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Utah Drivers Not the Worst

Utah Drivers Not the Worst

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Richard Piatt ReportingIf you believe the rumors, Utah drivers are just plain bad -- reckless, distracted, rude, and fast. But are we really all that bad?

Urban legend is one thing, facts are another. According to a major insurance company survey, Utah drivers aren't at the bottom of the heap, but we're not the cream of the crop on the road either.

Utah's major north-south artery, I-15, is so much like so many freeways in so many cities. The drivers do so many of the same things, but there are people who will swear up and down that Utah drivers are the worst.

"Out of control. They just don't know what they're dong."

"They don't pay attention. They're not careful."

"I don't think they're as good as other states."

But according to a survey from Allstate Insurance, the nation's worst drivers aren't here, they're back east, in Washington DC; Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey; Alexandria, and Arlington Virginia.

The best drivers are in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; and Huntsville Alabama.

Salt Lake City ranks 64th in the nation, somewhere in the middle. According to the report, drivers here are slightly more likely to be in an accident than average, and the average time between accidents is 10 years. In Washington DC, the worst city, on average they're 92 percent more likely to be in an accident, with five years between accidents.

Specifically, respect for traffic laws and courtesy towards other drivers are what make the best cities the best. Fender-benders are less likely to make people upset if the people involved act like adults, not spoiled kids.

Crystal Bosch, Driver: "It wasn't his fault it was my fault. In general I haven't had a lot of problems with Utah drivers."

Jared Jeppson, Driver: "It was just a freak accident. It's a routine thing, I'm sure you could ask police the same thing."

Every day bad things happen, people are rude and reckless. But the people who should know, police officers, have their own perspective.

Blaine Robbins, Utah Highway Patrol: "I would have a hard time saying Utah is any worse than anywhere else."

So the bottom line is, Utah may not be as bad as other places. But there's always room for improvement.

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