Why is Driving in Detroit So Awful? Study Explains
Listen, I consider myself a pretty good driver, but I know there's plenty I could do better while I'm on the road. Play my music a bit quieter, check my blindspots better, you know that sort of thing.
There are some places in the world where it doesn't matter if you're a good driver or not. Everyone is going to have a bad time and no one will be remotely surprised.
After a full year in Michigan, I'm confident in saying a lot of you guys are terrifying to be around on the road. The number one thing that gets me with Michigan drivers is how impatient you guys are on the road. Did you know that driving a bit more patiently could save you some money?
“Driving behavior has a substantial impact on fuel economy. Educating drivers about adopting an eco-friendlier driving style is paramount. This includes gradual acceleration and braking, maintaining a consistent (and moderate) cruising speed on highways, and avoiding aggression. By implementing these techniques, drivers can significantly reduce fuel consumption and, consequently, their expenses."
Interestingly, WalletHub's study on America's worst cities to drive in didn't account much for driver behaviors and attitudes. It did, however, account for a large number of variables that concluded Detroit is almost the worst city to drive in across America, landing at No. 98 on a list of the 100 biggest cities in the United States. Only San Francisco and Oakland, California, were ranked lower, though there was less than a one-point difference in those three city's total scores.
Detroit didn't rank in the top half of any of WalletHub's study variables. Unsurprisingly, Access to Vehicles & Maintenance was Detroit's highest-scoring variable at 51. It's the Motor City - there's going to be dealerships, repair shops, and car washes everywhere.
The other three metrics didn't even crack the top 75. Detroit's Cost of Ownership & Maintenance is pretty high. Car insurance rates in Michigan are painfully high as are gas prices, keeping your car protected from the elements is a chore, and if you manage to avoid an accident with another vehicle, there's a pothole lurking around the next turn with your car's name on it.
Speaking of the roads themselves, Detroit landed at No. 89. The damn roads have not been fixed. And you haven't lived until you're cruising eastbound on I-94 in Detroit going way over the speed limit alongside everyone else only to hit a 30-minute standstill before you can hit an escape route on Highway 10 or something. Also, again, the roads will eat your car alive. By salt or by pothole, Detroit seemingly must make sacrifices for every new vehicle produced in the entire state.
Finally, Detroit was the second-worst city in the study for car safety behind only St. Louis. A high rate of accidents and fatalities, uninsured drivers, car thefts, and DUIs is how you earn such a low mark.
In all the ways Detroit lives up to its moniker of being the Motor City, it certainly has its ways of making the nickname oxy-moronic. But anyone who's driven through Detroit even once knows this study was spot on. We love ya Detroit, but driving around you is not something we enjoy.
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