Have you ever noticed that many geographic regions lay claim to having the “worst drivers?” It’s like some badge of honor that just seems completely backward to me. It’s like arguing in favor of being the dumbest or the ugliest or the worst at sex. It seems like it’d make more sense to boast about how good your state is at driving. But nevertheless, here we are with people from Boston, Connecticut, New York, DC, SoCal, Bay Area, Krypton, all claiming to have the worst drivers. And why? Who the hell knows.
What constitutes bad driving, anyway? In Boston, we’re really aggressive. In the South, drivers have come across – at least to me – as too passive. Is one style “worse” than another? My parents have been traveling the country pretty frequently the past few years and every time they come back from someplace they’re always bitching about how awful the driving is. But maybe they’re just used to the asshole aggression of New England drivers.
Allstate Insurance tracks claims data and reports on the driving status of the top 200 cities. Now, if you think accidents are a way to measure bad driving, then nobody can touch Massachusetts. Boston came in dead last (200th), with Worcester at 199 and Springfield at 196. Yikes.
The Boston area is pretty great when it comes to fall foliage, historical sites, and football. But when it comes to driving, the city falls pretty short. A new Allstate report looked at how often Allstate-insured customers in the 200 largest U.S. cities were involved in a car crash between 2013 and 2014. Boston ranked last on this list. The insurance company found that the average driver in Boston experiences an auto collision every 3.7 years, which is 167.6 percent higher than the national average; the average U.S. driver experiences an auto collision once every 10 years. Boston also came in at number 200 on Allstate’s 2015 report.
Other drivers across the Bay State aren’t off the hook, either. Worcester ranked just above Boston at number 199, with an average of 4.5 years in between filed insurance claims. That’s 124.4 percent higher than the national average. Springfield also had a low ranking, at number 196. The average driver there experiences an auto collision every 5.7 years, which is 76.7 percent higher than the national average.
And from personal experience, this data makes so much sense to me. I don’t think Massachusetts has bad drivers per se, but we’re wicked aggressive and that leads to accidents. In the three full years of living in the city and having a car, I’ve been on the receiving end of three accidents – one per year. That’s staggering. One of them was a hit and run that resulted in a high-speed chase through the back roads of Brookline. That’s a wild story. Maybe I’ll tell you guys about it sometime. (We call that a tease in the industry, folks).
And want to know where the least accident prone drivers are?
1. Brownsville, TX
2. Kansas City, KS
3. Madison, WI
4. Cape Coral, FL
5. Boise, ID
6. Huntsville, AL
7. Port St. Lucie, FL
8. Wichita, KS
9. Olathe, KS
10. Reno, NV
So essentially, if you want to remain accident free, move to Kansas I guess? Must be tough for a place to stack accidents when there’s maximum six people on the road at any one time. Want to test your metal? Come drive around Massachusetts. Will put you through the gauntlet.
PS – I had to Google search where Brownsville is. Apparently, it’s the southern tip of Texas. I would have guessed that the population is 150 people. 300 tops. Just seems like a really remote place to be. Jesus, was I wrong. 175,000 citizens all driving oddly safe. .