Allstate Insurance released its America’s Best Drivers 2016 report, and the news isn’t good for Baltimore, Maryland motorists. It probably doesn’t come as a big surprise to anyone who’s driven the congested streets of Baltimore City or wrestled with traffic on the Baltimore Beltway: Our city is not among the safest places to drive. Not by a long shot.
In fact, of the 200 cities analyzed by the insurance company’s actuarial experts, Baltimore drivers rank third worst in the nation — beat out only by Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. The chances of being in a traffic accident in Baltimore are much greater than in most major American cities. How often would you guess the average Baltimore driver gets in a car crash?
According to a Forbes magazine article on the Allstate report, Baltimore drivers get in traffic accidents on average every 4.7 years. It could be worse: Worcester, Mass. drivers get in accidents on average every 4.5 years, and Boston takes the cake for having the worst drivers in the nation, who on average get in crashes every 3.7 years.
The safest city to drive in is Brownsville, Texas, where the average driver goes for 14.6 years between traffic accidents — 31.4 percent less frequently than the national average.
This is not the first time Baltimore made the Allstate worst drivers list. Are we really that bad or just victims of overcrowded streets and roadways? A 2013 editorial in the Baltimore Sun offers some explanation, pointing out that “the relatively high traffic congestion of the Baltimore-Washington area” leads to more accidents, higher auto repair costs and more auto insurance claims — which feed into the statistics.
But the article author wrote that Baltimore’s bad driver rap “is probably not because of any fundamental differences in driver behavior or aggressiveness — at least not in a survey that has New York City (Number 172) rated higher.” (Note: NYC is getting safer to drive, at least statistically, ranking 143rd safest in the 2016 Allstate report. Washington, DC, however, is bumping up against Baltimore at the bottom of the safe driver rankings — coming in as fourth worst city in the country for 2016).
Statistics tell a story: They shed light on what we know is it like to drive in and out of Baltimore City and the surrounding highways, such as such as I-83 (JFX) and MD 45 (the York Road). Our Chesapeake Bay Bridge can be a harrowing driving experience for drivers who don’t like heights or being stuck in rush hour traffic on a suspension bridge.
The truth is it is riskier to drive in Baltimore than in other U.S. cities. And no one wants to become a statistic. We have heard so many sad stories in our Maryland personal injury law practice about people going about their business and ending up in a serious or deadly car crash in or around Baltimore. No one plans to leave for work or school or to run an errand and not make it home alive. So take it slow out there and please drive defensively. This is Baltimore, after all.
Related Blog Article:
The Cities with the Worst Drivers in the U.S.
Forbes July 8, 2016
Help for City Drivers
The Baltimore Sun Sept. 3, 2013