Allstate Insurance provides an annual “America’s Best Drivers Report”, determining exactly where in the country auto claim frequency is the highest in the largest 200 cities in the U.S.
Property damage claims were analyzed from January 2009 to December 2010 in these locales. From the data, it was determined that drivers in the nation’s capital got into collisions once every 4.7 years; the national average was once every 10 years, meaning D.C. drivers are twice as likely to hit you. Awesome.
The full list follows, complete with possible local causes of the chronic bad driving.
1. Washington, D.C. (112.1% greater-than-average accident frequency): Any citizen not working for the U.S. federal government trying to hit anyone working for or involved in the U.S. federal government. (Or Republicans trying to hit Democrats. And the other way around, of course.)
2. Baltimore, MD (87.9%): Superfans of The Wire rear-ending each other while looking for Bodie’s corner (the show ended in 2008).
3. Providence, RI (80.9%): Native Rhode Islanders ramming all other New England states on account of New England states owning the clam chowder industry throne. (New England Clam Chowder to Rhode Island Clam Chowder (which no one ever eats outside of Rhode Island), as it were.)
4. Hialeah, FL (77.6%): I had to Google this place. Which is logical; in January 2009, Forbes voted Hialeah as one of the most boring cities in America. (Citizen backlash likely ensued, seeing as this corresponds with the beginning of the Allstate Report.)
5. Glendale, CA (77.5%): One in four citizens are Armenian? Or maybe it has the same problem as Hialeah: a 2011 study found that people felt Glendale was boring. Let’s go hit cars!
6. Philadelphia, PA (64.1%): Drunk, angry sports fans. Case. Closed.
7. Alexandria, VA (62.6%): Proximity to Washington D.C. and road rage extended to the government folk living six miles south of the capital.
8. Newark, NJ (59.4%): By and large from the concentration of New York Jet fans frustrated from being New York Jet fans.
9. Miami, FL (58.4%): Vain drivers trying to look better than the other vain drivers, forgetting that the other vain drivers are looking at themselves in the window and not the other cars in the rear and side-view mirrors.
10. San Francisco, CA (54.6%): Marijuana. With a tiny contribution from LSD.
11. Jersey City, NJ (53.9%): Jersey City has the nation’s 12th largest downtown. Outside of the Jets, I can’t think of anything remarkable that may be causing bad driving here (other than it being, well, New Jersey.)
12. Arlington, VA (53.0%): Arlington isn’t actually a city; it’s a county. But it IS home to the Pentagon and the DEA. And close to D.C. Like the above, government breeds anger.
13. Tampa, FL (50.2%): Tampa is home to the “Bro Bowl”, one of the last remaining skateboard parks of the 1970s. When you mix retirees and boarders, you get car accidents.
14. Los Angeles, CA (48.5%): Have you ever driven in this city?
15. Paterson, NJ (46.9%): Every summer, Paterson enjoys an African-American Day Parade, a Dominican Day Parade, a Puerto-Rican Day Parade, a Peruvian Day Parade and a Turkish-American Day Parade. I mean, c’mon. I’d want to hit people, too. No one really likes a parade.
16. Fullerton, CA (42.7%): In less than five years, 30 businesses have opened that sell alcohol. Fullerton has been dubbed “Bourbon Street West.”
17. Garland, TX (41.6%): The President George Bush Turnpike Toll. ‘Nuff said, cowboy.
18. Elizabeth, NJ (41.5%): Residents angry over the absolutely atrocious Cameron Crowe film, “Elizabethtown.” It SUCKED.
19. Bridgeport, CT (41.2%): If you’ve ever driven on I-95 through Connecticut’s Gold Coast and Fairfield Country, this won’t surprise you. Blood pressure stays high off the exit ramps.
20. New York, NY (41.1%): Very surprised New York isn’t higher, honestly. The BQE can give you heart palpitations.
21. New Haven, CT (37.5%): Most people who don’t go to Yale hate Yale. There are a lot of people in New Haven not part of Yale. And people from Yale LOVE to put that Yale sticker on the back window of their cars.
22. Torrance, CA (36.7%): Because Chuck Norris lives here?
23. Norfolk, VA (36.3%): It’s at the center of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Not only is it the historic, urban, financial and cultural center of the region, there’s almost no way around it if you’re driving from New England to vacation in the south. Traffic is N U T S, and families like to take RVs with bicycles hanging off the back, strapped on by a likely-stressed out father earlier that morning, wondering why he’s agreed to drive to Myrtle Beach.
24. Yonkers, NY (36.2%): Mostly due to first-time drivers driving into New York thinking, “wait, what? This is the name of a town? Where the hell’s Yankee Stadium?”
25. Arlington, TX (35.4%): Well, it’s the largest city in the country without a transportation system, and it’s home to the Texas Rangers. A team George Bush once owned. So this makes sense on a few levels.
In conclusion, if you want to avoid accidents, stay away from New Jersey, any place that has to do with the federal government, and George Bush.