It’s True: Sacramento Drivers Are Terrible

By Ashley Robinson

Ok, so I am probably not the most appropriate person to write this post as I am admittedly a bad driver. Actually, I am a pretty terrible driver. After my second car was totaled – by moi – last September (oh, and that was a couple weeks after my fifth speeding ticket), I decided to hand the keys over to my husband who sometimes drives better than I do.  Sometimes.

So don’t worry, fellow drivers! Ashley Robinson barely ever drives, ever. But she does judge others’ driving.

Sacramento drivers are in a league of their own of awkward, inconsistent, who’s turn is it at a four-way stop, flat-out balls-to-the-wall flaunting of the law, when it comes to obeying the rules of the road. (Although, Davis was pretty terrible, too. It was like, “Oh, I’m not on a bike, I don’t know how to use a gas pedal!” and “Hey, suckahs, I’m a bike so I don’t follow the rules of the road, MUAHAHA!” mentality over there.)

I mean, people flying through red lights at every damn Midtown intersection makes me go crazy. My favorite was when I almost got hit on the first rainy day of the year when someone thought they could make it through a very, VERY red light. Everyone knows that is the most dangerous time to drive, duh. And then THEY flipped me off when I honked at them! How dare they! (I thought about tailgating them all the way home to teach them a lesson. Uh huh.)

The recent uptick in people just flat out walking in front of traffic (oh, and I dare you to honk at them) has made driving around Midtown just a little bit more precarious. Maybe it’s the hot weather or the limited funding to provide medical care to mentally unstable individuals? I don’t know. Walking out in front of traffic is extremely unsafe – especially in Sacramento – and it’s really startling for the driver!

And now our bad driving habits have been confirmed by Allstate’s Seventh Annual America’s Best Drivers Report. According to the insurance company with the best ads on TV (GEICO has definitely run its course), Sacramento is the 140th safest (or worst, unsafest, scariest) city to drive in. Apparently, each person, on average, gets in an accident every 8.1 years.

Last year, our little ol’ River City was ranked 127th. 

Allstate should just do a Mayhem commercial along these lines: “I’m a Sacramento driver, and I don’t pay attention to one-way signs or red lights. I see the Capitol dome and stop believing rules of the road pertain to me. I am entitled to do whatever I like. Oh wait, let me put my glasses on. (Insert car accident sound here.) Haha! Get Allstate and be better protected from Mayhem, like me.”

The press release explains, “For the past seven years, Allstate actuaries have conducted an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the likelihood drivers in America’s 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Internal property damage reported claims were analyzed over a two-year period (from January 2008 to December 2009) to ensure the findings would not be impacted by external influences such as weather or road construction.

“A weighted average of the two-year numbers determined the annual percentages. The report defines an auto crash as any collision resulting in a property damage claim. Allstate’s auto policies represent about 10 percent of all U.S. auto policies, making this report a realistic snapshot of what’s happening on America’s roadways.”

And if we are using the same 200 cities Forbes used in its stupid “Worst Cities in America” list, #1 city Stockton is the 102nd safest city.  If you are looking for the safest place to drive in California, it is Lancaster, ranked 54th, and Glendale is the unsafest ranked at 191st. (And you know what, Microsoft, “unsafest” is a word – or it is now – so stop with the red squiggly line.)

On the positive side, traffic in Sacramento is safer than Los Angeles and San Francisco, which is ranked 185th.

Although, frankly, I feel a city of our size and (somewhat) understandable grid should be LIGHTYEARS safer than San Francisco. (They must have a higher percentage of cars with “COEXIST” stickers on them. And if you laughed at that, you know what I am talking about. And if you didn’t, you probably have said sticker on your car and are deeply offended. Apologies.)

So why is that driving in Sacto is not like Fort Collins, Colorado (which has won the safest driving city prize two years in a row, arrogant jerks)? Is it Midtown? Do all those four-way stops mixed in with one-way streets make us lose our cool? Or does the driving get worse further from City Hall? What do you think? Is it the infrastructure or the driver?

And is there a way to fix this?

For the time-being, I’ll do my part and just keep to the passenger seat.

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3 Comments

  1. Jane says

    It’s uncanny, I feel the same way. I am scared to drive in MANY parts of Sacramento, not kidding. The people here are so freakin brain dead when it comes to driving, it really makes me wonder who lost the key to the mental hossy…

  2. Justdrive says

    Try driving defensively at all times. As horrible or unreasonable as that may be interpreted, it helps to “weed-out” the idiots on their phones. As you pass, lightly touch your brake pedal just enough to make the brake lights come on, as you continue to pass without slowing down, and watch your rear-view mirror as you pass(only if safe)… The idiot on their phone, 90% of the time will slam on their brakes for no reason aside from the fact that they had no clue as to what was going on in traffic, because they had their based buried in the screen of their phone.
    It’s really lame that I’m suggesting such a drastic idea, but when it comes down to it for me- DRIVING IS A PRIVILEGE. DRIVING IS ALSO A PLEASURE. Pay attention to the road, and just drive your damn vehicle as a responsible and courteous driver. It would save all of us a lot of time in the duration of our LIVES. I don’t want to spend 2 years total of my lifetime at the age of 75 sitting in traffic for not much more if a reason than people who don’t know how to drive, care about driving, or are above everyone else around them and can do what they want when they want because their entitled to??!?!?!??? Sit your tail on a bicycle and take your sweet ass time down the road while texting and pedaling.
    Other than that, just drive. There was a time when it was your responsibility to be courteous to drivers around you, and conscientiously drive your vehicle at all times. If EVERYONE knew “how to drive”, we wouldn’t have traffic.
    Unfortunately, we have people like the person that nearly broke my back in a rear-collision. This person was DUI, here illegally, driving their sisters car, not covered on insurance. Oh and this person was not only DUI, but texting while driving.
    Doc said I was lucky not to be paralyzed.
    If I would have been paralyzed, hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills would be straight out of my insurance/pocket.
    JUST DRIVE PEOPLE. JUST DRIVE.

  3. Lisa says

    Citrus Heights and Antelope, CA are bad too.

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