If you ask any Miamian which city has the worst drivers, they'll say with absolutely no reservation and a strange mix of pride and disdain: "Miami. Duh." Of course, there's no agreed upon standard of how to determine the "worst" drivers. Several sites have tried. Forbes.com, for example, ranked Miami ninth last year. Other measures don't even put Miami in the top ten.
Well, today, online magazine Slate decided to put the dubious honor to rest once and for all and determined that Miami indeed has America's worst drivers and that "it's not even close." To add insult to Miami-Dade's injury, Hialeah was ranked third.
Slate's methods are pretty thorough, and it takes author Brian Palmer several paragraphs to describe his research. Essentially, though, they started with accident rates provided by Allstate Insurance, factored in things like the number of miles an average driver travels each year in each city, the number of fatal traffic accidents, drunk driving fatalities, and pedestrian strikes. Slate admits their methods could be up for debate, and they don't include common minor traffic gripes like "people not using their blinkers" or "drivers cutting across three lanes," but it's a pretty hefty look at available data.
Hialeah came in third:
The drivers of Hialeah get into a middling number of accidents, ranking 11th among the 39 candidates. But when they hit someone, they really mean it. The city finished third for fatalities. They also have a terrifying tendency to hit pedestrians.
Miami, however, took the crooked and dinged crown:
And it's not even close. First in automotive fatalities, first in pedestrian strikes, first in the obscenity-laced tirades of their fellow drivers.
Philadelphia separated the pair of South Florida cities at number two, while Tampa and Baltimore rounded out the top five.
So there you have it: Miami officially has the worst (and apparently most deadly) drivers.
If you are one of those bad drivers and need some help, earlier this year we compiled "Ten Things Miami's Terrible Drivers Need to Learn." Regrettably, we did not include "Don't kill people" on the list.