According to new collision data, we are in the bottom 20 for U.S. cities. Seattleites are 40.7 percent more likely to get in an accident than the average American driver.
If it seems like Seattle drivers keep getting worse, it’s not just your imagination.
According to the 2015 “America’s Best Drivers Report,” released Monday by Allstate Insurance — whose customer base is big enough in each market to constitute a statistical sample size — we now rank a pathetic 184th among 200 U.S. cities for our ability to avoid crashing into each other.
In the 11 years that Allstate has been conducting the study, this marks Seattle’s worst performance, and the first time we’ve ever placed in the bottom 20. Last year, we ranked 173rd.
It wasn’t always like this. For a while, our driving skills were actually improving. Starting in 2006, Seattle climbed up Allstate’s rankings for four consecutive years. We hit our peak in 2010, coming in at 128th out of 200.
But since then, it’s been all downhill.
So what changed? We can’t blame Amazon employees for this one, too, can we?
According to Allstate’s analysis, which is based on the company’s claims data, Seattle drivers now go just 6.9 years between accidents. Seattleites are 40.7 percent more likely to get in an accident than the average American driver.
And for the first time since 2011, Bellevue is among the 200 cities ranked by Allstate — and it’s an inauspicious return, ranking a dismal 174th. Drivers there go 7.1 years between accidents, on average.
That’s the lowest Bellevue drivers have ever ranked — they peaked at 117th in 2009 — but I guess they still get bragging rights over Seattle.
Last year, Portland edged out Seattle as having the worst drivers in the Northwest, but we’re back on top, if only barely. The Rose City ranked just one spot behind us at 183rd.
This year, in addition to the traditional collision-frequency rankings, Allstate also offers a separate ranking in which their analysts weighted for population density.
That gives a bit of a boost to big cities, where there’s much more traffic and other driving challenges, which makes for a greater chance of collisions. But even with that handicap, Seattle still ranks just 159th.
Kansas City, Kan., is America’s safest driving city, while Boston beat out neighboring Worcester, Mass., for having the worst drivers in the nation. The average Beantown motorist manages to go only 3.9 years without crashing into something.