Rain or shine, Seattle drivers among the worst in the nation, study reports

Seattle Traffic

SEATTLE -- Are we really all that bad at driving around here? A study by Allstate seems to think so...

The insurance company just released a fresh installment of their "America's Best Drivers" report -- this time factoring in cities' climates into how they rate as overall drivers. For example, you would think it's easier to drive in Los Angeles and Phoenix in the winter than, say, frozen Chicago or Minneapolis.

Seattle had ranked a dismal 179th out of the largest 200 cities just based on straight accident data. Drivers in the Emerald City only go on average about 6.4 years between vehicle crash claims, well below the national average of one per 10 years, the study says. Seattle also rated a bit above average in drivers experiencing a "hard braking" event 19.7 times every 1,000 miles (defined as a sudden stop of 8 mph or more per second -- an indication of a near collision and potential unsafe driving practices.)

But it rains quite often here, so that's an excuse, right? Wet roads make for slicker roads and reduced visibility so we've got it tough up here and it's not all our fault... right? We have to fare much better when rain is accounted for... RIGHT?!?

Ummm....Seattle actually dropped a spot to 180th when you factor in the weather, essentially saying it's no excuse; we'd still be this bad in a sunnier climate. (Or at least that's what their computers say.)

Florida drivers get the most credit for driving in the rain -- sure it's the "Sunshine State" but it's also the nation's thunderstorm capital. Drivers in Hollywood, Florida near Ft. Lauderdale move up 17 spots on the list when factored in for rain. Meanwhile, the desert cities are summarily dinged for having the least-challenging driving weather with Las Vegas dropping 13 spots and some Los Angeles suburbs dropping 10-11 spots.

But don't think Seattle is unique with bad drivers in the Northwest. Spokane fared the best at 103rd, but Bellevue came in at 157th and Tacoma in at 167th.

And before those down south in Portland snicker at us, you all came in at 190th. As bad as Seattle drivers are, it's even worse there.

The worst city? Baltimore, Maryland, narrowly edging out Boston and Washington, D.C. The best was declared to be Brownsville, Texas.

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