The Best & Worst Drivers By State - The EmpireCovers Blog
The Best & Worst Drivers By State - The EmpireCovers Blog


Driving is a part of everyday life for many Americans. As of 2018, there were over 225 million licensed drivers in the United States, meaning over two-thirds of the country are legally allowed to get behind the wheel and drive. Of course, just being licensed to drive doesn’t actually make someone a good driver.

Anyone who drives regularly has experienced bad drivers while on the road, with the worst offenders often becoming long-term reminders of what not to do while operating a vehicle. Recognizing that driving is a skill and some people are better at it than others, the team here at EmpireCovers wanted to explore how driving ability and driving records correlate to the kinds of cars people own and the states where they learned to drive. 

To do this, we conducted a survey of over 2,600 licensed drivers from around the country, anonymously asking them to tell us what kind of car they drive, where they are from, how many points have been taken off their licenses, their accident and ticket history, and more. Once we evaluated the results, we found some very interesting trends and insights, which we turned into a series of graphics and maps. Read on to see all that data!

As a baseline to help contextualize the rest of the data, we looked at the total survey responses to find what the average driving record looks like. We found the average driver has been pulled over just under three times and received 2.33 tickets from those encounters, resulting in an average of 2.51 points taken off of their license. We also found that over 57% of drivers have gotten into an accident before, while 22% of drivers have been at fault for an accident in the past. A similar 22% have had their license suspended or revoked before. Finally, the average driver gives themselves a score of 7.90 out of 10 in terms of how they perceive their driving ability.

Having found what the average driver overall looks like, we wanted to find data on the average driver of different car brands. In the table above we highlighted the “best” brand in each column green and highlighted the “worst” in red. One thing that caught our eye was the fact that Volvo drivers were the “worst” in three different categories, indicating to us that Volvo drivers are some of the overall worst on the road. This is even more interesting considering U.S. News and World Report ranked Volvo second on their list of safest car brands of 2020, meaning the safety record of Volvos has to fight against user error in addition to everyday driving dangers.

While Volvo drivers were consistently ranked near the bottom of almost every category and recognized that in their self-assessments, we found a few instances where driving records and self-perception didn’t match up quite as consistently. We found that BMW drivers are near the bottom in multiple important categories, including having the MOST average number of points taken off their license, yet they still rate themselves as the second-best drivers among all car brands. We found similar disconnects between drivers in Nevada and Nebraska, where they finished with the worst results in major categories but still ranked themselves in the top-five overall. Conversely, Subaru drivers have largely excellent driving records, yet appear to doubt their skills behind the wheel, ranking themselves second-worst.

Finally, we turned state-by-state data in a series of interactive heat maps. You can use the drop-down menus to select a specific metric and then hover over a state to see their results for that metric, while the map overall shows how the states compare to one another. Feel free to explore and see how your home state stacks up to the rest of the country! 

No matter where you live or what kind of car you drive, safety on the road is no accident. Taking steps to be a better driver can help keep yourself and others safe while behind the wheel. And if you want to keep your car safe even when you aren’t driving it, be sure to check out the selection of automotive covers for sale at EmpireCovers!

Make Up To 150 Face Masks With A Car Cover

Message Jake Goldblum, CEO of EmpireCovers

Helping Our Community and Customers

The lack of medical masks has become a growing issue and concern, so we have taken some actions to help as best as we can:

  • We urge our customers to create their own masks so that the highest quality masks can make their way to the health care workers that need them the most.
  • We have created an easy instructional video that teaches you how to use our covers to create your own masks (Linked Above).
  • While these masks are not medical grade, our covers are made from a similar non-woven breathable material found in surgical masks, have a soft inner lining, and are splash proof, which mitigates the spread of the virus.
  • One car cover can make up to 150 masks. We encourage those who have access to the equipment needed to make at-home masks to make as many as they can to provide them to their neighbors and community members who are unable to sew them themselves.
  • For those who want to make their own masks and do not have a sewing machine, we recommend using duct tape or a stapler instead.

Facts About Face Masks

  • Face Masks (aka Personal Protective Equipment) are in extremely short supply in the United States. They should not be confused with N95 Masks—which are sealed to the face and critically needed by medical personnel and those who are known to have been directly exposed to patients with proven or suspected COVID-19. However, as evidenced below, face masks have real value and benefit.
  • Face masks have real value and benefit and should be supplied to and are STRONGLY recommended to be worn by older adults, those with underlying medical conditions and others who need to leave their home for any reason
    • Face masks, importantly, prevent users from touching their mouth and nose with their possibly contaminated hand.
    • See Boston Globe article , 3/19/2020, “Guidance against wearing masks for the coronavirus is wrong – you should cover your face”.
    • Face masks PREVENT potential asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic transmission and are strongly recommended by older adults and those with underlying medical conditions. See authoritative British Medical Journal, the Lancet, 3/20/2020: “Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic”: Perhaps it would also be rational to recommend that people in quarantine wear face masks if they need to leave home for any reason, to prevent potential asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic transmission. In addition, vulnerable populations, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions, should wear face masks if available. Universal use of face masks could be considered if supplies permit (Emphasis added)
  • The CDC’s advice similarly includes: To protect yourself: wear a face mask if you are sick and cover coughs and sneezes.

We will continue to do our best to help our community and customers during this crisis. I'd like to personally thank everyone for their continued support and patience. EmpireCovers has and always will keep you covered. Stay safe, stay inside, and we will get through this together.


Jake Goldblum


COVID-19 Resources and Articles

-Boston Globe, Guidance against wearing masks for the coronavirus is wrong - you should cover your face:

-The Lancet, Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic:

-CDC, COVID-19 Prevention:

-White House, 15 days to slow the spread:

-World Health Organization, Advise for the public:

-Google, COVID-19 Resources:

Top Super Bowl Car Commercials of the Decade

One of the best parts of the Super Bowl is undoubtedly the commercials. So to celebrate the start of a new decade and the upcoming 54th Super Bowl, we've compiled our list of the best car commercials from each Super Bowl over the last decade. Take a look at our top picks below.

2010: Volkswagen - 'Punch Dub'

'Punch Dub' was aired in the third quarter of the Super Bowl XLIV, with a cameo appearances by Tracy Morgan and Stevie Wonder. Volkswagen has fun with the ad, taking inspiration from the classic game that kids used to play back in the original Beetle’s heyday called “Punch Buggy”.

2011: Volkswagen - 'The Force'

Volkswagen takes the top spot again with one of their most memorable commercials, 'The Force'. The ad features a kid ambling about his house dressed as Darth Vader while attempting to use the force on everything from the family dog to the new Passat sitting in the driveway. This wholesome commercial still remains to be one of the top watched Super Bowl commercials of all time.

2012: Chevrolet - 'Mayan Apocalypse'

The 2012 spot goes to Chevy with their 'Mayan Apocalypse' commercial. The ad takes inspiration from the 'End of the World' fad that ran rampant in 2012 due to the Mayan calendar ending. Chevy shows just how tough their trucks are by putting them through the apocalypse.

2013: Audi - 'Prom'

Audi takes a storytelling approach in their 2013 commercial, 'Prom'. The ad tells the story of a boy who has to face his worst fear, going to his senior prom alone. However, when his sympathetic dad lends him the keys to a shiny black Audi S6, his confidence blooms which leads to an impassioned kiss with the prom queen... and black eye, courtesy of the prom king.

2014: Jaguar - 'Rendezvous'

Jaguar takes inspiration from British spy movies with this 2014 hit. The star studded cast features Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong.

2015: Dodge - 'Wisdom'

Dodge's ad, “Wisdom”, is a partial celebration of the company turning 100. In this commercial, the company has rounded up a group of people who are 96 years old and older to offer up a few words of wisdom.

2016: Hyundai - 'First Date'

Hyundai enlists the help of Kevin Hart for this comedic spot. In this commercial, Hart lends his Hyundai Genesis - equipped with a GPS tracker - to his daughter’s date so that the couple’s whereabouts can be tracked throughout the night.

2017: Buick - 'Not So Pee Wee Football'

Buick’s 2017 commercial, 'Not So Pee Wee Football', features NFL player Cam Newton, supermodel Miranda Kerr, and well-earned laughs. The ad is meant to change people's perceptions on Buick vehicles by showing off their newest models and having character's ask, "That's a Buick?", in disbelief.

2018: Toyota - 'Good Odds'

Toyota's 2018 spot, 'Good Odds', shows the heart-touching story of Lauren Woolstencroft, an eight-time Paralympic gold medallist born without legs below the knee and no left arm below the elbow. The commercial does not feature any vehicles, but it definitely provides viewers with plenty of inspiration.

2019: Hyundai - 'Elevator'

Last year's top pick goes to Hyundai's 'Elevator' commercial. The commercial features Jason Bateman as an elevator attendant, taking the passengers to a number of different floors for things such as root canals, jury duty, and more until they are brought to the top floor to buy a Hyundai. The commercial highlights Hyundai's Shopper Assurance program, which the company says makes car buying more convenient and more pleasant.

The Top 5 Craziest Concept Cars

Concept vehicles have always been a part of the design process in the automotive industry. Some serve as inspiration for future models, while many never even make it to production. Check out our list of the five most interesting vehicles from Toyota, Mazda, Infiniti, and Honda that never made it past the concept phase.

Toyota RV-2

Revealed in 1972 at the Tokyo Motor Show, this car was targeted toward people who wanted a station wagon with the benefits of a camper, but without having to tow one around. The car had a sleek and modern design (modern for the 1970's that is) with a unique roof feature. The rear half of the car had two clam shell doors that acted as the roof and side panels when closed; when opened, you could stretch fabric between the two sides to create a tent. Toyota passed out brochure ads of the RV-2 all over the US to gauge interest. They even had an article written about it in Penthouse Magazine, which featured topless women camping in the car. After all their effort, they still were not able to generate enough demand from the American market to put the vehicle into production.

Mazda Miata Mono-Posto 

Mazda's Miata Mono-Posto scraps any non-essential features, like doors, windows, or even a passenger seat, to focus on performance.  The concept is based on the second-generation Miata and was introduces in 1998 as a 1999 model. The Mono-Posto, which translates to "one seat", is the car for any true roadster lover. The car features an air intake in the hood, one-piece valence front and rear fascias, a cowl-mounted rear-view mirror, a minimalist windshield, and an aluminum rollbar. The missing stereo is something you won't miss either when you hear the roar of the turbocharged inline-four 1.8-liter engine with 190 horsepower. However, Mazda never intended on creating a full production version of this vehicle, it was purely designed as a concept car to test out new ideas for future models.

Infiniti Kuraza

The Infiniti Kuraza takes an interesting approach to its design by focusing on comfort over utility. Designed by Nissan, this concept car was first unveiled in 2005 at the North American International Auto Show. The design director of the project, Kojii Nagano, stated that the focus of the project was hospitality rather than transportation. The main feature of the vehicle is a third set of doors that are rear-hinged, allowing easier access to the back row of seats. To make the interior even more spacious, the car only had six seats instead of the usual eight. The Kuraza was met with negative reception from the public and never entered production. Perhaps if Uber pools existed in 2005, then there might have been more interest in this spacious luxury SUV.

Mazda Taiki

The next concept car on our list is another Mazda creation. The Mazda Taiki was introduced in 2007 as a potential direction for future generations of sustainable sports cars. The name, Taiki, means "atmosphere" in Japanese, which is appropriate for a car designed with air-flow in mind. The interior and exterior of the car were both designed to be visual representations of the flow of wind and were inspired by traditional Japanese windsocks and flowing robes. The wheels and tires were even designed with aerodynamics in mind, resulting in an impressive drag coefficient of 0.25. Other features include butterfly doors, rear-wheel drive, and a RENESIS rotary 16X engine, which is mated to a 7-speed, double-clutch gearbox. The Taiki was one out of four cars in the Mazda Nagare concept series and was never intended to be rolled out for full production.

Honda Fuya-Jo

The last car on our list is also the most unusual. First shown at the 1999 Tokyo Auto Show, this car was designed with the nightlife crowd in mind. The Fuya-Jo, which translates to "sleepless city", had a dashboard resembling a DJ mixing table and a steering wheel shaped like a turntable. The interior had lower, flattened floors and semi-standing seats to allow passengers to dance inside the vehicle as if it were a personal nightclub. As you can imagine, the car also featured an impressive sound-system truly making it a party-on-wheels. Honda created this concept vehicle to test which ideas the youth market may possibly want to see from the automotive industry. However, the target market of the car was too niche, and it did not appeal to the general public. Maybe the Fuya-Jo would have had more success as a prop vehicle in "Blade Runner".

Our March Mayhem Contest Winner
Our March Mayhem Contest Winner

This year, we ran a March Mayhem contest to see which of our customers could successfully select the winner of the NCAA Championship.

This year's winner was Tom Peltz, who won an American Armor Ripstop Truck Cover.

Here's Tom's response to receiving his prize:

Good Morning Jordan.

The cover arrived on Friday, and I was very surprised to see a security cable, storage bag, and microfiber towels.  Again Thank You very much, and thank you to Empire Covers!  My truck feels very cozy.

Best regards.

Tom Peltz

Congrats Tom, we hope your truck and everything else you cover stays cozy for years to come.

The 7 Most Iconic Movie Cars, Period.

For most of us, our first exposure to a real car came from the movies. While stunts and speed are enhanced by Hollywood Magic, there’s still something thrilling about seeing a powerful piece of machinery tearing up the road, flying through the air and surviving until the end credits.

In honor of Oscar Week, we thought we’d share our list of the seven most iconic movie cars of all time. If you happen to find yourself holding the pink slips for one of these vehicles, we've also provided a suggested cover, to keep your iconic car protected against the elements.

1. Bullitt - 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback

Lt. Bullitt: You believe what you want. You work your side of the street, and I'll work mine.


Trying to protect a witness on the mean streets of San Francisco? Don’t know who you can trust. Are you the kind of cop who does what he needs to, and damn the rules. Are you prepared to participate in one of the most gripping chase scenes filmed for a motion picture?

Then you need the 1968 Fold Mustang Fastback

Frank Bullitt's (Steve McQueen's) car is a 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback. The bad guys drive a 1968 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum. The Charger is just barely faster than the Mustang, with a 13.6-second quarter-mile compared to the Mustang's 13.8-second.

Fun Fact

McQueen was known to be an expert driver, performing many of the car and motorcycle stunts in movies like “Bullitt” and “The Great Escape”.

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2. Back to the Future – Delorean DMC-12

Marty McFly: You made a time machine… out of a DeLorean?


Jumping jigawatts! If you’re trying to get back to the future before you stop your parents from falling in love and thereby erasing your own existence, you need to be behind the wheel of the DeLorean DMC-12.

Designed by Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, and engineered by Lotus Cars of England, the DMC-12 consisted of stainless steel body panels, a rear-mounted 2.85 litre V-6 PRV engine, and stylish gullwing doors, which only require 14-inches (35.5cm) of side clearance to open.

While the DeLorean Motor Company folded shortly after the film opened, the sleek stainless steel design lives on, in a place where you don’t need roads.

Fun Fact

While the Delorean could easily go from 0-60 in 8.8 seconds, experts contest that the car couldn’t have reached the required 88 mph necessary for time travel, especially when driving around a mall parking lot.

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3. The Blues Brothers - 1974 Dodge Monaco

Elwood: There's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, its dark out, and we're wearing sunglasses.
Joliet Jake: Hit it!


When you’re on a mission from God, you need a car that can make it to Chicago in record time, brakes that allow you to pull off insane parking maneuvers and shocks that can withstand a jump off the 95th St. Bridge.

Look no further than the Bluesmobile.

The Bluesmobile is a decommissioned police 1974 Dodge Monaco sedan with a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant, cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks and it was made before catalytic converters so it gets great power on regular gas.

The key player in one of the most over the top chase scenes ever conceived, this machine will get you where you need to go, no matter how many police cars are after you.


Fun Fact

At the time of the film's release, it set a world record for the most cars destroyed in one film; it held this distinction until 1998 when it was surpassed by its own sequel.

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4. Smokey and the Bandit - 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Cledus Snow: Atlanta to Texarkana and back in twenty-eight hours? That ain't never been done before, not in no rig.
Bandit: That's cause *we* ain't never done it in no rig.


Eastbound and down? Trying to get from Texas to Atlanta with a truckload of contraband beer? You need a really speedy car to keep one very determined Sheriff from catching you, specifically the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

The Pontiac Trans Am benefitted from a then new and distinctive, slant-nose facelift that included inset square headlights.  Pontiac offered the 400 cu in (6.6 L) engine with a single 4-barrel Rochester Quadrajet carburetor RPO and a maximum torque of 325 lb.⋅ft. at 2400 rpm, as opposed to the regular 6.6 L 400 (RPO L78) rated at 180 Hp (130 kW).

While Burt Reynolds left us this past year, his legacy lives on, every time one of these speed machines comes racing down the highway.

Fun Fact

Trans-Am sales went up 70% after Smokey and the Bandit opened. The president of Pontiac Motor Company appreciated it so much that he offered Burt Reynolds a free Pontiac every year for life. Unfortunately, it was for the life of the President of Pontiac who passed on six years (and six cars) later.

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5. Bonnie and Clyde – 1934 Ford Model B (V8)

Bonnie Parker: Would you know what kind of car this is?
C.W. Moss: This is a 4-Cylinder Ford Coupe.
Bonnie Parker: No, this is a stolen 4-Cylinder Ford Coupe.

The only historical car on the list, the real-life Bonnie and Clyde stole a V8 Ford and used it to commit a string of robberies across the Midwest. Their story ended when their car was riddled with over 100 armor piercing bullets at close range.

Offering an 85hp engine a 221 cu. in. engine with dual carburetors, three-speed transmission and 4-wheel mechanical brakes, the car made for a fast, stylish and roomy getaway car.

Arthur Penn’s film adaptation starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway and the final scene showing the famed duo getting gunned down shocked audiences and ushered in a new kind of film-making that changed how violence could be depicted on screen.

Fun Fact

Before his untimely demise, Clyde Barrow wrote a letter to Henry Ford praising the speed and power of the Ford V8.

“For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned and even if my business hasen’t been strickly legal it don’t hurt enything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8. [sic]”

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6. Ghostbusters - Ecto 1 - The 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance Limo

Peter Venkman: I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people. Actually, it's more of a guideline than a rule...


When you’re the world’s best (and only) paranormal entrapment and elimination service, you need a vehicle that can carry four unlicensed nuclear accelerators around New York City while dodging ghosts, slimers, the EPA and the biggest marshmallow to ever walk the earth.

Who ya gonna call? Ecto 1 a.k.a. the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance Limo.

The Miller-Meteor was a rare creation, made by two former competitors with a limited production. Only about 400 vehicles were made. The power plant was a 6.3-liter V-8, good for 320 horsepower. Seems like a lot until you factor in the cars’ curb weight: around three tons. The tailfins were the largest to appear on a production car. They’re the same from the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado.

At nearly 20 feet in length, the Cadillac Miller-Meteor isn’t the easiest to navigate, but at least you get a smooth ride thanks to its air suspension system.

Fun Fact

Early scripts called for a 1975 Cadillac ambulance. Though by the time the final shooting script was locked in, the 1959 model was settled on, though the purchase price was too low at $1,400. The cost Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) mentions in the film, $4,800, was more believable.

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7. Goldfinger (James Bond) - Aston Martin DB5

Q: Do try to bring it back in one piece 007.


Trying to save the world from nefarious megalomaniacs and their evil henchmen? Hoping to seduce Pussy Galore and convert her from a foe to an ally? Then the only car for you in the Aston Martin DB5.

The high-performance DB5 Vantage was introduced in 1964 featuring three twin-choke 45DCOE side-draft Weber carburetors and revised camshaft profiles, delivering greater top-end performance Only 65 DB5 Vantage coupés were built, so finding one isn’t easy. Also, the ejector seat and usual countermeasures are extra.

Fun Fact

Aston Martins Have Appeared In Half Of All Bond Films. After the DB5 appeared in Goldfinger, it was established as Bond’s signature vehicle. Since then it’s appeared in Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Living Daylights, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.

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Disagree with our list? Share your ideas in the comments. Remember, the car needs to have been featured in a full-length film that was shown in theaters. We’ll do TV cars another time.


Little Limericks for St. Patrick's Day

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day we thought we'd share a few limericks that are near and dear to our heart.