Are We the Worst Drivers in America? Yes and No.

So, Allstate has published its eighth annual report of cities with the worst drivers. Given the publisher of the study, I immediately began searching for some hidden bias.

Apparently, we are in the eye of the storm. Washington D.C. is ranked first – which means worst – with Baltimore City right behind in second.

Allstate studied the auto insurance claims frequency of America’s 200 largest cities and found that residents of our nation’s capital were found to get into collisions on average once every 4.7 years. The typical driver in the U.S. is involved in an automobile accident once every ten years. If you aced math class, you might realize that this means D.C. drivers are 112.1% more likely to be a party to an accident than the typical driver in the U.S. For Baltimore drivers, they are worst drivers america89.7% more likely than the average driver. Rounding out the top five, Providence Rhode Island ranks third, Hialeah, Florida fourth, and Glendale, California comes in at fifth.

Where might you want to live? Sioux Falls, South Dakota. For the fifth time out of the report’s eight-year history, Sioux Falls, South Dakota ranks as the safest place to drive, with drivers being 27.6% less likely to be involved in an accident than the typical driver.

Okay, so what does this study mean? You want to avoid Washington, D.C. and Baltimore streets at all costs? Ironically, I think Washington, D.C. and Baltimore might be among the safest streets to drive on in America. Why? Because car accidents are one thing and car accidents that cause serious injury and death are another. In Maryland, Baltimore County has almost twice as many fatal accidents as Baltimore City.

Baltimore City drivers will have fender benders with so much stop and go traffic, not to mention some medieval “sorry we spend all of our money but the food at Capital Grille rules” roads. But they are not getting up to the speeds of Baltimore County drivers on I-83, I-95 and, worse, the curvy rural back roads.

So I think Allstate is misleading people with this study into thinking these “worst drivers” are the “least safe” drivers. (Not on purpose – mind you – they have no motivation to do so. But it might be in their DNA. I may commission a study to test this “Allstate congenitally distorts facts” hypothesis hoping to bump it up to “theory” status.)

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