Miami, Florida has been named the city with the worst drivers in America. A nearby Miami suburb, Hialeah and large west coast Florida city Tampa are also in the top three.
That’s the claim being made by Slate’s Brian Palmer, who published a lengthy report last week based on his investigation of data provided by Allstate Insurance Company, the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s Housing and Transportation Affordability Index, Centers for Disease Control automotive accident fatality data, and more.
You can read the entire report there to see what you think of his number-crunching. But if he’s right, the conclusion is harsh. Miami is number one for worst drivers, “[a]nd it’s not even close. First in automotive fatalities, first in pedestrian strikes, first in the obscenity-laced tirades of their fellow drivers.”
Ouch. Tell us how you really feel, Mr. Palmer.
So how valid are his results? A quickie unscientific survey based on what people tweet suggested that everybody in Florida thinks he’s right.
The entire top five from bottom to top is Baltimore, Tampa, Hialeah, Philadelphia, and Miami.
So essentially it’s Baltimore, Tampa, Miami area, Philadelphia, more Miami.
If true, the over-the-top terrible driving is another pretty good argument to stay away from Florida, in case the random gunplay and Stand Your Ground laws hadn’t already scared you off.
But I will admit to sneaking doubts.
My city, New Orleans, is a just-missed-the-big-time me-too at number six. Palmer said the city’s ranking gets its boost thanks to its high rate of drunken driving fatalities.
That sounds about right. We’re a party town with very little in the way of safe public transportation, although there are some efforts being made to fix that.
But where’s Las Vegas? Where’s Houston? I can’t speak to Miami, but those drivers are way worse than New Orleans. To borrow Palmer’s language, “and it isn’t even close.”
Palmer said that his results reveal that Phoenix, Arizona, and the entire state of California enjoy pretty good driving. No way, dude. I don’t know what Phoenix or California his calculator has been checking out, but c’mon.
We’re talking two places where people will deliberately roll backwards to cause accidents if you look like you might have insurance. I don’t know about Palmer, but for me that doesn’t make for a very relaxed drive.
I’m willing to believe that people in Florida can’t drive for c**p. I think if I lived in Florida, I’d have a pretty bad attitude about pretty much everything this time of century.
But I think there are some other truly awful drivers out there that deserve to be on any worst driving list worthy of the name.
What Twitter thinks of Miami drivers
The worst part of Miami drivers: ALL car windows are tinted so you can’t look them in the eye when they cut you off.
— Ernie Hsiung (@ErnieAtLYD) July 19, 2013
I’m never driving to Hialeah again, worst drivers in Miami man.
— Victoria Alexandra (@Alexandraax3_) July 17, 2013
Driving in Miami feels like I’m in a race with the worst drivers on the planet
— Jabari Bullock (@TakeFlight_Bari) July 11, 2013
Miami drivers are the worst, always on their phones, not paying attention, ima cut you off and hope you swallow your phone
— A&R Hollywood Henry (@HollywoodHenry) June 19, 2013
MIAMI IS HOST TO THE WORST DRIVERS IN THIS GALAXY.
— CJ Ortiz (@cjortizz) June 8, 2013
— Joanna (@JoannaCocoGrove) July 28, 2013
OK, I’ll agree that’s pretty bad. Driving around New Orleans has gotten guys to wave their guns at me a couple, three times — but no one has ever shot me for honking the horn.
So what do you think? Is Palmer and all of Twitter correct? Does Miami really have the worst drivers?