Top 10 U.S. cities with the worst drivers


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UPDATED: 2019-01-25T19:10:38.942Z
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A damaged car with a city skyline in the background. Caption text: "Top 10 U.S. Cities with the worst drivers

We all have our biases when it comes to where the worst drivers come from. Often times, it’s those pesky out-of-state drivers who always seem to be cutting you off or braking erratically in front of you. But which biases hold some truth, and which are potentially misguided anger on the road?

Allstate, which accounts for writing about 10 percent of all car insurance policies in the United States, published its America’s Best Drivers Report for 2017. The report includes the average time between claims for drivers for the 200 largest cities in the country based on population density. From its claims data, Allstate found that the average U.S. driver has a claim every 10 years.

Below is a look at which U.S. cities have had the most frequent claims, based on Allstate’s data.

Rank Worst cities Avg years between claims
1 Boston, MA 3.6 years
2 Baltimore, MD 4.2 years
3 Worcester, MA 4.3 years
4 Washington, D.C. 4.3 years
5 Springfield, MA 5.3 years
6 Glendale, CA 5.5 years
7 Providence, RI 5.7 years
8 Los Angeles, CA 5.9 years
9 New Haven, CT 6.1 years
10 Philadelphia, PA 6.1 years

1. Boston, MA

Boston, which ranked as the worst driving city in the county in 2016, retained the worst ranking in 2017. With just 3.6 years between claims, Boston drivers are 179.6 percent more likely to have a claim than the national average. Allstate’s Drivewise data showed that Boston drivers registered, on average, 21.4 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles driven.

2. Baltimore, MD

Baltimore moved up one spot in the rankings from 2016 to 2017, checking in as the second-worst city for drivers in the United States. Baltimore drivers are 140.6 percent more likely to file a claim than the national average. Additionally, Baltimore drivers had 25.6 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles driven, according to Allstate’s Drivewise data.

3. Worcester, MA

Worcester, located in central Massachusetts, jumped ahead of Baltimore in the 2017 rankings, though it still ranks among the top three worst driving cites in the country. Allstate found that with an average of 4.3 years between claims, Worcester drivers are 133.8 percent more likely to file a claim than the national average. Drivers from the city experienced 23.6 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles driven.

4. Washington, D.C.

Our nation’s capital may be well-known for its historic monuments and museums, but it doesn’t get a good name for its drivers. According to Allstate, drivers go just 4.3 years between claims, making it 132.4 percent more likely its drivers will experience a claim. Additionally, Allstate Drivewise found Washington, D.C. drivers register 21.5 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles.

5. Springfield, MA

Drivers from Springfield, the third Massachusetts city in the top five, are 90.2 percent more likely to have a claim than the national average. If there’s a positive for Springfield drivers, it’s that the 18.9 hard-braking events is the fewest of any city in the top 10 that had Allstate Drivewise data.

6. Glendale, CA

Glendale, located just outside of Los Angeles, ranks slightly worse for driving than Los Angeles. Drivers go an average of 5.5 years between claims, making it 83 percent more likely they’ll have a claim when compared to the national average. Allstate doesn’t have Drivewise data for Glendale.

7. Providence, RI

Another East Coast city on the list, Providence checks in as the seventh worst city for drivers in the country. Its drivers are 75.8 percent more likely to file a claim than the national average. With 19.8 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles, Providence drivers have fewer than all other cities in the top 10 besides Springfield.

8. Los Angeles, CA

With limited public transportation options, Los Angeles is known for its traffic issues. The heavy traffic likely plays a role in the volume of claims in the city, where Allstate found drivers are 70.9 percent more likely to experience a claim than the national average. Similar to Glendale, there is no Drivewise data on hard-braking events in Los Angeles.

9. New Haven, CT

New Haven, located about 80 miles north of New York City, is the fifth New England city ranked among the top 10 cities with the worst drivers. The city’s drivers have a claim once every 6.1 years, on average, making it 63.2 percent more likely a New Haven driver will have a claim than the national average. Additionally, New Haven drivers experience 27.1 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles driven.

10. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia’s numbers are similar to New Haven’s, with an average of 6.1 years between claims. Philadelphia drivers are hard on the brakes, with drivers registering an average of 39.7 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles. That figure ranks as the most of any of the 200 cities in Allstate’s report.

Finding the best car insurance

At the end of the day, sometimes claims are unavoidable. Whether it’s an accident you’re at-fault for or not, having a reliable car insurance company to help you through the claims process can make the headache of a car accident more bearable. But how can you know which car insurers other consumers have had the best experiences with?

Check out our car insurance rankings to see the top companies according to consumers and to find the top-rated insurance companies in your state. Be sure to read consumer reviews of companies you’re interested in to learn from the experiences of other drivers.


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