While many Americans are privy to the romanticization of street racing through various films and TV shows featuring fast cars driven furiously, most don’t attempt to “live their life a quarter-mile at a time.” Some can empathize with the adrenaline-fueled feeling as sports cars—or their less expensive counterparts—tear by in outlaw style, but it often leads to tickets, costly fines, and even jail time.
Insurify determined the states with the most street racing violations
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the roads were all but empty, not only was the cross-country driving record broken a half dozen times, but racing violations also skyrocketed. Data scientists at Insurify, a car insurance comparison platform, ran the numbers on 4.6 million car insurance applications finding that 3.48 per 100,000 drivers have a street racing violation nationwide. They also determined the 10 states in 2022 with the most violations, culminating in some rather surprising results.
As one of the flattest places on Earth, the Sunflower State is perfect for level roads and dashing between stop signs on country roads. Yet, a street racing violation can garner up to a $500 fine and six months in jail, which at least 11.25 drivers out of 100,000 have experienced.
The Cornhusker State features many long, straight roads where people can launch from the starting line without many seeing them if they want to risk a $1,000 fine and six months in jail for local lore. However, with 13.13 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation, law enforcement likely knows how to hide amongst the crops.
With its stunning mountainous beauty comes the picturesque winding roads that are undoubtedly brilliant to barnstorm. 13.66 Aloha State drivers out of 100,000 have a street racing violation on their record, which carries the same penalties as Kansas. Nevertheless, the island state is only three percent higher than average in drivers with a speeding ticket.
The Commonwealth that gave the nation eight of its presidents is also home to some of America’s steepest penalties for street racing. 13.93 drivers out of 100,000 have a violation on their record, which comes with up to a $2,500 fine, one year in jail, and a six-month license suspension.
Beaver State drivers won’t worry about jail time or even points on their license if they’re caught street racing. With a $435 fine, no wonder 14.30 drivers per 100,000 have such a violation on their record, over four times the national average.
Fast Street Racing Cars | Vinayak Sharma via Unsplash
Drivers in Big Sky Country will experience a wide open landscape and an immense skyline on the road, but they also may witness street racing as 14.32 drivers per 100,000 have a violation on their record. Even though it will garner up to a $500 fine and five points against one’s driving record, enough were caught to give Montana mid-point on the list.
Subaru Street Racing | Qijin Xu via Unsplash
Another upper Midwest entry shares geography and the number of racing violations as Montana. The Spud State features 15.95 drivers out of 100,000 penalized for the act, which carries significant penalties. Those caught face a fine of up to $1,000, six months in jail, and four points against their driving record.
The Badger State is known for its abundant dairy and brewing industries, but it does garner attention for its fast drivers. Wisconsin boasts 18.41 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation. Regardless, the infraction doesn’t have much of a penalty, with just a $20 to $400 fine.
#2: North Dakota
Street Racing | Noah Boyer via Unsplash
With three times the rate of street racing violations than Wisconsin, North Dakota is second on the list with 43.30 drivers per 100,000 ticketed for the offense. The Peace Garden State has 12.5 times more drivers with racing violations than the national average, but that may not be surprising as the penalty is just $100.
You probably wouldn’t have guessed it, but Wyoming, a state with fewer people in it than the nation’s capital, is America’s street racing capital. There are 45.10 drivers per 100,000 with a street racing violation on their record, more than 13 times the national average. However, the Cowboy State doesn’t seem too worried about it. The offense only leaves you $210 out of pocket.
Is street racing illegal in America?
In a word: yes. There isn’t anywhere in the U.S. that allows street racing, but where it occurs most often is predictable.
Insurify found that street racing is inversely related to population density. This means that states with fewer residents per square mile are more likely to have higher rates of racing than those in more populous states.