Hackneyed Bitching About DC

Okay, since everyone seems to expect more and since only a few people seem to mind trite and hackneyed complaints about DC, let's go with the obvious, the old CL R&R special: People in DC are bad drivers.

We all know it's true, and I'll leave it up to everyone else to lay out the differences betweeen the drivers from the different jurisdictions. However, it warms the cockles of my heart when science proves that my often irrational and specious opinions are maybe not too far off the map.

Apparently, someone somewhere decided to test drivers from all around the country on their driving knowledge. I'm sure there were some methods and stuff, but I didn't feel like doing much research or thinking of any non-cliched things to complain about. Instead, I felt like wasting my time making a color coded map of the USA based on the results of the survey. Here it is. The highest possible score was 100. Less than 80 would mean failing, I think.

The map is obviously on a scale at which DC can't be seen. You'll be happy to know, however, that DC did not have the lowest score in the nation. It had the second lowest. Maryland was third lowest, and Northern Virginia didn't have it's own rating, but I bet it would have been fourth lowest. Basically, the whole area would be bright red and anyone that trys to tell you that such-and-such drivers are the worst is wrong. Everyone here is bad.

What a relief that it's not just me being a self-centered idiot thinking everyone is a bad driver here. Not that I'm not self-centered, just that when it comes to driving skill, I was right.

Just so you know, Rhode Island was the worst, and Massachusetts failed, too. That's why Rusty never complains about the drivers (does he?); he's never lived anywhere that people actually know how to drive.

Now, to change gears slightly, this wouldn't be why.i.hate.dc without some blatant "somewhere else is better than here" propaganda and since, for some reason, a lot of readers loved James F. and James F. loved Seattle, I will copy James F. The following chart shows that, based on the geographic center of the states, the farther one gets away from the Pacific Northwest, the less one know about driving correctly. The R-squared of the correlation is only about .41, but for a real world phenomenon that's not too bad. Also, the goodness-of-fit is affected quite a bit by the outliers. Guess what one of them is? Yep. DC.

Okay. Apparently lots of people, against all reason, read my other blog. In so doing, they found that my "post" from Sunday was a slightly modified rehash of one that I wrote earlier this year. Rusty had no problem with me doing this, but I should have had more consideration for his readers and let you know that it was not original to WIHDC. Sorry. It won't happen again.


  1. I don't complain about drivers because bad driving is a source of pride for New Englanders. Except for Maine. They're all polite and lame.

    Anyways, I've been at-fault in two major accidents. It's for the best that I no longer own a car.

  2. AnonymousJuly 25, 2006

    Rusty never used charts and graphs! Man, piss on him!

  3. AnonymousJuly 25, 2006

    Really? Damn. I've never been at-fault even though I've twice been arrested for DWI. Since that's off my record now, Geico pays ME to carry their insurance.

    And I'm from New England. I think it's just that MAss drivers are bad....

  4. AnonymousJuly 25, 2006

    Seriously, good on you Schuyler for adding some spice with charts and graphs.

    Secondly, don't apologize. Makes you look weak.

  5. As a Seattlelite myself (forced to live in the hellhole that is DC) I completely understand your graph. Honestly, with a bit of tinkering, you may find that the R-squared shoots upwards, lending even more credence to your conclusion.

    Kudos, sir, for bringing up a point that we all could use a little more than anecdotal knowledge for :D

  6. AnonymousJuly 25, 2006

    Perhaps I'm not speaking for the readership as a whole, but I gave Rusty a fair shot in the beginning, and have since abandoned WIHDC. But I stumbled back here, bored on the internet, to find Schuyler in the driver's seat.

    People from Seattle really ARE better drivers . . .

    Anyway, can we fire Rusty? I think I'm remembering how awesome+1 this blog can be.

    Who's with me?

  7. AnonymousJuly 25, 2006


  8. AnonymousJuly 25, 2006

    What about Alaska and Hawaii? And Guam.... how could you forget little 'ol Guam?

  9. AnonymousJuly 25, 2006

    I think "Northwesterliness" should be added to the lexicon-at-large, a la Stephen Colbert's truthiness.

  10. Alaska and Hawaii were both left out due to their extreme northerness and westerness respectively. Their elimination didn't affect the correlation too much, but it made the chart look dumb. Well, dumber. I had no data for Guam. Or Puerto Rico for that matter.

  11. And what about the Northern Mariana Islands!? Won't someone think of the Northern Mariana Islands!?!?

  12. AnonymousJuly 26, 2006

    Woo Hoo!

    Another reason to hate this stinking shithole!!!!!

    Oh wait......I didn't need another reason. Thanks for nothing, Schuyler. ;-)

  13. AnonymousJuly 26, 2006

    Schuyler - what's the name of your blog again? I'm breaking up with this one, and moving in with yours.

  14. AnonymousJuly 26, 2006

    People in the northwest may be the best drivers but they have very bland personalities. I know from living there for 5 years.

  15. AnonymousJuly 26, 2006

    I hate this fucking "(insert city here) has the worst drivers" argument. I've lived all over the U.S. and I assure you that every city has its share of bad drivers. Everyone thinks the area where they grew up has the best drivers. And one study doesn’t prove anything. You can find a study to support just about anything.

  16. I hate this fucking "one study doesn't prove anything" argument. I've lived all over the U.S. and I assure you that every person disbelieves the studies that contradict their opinions. Everyone thinks they know the truth and if a study says otherwise, the study is wrong. But one study can prove something. That is the point of doing studies.

  17. Also, I will provide a preponderance of data showing that the trends noted in this study hold up to more scrutiny if you want. Or just ask your insurance company about their premiums. I am right.

  18. AnonymousJuly 27, 2006

    Dude, comparisons between CITIES and STATES are completely worthless. I hate it when people make claims about DC's relative performance compared to states. Compare DC to other medium/large cities, not states that include cities and hundreds of bumble-fuck 50-person towns.

  19. AnonymousJuly 28, 2006

    Rusty, bad driving may be a source of pride for Massachusetts drivers, but as you can see from the chart, New Hampshire scores in the highest percentile!

  20. Not only do Northwestern states drivers rock. They do it all while its RAINING. Like seriously raining, and not slowing to a panicked crawl (like DC and my beloved California). No they keep on truckin' a little more space between cars, but no appreciable difference in speed. That's hardcore. As an Illinoisan (hey we didn't do that bad...) I can say that those states that have mandatory state supported drivers education are better drivers. Or at least that's my theory. I took drivers ed in 3 feet of snow. Top that you Potomacian wimps.