The 20 Major US Cities With the Worst Drivers
Kinda like with traffic, people enjoy complaining about how bad the drivers in their city are. It's almost like a point of pride, a badge of honor to sit in traffic and suck at driving.
But which cities really do have the crappiest drivers? Thankfully, the good folks at Allstate Insurance -- you know, since they’re the ones paying for all the bad driving -- actually track that kind of data, and annually rank the 200 largest cities in the United States based on how likely motorists are to get into an accident (compared to the national average), and how long those drivers go between accidents.
We took that list and narrowed it down to just the biggest metropolitan areas -- as in towns with at least one pro sports team and/or an edition of Thrillist -- to bring you the 20 major US cities with the absolute worst drivers.
For the full 1-200 ranking complete with the nation's best-driving town, Fort Collins, CO, and its most abysmal, Worcester, MA, be sure to click on the link at the bottom.
20. Houston, TXMuch like they do when talking about baseball, people forget to include Houston when discussing the country's biggest cities. They also don’t mention it when talking about car crashes, despite the fact that drivers there are 31% more likely to get in an accident compared to the national average. Probably because you have to drive so far to get anywhere.
19. Austin, TXSince every person living in a major US city who’s tired of their life seems to think that a move to Austin will solve all their problems, the city has grown faster than its infrastructure could keep up. The result? Miserable traffic and a 30.3% higher likelihood of getting into an accident.
18. Tampa, FLIt should come as no surprise that the city where most bizarre Florida news happens is also the home of some of the state's worse drivers. When you’re running a meth lab out of your motorhome and/or are a hot teacher chauffeuring around her 15-year-old boyfriend, things like “traffic laws” probably fall by the wayside too.
17. Cincinnati, OHThough not a place usually noted as being bad at any one thing (except maybe winning NFL playoff games... oh, and haircuts, if your only impression of the city is WKRP) this city is 35.8% more likely to have drivers involved in a wreck. Also creating added headaches for the insurance companies is the fact that a good part of the population lives across the river in Kentucky.
16. Seattle, WAYou’d think that with 387 days of rain a year, Seattleites would figure out how to drive on wet roads. Although if you ask a local, they have; all the extreme slowdowns and skids are caused by people who moved there to work for Amazon. Whoever’s to blame, Seattle’s got the 16th worst drivers in America, making only slightly better decisions than their head football coach in the Super Bowl.
15. Dallas, TXThe 15th worst big-city drivers in the country are in the sprawling Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, where the average motorist goes 7.4 years between accidents. Or roughly as long as the Cowboys go between playoff wins.
14. Portland, ORIn a city where driving a car is only trumped in uncoolness by listening to pop music and drinking Bud Light, Portland’s accident rate is 37.2% above the national average. Which means that either all the good drivers are biking to work, or the city now has so many bike lanes that it’s pretty much impossible to avoid hitting a mustachioed unicyclist.
13. Buffalo, NYWe’re as surprised as you are that there are actually still people living in Buffalo. But apparently there are, and they can’t seem to avoid the other 28 people who still live there -- going only 7.4 years between accidents. They must just not be used to seeing anyone.
12. Atlanta, GAOne of the great mysteries of driving through the southeast is how you're 100% guaranteed to hit traffic in Atlanta, even if you're driving through the city at 3am on a Wednesday. Some might chalk it up to sheer volume, but having the 12th worst drivers in the 11th biggest metro area means there’s pretty much always going to be an accident somewhere.
11. Newark, NJSince having a car in New York City makes about as much sense as having a swimming pool in Alaska, their drivers actually don’t rate that poorly. The poor saps in Newark, however, represent for the Tri-State area on this list, coming in at #11.
10. New Orleans, LANew Orleans might be the Big Easy for things like drinking and strip clubs, but for driving... notsomuch. You're nearly 40% more likely to be involved in an accident (that does not involve throwing up on Bourbon Street) in New Orleans than anywhere else in America.
9. Oakland, CAEven though the traffic in Oakland isn’t quite as bad as it is across the bay in San Fran, the city still cracks the top 10. Its drivers are 42.6% more likely to get into an accident. No word, however, if "accident" also includes vandalism from disgruntled Raider fans.
8. Miami, FLHere’s a great idea: take an existing population that got their drivers licenses during Prohibition, then add in millions of drivers who got their licenses in countries where the traffic laws are enforced almost as much the election laws. Welcome to Miami -- now buckle up.
7. Pittsburgh, PAIf ‘Da Burgh was still economically tied to steel production (don’t let those terrible towels fool you!), you might think this was some kind of conspiracy by local drivers to wreck cars to drive up demand for the metal. But Pitt is really more of a technology and research city now, albeit one apparently full of people who suck at driving.
6. Los Angeles, CAYou’d think that a city where 18 million people can fit onto 15 freeways and still manage to drive 70mph would rate a little lower on this list. Then again, Allstate didn’t factor in anecdotal evidence. So LA rates 6th, where you’re a whopping 52.8% more likely to be involved in a crash than elsewhere in the nation.
5. San Francisco, CASure, San Fran might have the most spectacular natural scenery of any major city in the United States, but that's still no excuse to be caught admiring it as you ram into the car in front of you. SF motorists make it only 6.4 years between accidents and are 55.6% more likely to have them.
4. Philadelphia, PA“Streets of Philadelphia" isn’t exactly an uplifting song (though it is the BEST song ever written about Pennsylvania!), but walking them doesn’t seem nearly as depressing as driving them when you realize your odds of getting in an accident are 61.2% higher in the City of Brotherly Love.
3. Baltimore, MDNot sure if it’s just an overflow of bad drivers from DC or a bunch of people trying a iiiiittle too hard to imitate scenes from The Wire, but people in Baltimore just love crashing their cars; motorists here barely make it 5 years between accidents.
2. Washington, DCNot only does the sprawl from the Virginia and Maryland suburbs result in possibly the worst commute on the East Coast, but all those cars filtering into the District lead to perpetual gridlock and accidents occurring at a 97.3% higher rate than everywhere else.
1. Boston, MAThere should be exactly zero people who’ve ever been to Boston -- or driven with anyone from Boston -- surprised by this one. They're not called Massholes for nothing. Not only are Bostonians to blame for the lawless driving in their own city (you're 129% more likely to get in a crash), but even seeing a Massachusetts plate while on the road in any other state is pretty much a sign to stay at least 50 lightyears behind that vehicle.
To check out the full report and see where your city falls on the list, click here.