Thursday, March 25, 2010

In defense of Boston drivers

[Michael] Sivak examined traffic fatalities in the 50 states plus DC. There is a surprisingly wide gap in accident rates between states. Hard as it may be to believe for those of us who have braved the roads of Boston, the safest state is Massachusetts. Its residents experience about one third the number of fatalities per mile driven as residents of Montana, the most dangerous state.

Sivak tested a number of factors that might cause a place to have more or fewer road fatalities. Three variables came up as statistically significant. The first was the share of the population of drivers who are under age 25. ...

The other significant variables were homicide rates and accidental death rates; when all else is held equal, both are generally higher in states with lots of deadly traffic accidents. (In fairness to the good people of Montana, their state, with a low murder rate, is an exception.) So our suspected link between aggression (murders), thrill-seeking (non-auto accidental deaths) and fatal crashes appears to be confirmed.
--Eric Morris, Freakonomics blog, on the drivers that never struck me as particularly crazy. Connecticut drivers, on the other hand...

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