This is an update to my August 14 post in which I, being New To Seattle, marveled about the exceedingly polite local drivers and the stark contrast with a 2010 Allstate Insurance study ranking them among the country’s worse.
Seattle drivers still amaze me daily with their civility. But on Thursday, Allstate came out with its 2011 report, which said the locals have gotten a lot worse on the safety front.
The insurance giant ranked Seattle 147th of 193 large cities in driver safety. That’s in the bottom quarter. Last year, Seattle was 128th. Allstate says it uses a two-year average. Since that means it’s not just what happened in the past 12 months, and Seattle still managed to fall 19 clicks, there’s a pretty good chance next year’s rank will be even worse.
Seattle won the coveted contest to be named the Puget Sound’s most dangerous city for driving. It vaulted ahead of both Bellevue (145th, down from 134th last year) and Tacoma (141st, down from 136). On the other side of the Cascades, Spokane fell from 29 to 40 but still easily mustered Washington State’s safest showing.
Allstate’s metric is essentially how often drivers crack up their cars. So I guess the combined implication of the Allstate report and my own observations is that drivers who whack one another go out of their way to be solicitous. Apparently, they have had a lot of experience in such stressful situations.