Transportation

Boston Has Better Drivers than Baltimore, and Only Baltimore

Take that Baltimore.


Cars in gridlock

Photo via iStock/Grafissimo

Take a bow, Boston drivers. You are, collectively, no longer the worst drivers in America. According to a new study, that title now belongs to Baltimore.

When you crunch the numbers, as the insurance company Allstate did, Boston does not look great, driving-wise. The city averages an insurance claim every 3.9 years, a pretty underwhelming performance considering the national average is apparently about every 10 years. We also have an above-average number of “hard-braking events,” which happen at a rate of about 25.7 times per 1,000 miles (the national average is 19).

But then there’s Baltimore. By Allstate’s count, Baltimore drivers are averaging an insurance claim every 3.8 years, and is braking hard 29.3 times every 1,000 miles. Way to go, losers.

The title of best drivers in the nation, meanwhile, goes to Brownsville, Texas, where the average person goes more than 13 years between insurance claims, well above the national average of 10 years. No one cares, Brownsville.

Who knows what makes Boston such a bad place to drive. Could it be that our traffic problem is getting worse by the year? Or that the MBTA melts down more consistently than a J.P Licks ice cream cone in a heat wave? Is their something in our DNA that makes us hostile to our fellow commuters when the Pike is a bottlenecked mess?

That is perhaps a question for another time. Because Baltimore managed to be worse, and that’s cause for celebration.

So whether you’re a certified alpha who refuses to yield at the crosswalk, or the delivery company that habitually impedes the bike lane on Mass. Ave., or you’re currently blocking the box on Congress Street; whether you’re the kind of person who is way too confident in a rotary or you still have no idea how it works; whether you use yah blinkah or not; you’re all part of one big family—that is not worse than Baltimore.

Never change. Or maybe, I don’t know, do change.