Boston Drivers Ranked Among Riskiest in the Country Even Though It’s Probably Not Our Fault

A trailer truck was split in half while making a turn onto Norfolk Ave from Magazine Street. There were no injuries.
A trailer truck was split in half while making a turn onto Norfolk Ave from Magazine Street. There were no injuries. –The Boston Globe

Here we go again.

A new study from Allstate Insurance seems to reaffirm Boston’s reputation for being home to some of the nation’s worst drivers. They ranked us as the second-riskiest drivers in the country based on average years between crashes, with Boston drivers smashing up their vehicles roughly every 4.4 years.

That seems like a lot, especially when you consider that 198 cities were ranked safer, including Orlando (8.6 years), Chicago (8.2), New York City (7.8), and even Los Angeles, a city so burdened by daily traffic that it’s a miracle people can go 6.5 years between accidents.

Of course, none of those cities even crack the top 100, and once you hit the top 54 cities, you’re talking about places so safe that drivers go literally more than a decade without an accident. The top-ranked duo of Fort Collins, Colorado and Brownsville, Texas see their drivers go 14.2 years between collisions.


But like any smart driver who just got into an accident, Boston needs to follow the golden rule: blame someone else. I have no idea what kind of excuses places like San Francisco (6.4 years) or Worcester (ranked dead last at 4.3 years) are going to come up with, but here in the Hub, we can attribute our propensity for fender benders to the transplants.

Boston has what some would call a “unique’’ system of roads that was apparently created without paying any attention whatsoever to that whole north, south, east, and west thing. Add to the confusing ‘streetgrid’ (or lack thereof) our many rotaries and cobblestone streets, and you’ve got yourself an outsider’s nightmare.

And that’s where this whole “Boston drivers are terrible’’ thing comes in. You see, Boston drivers really aren’t all that bad. Locals who have spent their lives in this bizarrely-configured city have know their way around.

The problem lies with all those other people: the tourists who drive because they can’t be bothered to learn a small, relatively simple public transit system and the transplants who move here and somehow think commuting by car will be easy. And yes, all those damn students who skew our years-between-accidents rate by continuallyrammingtheirmoving trucksinto theStorrow Driveoverpasses.


It’s the transplants, you see, that are to blame. They’re the ones driving the wrong way down one-way streets, not paying attention to street signs, navigating rotaries incorrectly, and holding everybody up while they figure out what lane to be in. They’re the ones causing all these crashes and perpetuating Boston’s terrible reputation. It’s all their fault!

At least, that’s what we like to tell ourselves.

It’s not our fault.

It’s not our fault.

It’s not our fault.

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