Another anti urban classic event took place this week in the Massachusetts media as Allstate Insurance released its list of cities with the worst drivers. Three of the bottom four cities, in Allstate’s estimation, were Bay State metropolises with Washington D.C. rounding out that group. Chuck Marohn did a better job than I could do of explaining the perversity of a report which lists, in essence, the two safest places to drive in the United States as having the “worst drivers”.
Most deaths per vehicle mile? Bottom of the list(i.e. fewest deaths):
Neither Massachusetts nor Wyoming, neither Worcester nor Fort Collins, Colorado has the “Best Drivers” nor the “Worst Drivers”. The point is that their road systems are designed differently and those design differences create the material circumstances which cause their outcomes to differ. In Worcester, Massachusetts you are more likely to get into an accident than in Wyoming, but you are more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash in Wyoming than in Worcester.
That our local media reported this information un-skeptically is unsurprising given their profound anti urban bias as demonstrated in the way in which they have dealt in the past with issues like violence, automobile carnage, and place rating lists. Notice how the media assumes “worst” = “most dangerous” and does not critically question the assumptions made about the data but instead produce this:
Problem is, the Allstate data would have you leaving the safest places and moving to more dangerous ones. Traffic deaths and suicides, remember, are negatively correlated to density, and if you have children those two things are the most likely to take your children from you.