Share this story...
seattle traffic
Latest News

Study: Northwest drivers feature a healthy dose of unearned confidence

Seattle traffic continues to give drivers headaches. (K King, Flickr Creative Commons)

A new survey from PEMCO Insurance points to some possibly unearned confidence among Northwest drivers.

Report ranks Seattle traffic as fifth worst in nation

The survey asked people in Washington and Oregon to rate themselves on a variety of driving-related maneuvers and situations. Eight-six percent rated themselves as either “excellent” or “good” at driving in the rain, or other inclement weather.

Forty-four percent said they “always” stay in the right lanes when they’re not passing other vehicles. Ninety-one percent said they either “always” or “usually” avoid driving distracted.

Conversely, drivers rated just 46 percent of others in Washington and Oregon as either “excellent” or “good” at bad-weather driving. Just 36 percent said that other drivers stay right except when passing “usually” or “sometimes.” Another 36 percent said their fellow Northwest drivers “always” or “usually” avoid distracted driving.

Obviously, there’s something of a disconnect when a large majority of people are confident in their driving ability, while also believing that other drivers are hazardous to the road. If recent data tells us anything, the latter seems to be more true.

New SDOT traffic report shows ‘slow death’ of Seattle driving

PEMCO conducted a separate poll back in January, asking Northwest drivers about risky behaviors, aggressiveness, and other rude road happenings. This includes speeding, tailgating, or just driving like you’re the only one on the road who matters. A similar poll was conducted four years ago. PEMCO compared the two results.

…drivers said they’re about twice as likely now to “assert themselves” behind the wheel. They also believe other drivers give in to rude impulses more often than they do, saying they see about five times more aggressive acts (around 10 per month) than they commit themselves

The poll adds up to Northwest drivers engaging in risky behavior 2.1 times each month, on average. That’s up from the previous poll’s results of 1.3 aggressive acts each month. Though, despite drivers admitting to their own aggressive driving, they claim that everyone else out there is worse. Drivers generally report seeing five times more bad behavior than they personally contribute.

Given the region’s propensity for topping a variety of “worst drivers in the nation” lists, it could be time for the Northwest to look inward.

Most Popular