Surprising No One, Massachusetts Cities Have the Riskiest Drivers

Allstate's annual list of populated cities finally ranks Boston where everyone expected it: the bottom.
Street light image by Josh Ward on Flickr.

Street light image (fail) by Josh Ward on Flickr.

This year, Massachusetts finally achieved the dishonor that most expected of it years ago: an annual Allstate ranking found that the cities of Boston and Worcester have the worst drivers. And if you wonder what took us so long, know that this is the first year they’ve even included us in the list.

Allstate looked at the accident data from January 2011 to December 2012 and found that among the 200 most populated urban areas, Boston and Worcester drivers had the most frequent accident rates. Allstate puts out the list every year to emphasize safe driving habits. They intend it as recognition for the safest driving cities, but each year, the internet does its thing and scrolls to the bottom to find out where not to take a road trip. This year, Boston sits at 199th out of 200. Our car operators typically make it 4.4 years between accidents. At 200th is Worcester, where drivers last about 4.3 years on average between crashes. That makes them 134.8 percent more likely to get in a crash than the national average. The safest driving cities this year were Fort Collins, Colorado; Brownsville, Texas; and Boise, Idaho.

The rest of the internet has already written this off as a given for a state full of “Massholes.” But if you think this is a perennial loss for us, you’re wrong … sort of. Massachusetts was excluded from the ranking until recent years because Allstate didn’t sell policies here until 2009. This is a bit like having a contest for worst T line but removing the Green Line from consideration. Washington D.C. has usually topped the list of worst drivers, but it’s been a pyrrhic victory, one earned only because the real competition wasn’t invited to the party. Now that we’re allowed, we’ve deftly unseated D.C., which now sits at third worst.

This was, by the way, intended as an exercise in encouraging safe driving habits. And, even if it amusingly confirms our reputation, car accidents remain terrible. So Allstate reminds us in a statement, “Pedestrians, emergency vehicles, delivery trucks, parking cars, taxi cabs and public-transportation vehicles such as city buses” are the kinds of obstacles that make city driving particularly treacherous. This isn’t a contest we want to lose next year, so put down your dad-blamed cell phone, keep your rage fits in check, and be safe out there, ya moron!

Eric Randall
Eric Randall Eric Randall, Contributor at Boston Magazine