Worst Drivers in America: The State with the Worst US Drivers

Drivers in Washington D.C have once again earned the dubious distinction of being ranked the worst drivers in America. On average, drivers in the nation’s capital get into accidents once every 4.8 years, or twice as frequently as the national average, according to statistics compiled by insurance giant Allstate Insurance. This marks the sixth year in a row that Washington D.C. has ranked at the bottom of Allstate’s list of worst drivers in the US.

Allstate’s Ranking Methodology

Allstate’s ranking are based on an analysis of insurance claims filed by motorists in 100 of the biggest cities in America. It bases its percentages on a weighted average of collision data over a two-year period for each city. For the purposes of the report, Allstate defines a collision as any accident involving a property damage claim. Allstate’s reports do not offer any insight into why drivers in a particular city might be worse than those in another city, though the data suggests that traffic density and amount of miles driven per year may have a role.

According to Allstate’s report, the city with the second worst drivers in the country is Baltimore, where drivers averaged about 5.4 years between collisions. Others on the list of cities with America’s worst drivers include Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco and Arlington, Virginia. At the other end of the chart, drivers in Fort Collins, Colorado, were ranked as the best drivers in the country. According to Allstate, drivers in the city average 13.9 years between accidents and were 28.2 percent less likely than the national average to get into an accident. Boise, Idaho ranked a close second behind Fort Collins for having the best drivers in America, followed by Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Brownsville, Texas and Madison, Wisconsin.

Contested Conclusions

While Allstate’s annual report is widely used as a metric of driving quality in the country, not everybody agrees with its conclusions. In a recent report, Slate magazine, for instance, pointed to several limitations in Allstate’s report. The biggest limitation, according to Slate, is that Allstate insures just 10 percent of motorists around the country, and is not even present in some major states like Massachusetts. As a result, the company’s statistics are not scientifically representative of the worst drivers in America by state. For instance, Boston, which is widely regarded by many to have the worst drivers in the country, is not even listed on Allstate’s report.

Another problem with Allstate’s report is that it does not consider drunk driving, pedestrian strikes or fatalities in car collisions when compiling its report. It also fails to properly weight the number of miles driven each year by motorists in different cities, or the traffic density in different cities. Such factors play an important role in the number of vehicular accidents in a city, according to Slate. Slate magazine concluded, when factors like mileage and severity of accidents are thrown into the mix, the list of cities with the worst drivers changes quite dramatically. Instead of Washington D.C., the city with the worst drivers really is Miami, which has higher rates of automotive fatalities, pedestrian strikes and poor driving habits. The second worst is Philadelphia, followed by Hialeah, Tampa and Baltimore.