What Cities Have The Worst Drivers?

Driving in the breakdown lane is legal on major roads during rushhour on major highways in the greater Boston area. It’s a fact of life up here. I’m not trying to defend excessive speed, swerving, honking for flipping the bird, but the breakdown lane is a fact of life.

And you’ve never heard honking until you’ve driven in South East Asia. You honk if you’re passing, if you’re not passing, or to demonstrate that your horn still works.

I believe it. Washington DC drivers are terrible. Living here, you will perfect the technique of merging onto the interstate in the 3 milliseconds you have when the person on the ramp in front of you has slammed on the brakes because he/she can’t handle speeds over 25 mph while the asshole in the lane to your side has matched your speed to block you from getting in. Driving here is a constant game of chicken.

To the people bitching about Boston drivers you’re just wrong. Drivers in Boston are great they understand it’s a competition and the losers get run into the rails. It’s those outsiders that screw everything up because they don’t know how to play the game.

To me Boston drivers are very predictable. If they can choose and action that benefits them, they will do it every-time regardless of who else is negatively impacted.

DC is by far the worst city I’ve dealt with. Those people are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. It’s full of people that will slow down from 90 to 30 with no reason what-so-ever then speed back up again. All those erratic drivers that you have no idea what they might do next.

The list is based on crash rates perhaps they don’t drive well in Boston, but do they crash? And if so, are the crashes reported.

Also remember if the cops don’t report it it doesn’t count. For instance, in that big Chicago blizzard of this year, unless there was a person injured the police were not sending people out to take reports. They asked you to phone in information via the 311 non-emergency number. Do those count?

I don’t know.

I was a bit surprised to see Philly there as they do have good public transit. I was not surprised to see NYC or Chicago NOT on it, as there is a lot of people taking public trans, thus somewhat reducing the crash rate.

New York City is on the full list. The average New Yorker has a auto accident every 7.8 years. Considering the fact that only 46% of New Yorkers own cars, they may actually be worse than people from Washinston DC. who average 5.1 years.


I’m not clear how the statistics handle the huge number of people in New York who are driving cars they don’t own or the huge number of drivers in D.C. that live in Virginia and Maryland. For that matter a lot of cars in NYC are from outside the city. Does Allstate base the numbers on where the accidents occurred or where the car was registered?

I notice when I look at a list of cities with high car fatality rates the city is a lot different. It appears to have more small cities in fairly rural states.


See, I think DC is pretty predictable. I grew up here and learned to drive here and while I admit we’re crappy, aggressive drivers (and I include myself in that), there’s a pattern. I’ve learned to predict pretty well who’s going to pull out on me without signaling, who’s going to run the light, who’s going to decide 100 feet before the exit that they need to be over four lanes, etc. Maybe I’m just desensitized to it. K-turn in the middle of the street? Sure, why not? Get out of your car at the light to get a can of Coke from the trunk? Hey, we’re not moving anyway, but if you’re not back in that driver’s seat by the time the light turns green, go to hell. I find the craziness has a rhythm.

And Boston drivers do suck. It’s like driving in DC except with roads that are 20% too narrow and end without warning.

When I lived in Massachusetts I thought they were the worst drivers. Then I moved to CT and realized CT drivers must have taught MA drivers how to be bad. IME all* CT drivers are ridiculously inept. (The people driving in Hartford and New Haven don’t just drive in those cities; they move around the entire state!)

*except me of course:p

3 posts longer than I thought it’d take b4 Boston came up!

I lived there for about 3 years, drove several times a week through the city at all times of traffic. It was traumatic for me only the one time that I accendentally ended up in Boston about 3 months after I’d gotten my license, 7 years before I lived there.

The trouble with Boston is that it’s confusing. But I never saw a whole lot of simply bad driving, at least not compared to other parts of the country I’ve driven in. If you don’t know where you’re going, you can create problems, but those are generally people who don’t live there. And anecdote != data but I’m responding to the “I feel like Boston drivers are bad” sentiments in this thread.

If I had to nominate my own “why isn’t it on the list” city, I’d say Worcester. Every damn time I was there (admittedly not many), I was almost hit by someone doing something dumb.

Based on how they got there stats, Worcester doesn’t make it. It’d require people have licenses. Since like half the people involved in accidents there don’t have licenses both parties pick up the pieces of their car and disappear without every reporting it.

The best part of Worcester is Kelly Square 5-6 roads combine, no lights, a few vague signs that don’t help and people merging in from a 45 degree ramp off the highway. It makes driving around the Arc de Triomphe tame.

Boston drivers just plain rock. Who else can turn left down a wrong-way road, run three red lights, turn right on the next sidewalk, drive the whole length of an alley, sneak onto the freeway, merge six lanes into one and back out to six, and never drop below fifty?

Kelley Square is the safest junction in Worcester - because people actually look and pay attention!

and never spill a drop of beer either if they are from Southie.

That’s what I came in to say. I’ve only been there a couple of times, but the whole “EVERYONE drive 10 miles an hour up the ramp and then try to force yourself into 60mph traffic without speeding up” crap was really old.

And it was a long time ago, but I remember six roads emptying into two lanes/tunnels with no control whatsoever right outside the airport.

They’ve fixed the airport access, at least. You’ll still hit congestion, but no clusterfuck.

And this may be the first time I’ve ever seen anyone make a complaint about Boston drivers being too slow. You sure you’re thinking of the same Boston? :slight_smile:

Bangkok is in a class of its own. There have been some pretty horrific accidents, but while the rate is quite high, seems it ought to be higher. I’ve seen even worse elsewhere in the Third World though.

Phnom Penh is curious in that it has major intersections without any stop signs or traffic lights at all – not sure I’ve ever actually seen a trafic light in Phnom Penh – and the vehicles all go through the intersections at the same time from all directions, doing this sort of little weaving dance that puts your hair on end until you get used to it.

Istanbul is pretty insane. I’ve rented a car there and it was stressful. Jakarta driving is also terrible, but the absolute worst driving I have ever seen was in Yemen. In the 15 drive from my hotel to office, I would often pass at least one wreck.

ETA: I agree with my fellow Washingtonian DCnDC (who, it turns out, lives like 3 blocks from me), DC gets a lot of blame for accidents out of our control.

I feel silly putting this after Thailand, Cambodia and Turkey, but I get scared driving in Montreal…:frowning:

that was what I came in to say. If you see a parked car with a left turn signal on that means they are pulling out whether you plan to let them in or not. I thought it was bullshit when someone told me this but WOW, they weren’t kidding.

If they’re going 10 mph on an entrance ramp it’s because they are from out of town and someone just slammed into the back of them when they stopped.