Report identifies the D.C. area’s worst drivers

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WASHINGTON — It’s a question that can start an instant argument among motorists in the region: Who are D.C.’s worst drivers?

Some would say it’s the drivers in the District itself; others say motorists from Maryland. Still more would nominate Virginians as the worst terrors behind the wheel.

Well, the numbers are in.

AAA Mid-Atlantic announced on Tuesday the results of a Howard University study of the 29,725 crashes in the District in 2012. The research shows that the District’s drivers narrowly edge out Marylanders for the dubious honor of motorists involved in the most accidents in D.C., 37 percent to 33.1 percent.

Virginia motorists were involved in the fewest District accidents, with 13.8 percent.

The remainder came from other states or was unknown. The study included numbers from 2010 and 2011, which showed the numbers staying fairly consistent, though Maryland was slightly ahead of the District in 2011.

John B. Townsend, of AAA Mid-Atlantic, says that the numbers are particularly striking given that nearly three-quarters of the District’s workforce comes from outside the city.

He adds in a statement that the high rate of accidents leads to an average annual car-insurance premium of $1,800, the highest in the region. And all of these crashes have an economic effect: “The estimated economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes in the city was just shy of $1 billion in 2010 or $1,659 per capita,” Townsend says.

The survey also found that men got into nearly two-thirds of accidents in the District in 2012.

State No. of Collisions Percentage
  2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012
DC 9,556 10,423 11,007 32.8% 35.6% 37.0%
MD 10,853 10,923 9,838 37.2% 37.3% 33.1%
VA 4,024 4,129 4,106 13.8% 14.1% 13.8%
Other 2,386 2,598 2,545 8.2% 8.9% 8.6%
Unknown 2,358 1,188 2,229 8.1% 4.1% 7.5%
Total 29,177 29,261 29,725 100%** 100% 100%

*Source: DDOT and Transportation Safety Data Center at Howard University. **Total does not equal 100 percent due to rounding.

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