COLUMBIA, Mo. -

A new study shows Missourians struggle behind the wheel.

CarInsuranceComparison.com ranked Missouri seventh in the nation for the worst drivers.  That is an improvement from last year's second place ranking. 

The rankings are based on several statistics from the National Traffic Safety Administration and two other groups. The study looked at the number of deadly accidents, DWIs, traffic tickets, and careless driving.

These statistics are affecting not only our insurance rates, but safety as well.

"Our insurance rates are reflective of the accidents that occur as a result of this," said John Bell, co-owner of Stuart Insurance Agency in Columbia.

In just the last five years, deadly car crashes claimed on average 850 lives in Missouri each year.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says it's doing its job by stepping up enforcement; troopers gave out nearly 13,000 more speeding tickets in 2012 than 2011.

"We have made improvements, we have been more proactive in cracking down on the laws that have been on the books for several years now," said Bell.

Columbia police started doing traffic stops this year to crack down on seat belt violations and those who drive without car insurance, in addition to their usual DWI checkpoints.