If this seems familiar, unfortunately it is; Baltimore, MD, has been ranked as one of the cities with the worst drivers. Placing near the very bottom of the Allstate Insurance annual “Best Drivers Report,” residents who drive here are more likely to have an accident than almost any of nearly 200 metropolitan areas across the U.S.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we are not surprised by the findings, since our own experience from the standpoint of auto, truck and motorcycle accident law, as well as being motorists ourselves. Apparently not many Marylanders disagree with the results either, based on the comments coming from the public following the publishing of Allstate’s survey results.
According to news reports, the Allstate report lists 193 cities all across the United States and all but one of those ranked better than Baltimore. And, not only is Baltimore apparently a haven for bad drivers, Washington, D.C., is not much better. But then again, more than one person has likely pointed out that driving in the District is a risky venture, at least from the standpoint of being caught up in a traffic accident.
This report only confirms what many resident of this state already know, which is to always use extreme caution when operating a motor vehicle along any of Maryland’s numerous publics road. As we know ourselves, single- and multiple-vehicle collisions involving car and commercial trucks are not uncommon in places like Rockville, Annapolis, Columbia, and Bowie, MD.
According to the report, Baltimore finished almost dead last, just ahead of Washington, D.C., the worst city for avoiding a roadway wreck. Even Newark came out ahead of Baltimore and the District.
In statistical terms, drivers in D.C. average one car accident every 4.8 years, while those motorists in the Baltimore area can, on average, avoid a traffic collision for about six months longer than those in the nation’s capital. And over in Virginia, Alexandria drivers were ranked 10th worst with a crash once every 6.4 years.
It could be an East Coast thing, as some have pointed out, with drivers in cities along the Interstate 95 corridor having accidents more often than much of the rest of the country. In fact, those drivers in the mid- to far-west, such as Colorado, Idaho and Lincoln, NE, being in the top tiers of the best driver report.
If anything, we can only improve. Although both Baltimore and the District have maintained the last two spots in the Allstate reports two years running. As the Allstate report also makes clear, the number of car and light truck crashes have gone down in recent years, yet with all the declining figures, deaths from fatal traffic collisions nationwide stand at more than 32,000 annually.
As we ourselves know, being car, motorcycle and trucking injury lawyers, driver error is one of the largest causes of traffic accidents. So Allstate’s call for better-educated motorists would be a good step in helping to improve highway safety. Key among the best driving habits is minimizing of distractions, such as cellphone use, texting, fiddling with the radio, putting on makeup, and others.
This is followed closely by awareness on the driver’s part of the actual road surface conditions. Understanding the effects of ice, snow, fog and rain on vehicle performance and control would go a long way toward improving the safety of our roadways.
10 Cities With the Best and Worst Drivers, USNews.com, September 1, 2011
Report: Worst drivers in America are in Baltimore, BaltimoreSun.com, September 1, 2011