Our Blog

Are Washington drivers really that bad?


We have previously written about drivers in Washington’s metropolitan areas. Drivers in three of Washington’s cities – Bellevue, Tacoma, and Seattle – filed an above-average number of car insurance claims compared to other metro areas around the U.S.

Out of 200 U.S. cities, Seattle was ranked near the bottom in terms of driver safety. Seattle was ranked 179th out of 200 cities.

Now, we are taking a closer look at some of the data from the study by Allstate insurance.

On average, Seattle drivers file a car insurance claim once every 6.4 years. The national average is once every 10 years.

Additionally, Seattle drivers were found to engage in more “hard braking” than drivers in other cities. This essentially involves slamming on the brakes – braking that results in a reduction in speed of 8 mph per second or more. Seattle drivers did this 19.7 times for every 1,000 miles driven.

How did drivers in Washington’s other cities fare?

Tacoma is ranked 167th out of 200 in term of driving safety. Drivers in Tacoma go an average of 6.9 years between filing car insurance claims, and they engage in hard braking 19.3 times for every 1,000 miles driven.

Bellevue is ranked 157th out of 200 for driving safety. Drivers in Bellevue go an average of 7.1 years between filing car insurance claims, and they engage in hard braking 23.8 times for every 1,000 miles driven.

Why are Washington’s drivers so prone to accidents and unsafe driving practices?

The Seattle Times published reader’s driving complaints and frustrations in an article from 2017. Some of the common complaints noted by readers were:

  • A lack of efficiency and aggressiveness while driving
  • Driving slow in the left lane
  • Slow acceleration when the light turns green at stoplights
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Failure to follow right-of-way rules at four-way stops

Whether Washington drivers are too polite, too passive, or whether they simply don’t follow safe driving rules, this dangerous trend affects us all.