Seattleites are renowned for many things; an obsession with coffee, overzealous sports fans, and a tolerance of constant grey skies. And now we can officially add another notch to our belt: we are horrible drivers. A new study from Allstate Insurance Company ranked Seattle drivers 184 out of 200 cities in its America’s Best Drivers Report for 2015. To add insult to injury, our longtime competitor to the south, Portland, managed to rank one spot higher than us.
If you’ve driven in Seattle this ranking may not surprise you. Driving here can be frustrating and is often a test of one’s patience. With 53,740 new residents settling in Seattle over the last five years, our streets have become even more difficult to navigate as cars, bicycles, street cars, buses, link light rail and pedestrians compete for the same space.
Named the fastest growing city in 2013, massive amounts of development have accompanied this intense growth. There seems to be new condominiums and sleek office towers being built in every corner of the city and all the construction projects make driving in the city increasingly challenging.
This immense and sudden growth is a new phenomenon for Seattleites, however poor driving preceded the economic boom of the last few years. The study from Allstate is confirming what some of us already knew: people in Seattle are terrible drivers. Add constant construction, more cars on the road and increased traffic, and Seattle is an increasingly dangerous place to drive.
Living in Seattle has many perks: great food, wonderful parks, (at times) successful sports teams and friendly, warm people. It’s no wonder the secret of the Emerald City has gotten out. But as Seattle experiences unprecedented growth, its residents should be aware of the dangers it poses to our now crowded streets. Be cautious, abide by the rules of the road and we can make Seattle not only an ideal place to live but also a safer place to drive.