributed to alcohol, which is consistent with its high limit for blood alcohol concentration for drivers (0.08%).

India saw its road traffic death rate increase by over 50% from last year, from 15.6 to 22.6 per 100,000 people.

On the flip side, the research also reveals the safest countries for driving.

Norway ranks first with a safety driving score of 8.20/10, due to low road traffic death rates and high seatbelt use.

Iceland is a close second with a 8.05/10 safety driving score. Iceland’s maximum motorway speed limit is set at 55 mph/90 kph, which is much lower than the average (75 mph/120 kph for countries in this rating).

Estonia is the third safest country to drive in with a 7.90/10 safety driving score. Estonia has one of the highest seat-belt wearing rates for front-seat passengers in the world (97.3%), while the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is one of the lowest (0.02%).

Click here to view the full report.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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