Driving and Politics (2)

In an earlier post I described 16 bad-driving habits that are common in Austin, and concluded that

the prevalence of bad-driving behavior in Austin — where “liberalism” is hard-left and dominant — reflects the essentially anti-social character of “liberalism.” Despite the lip-service that “liberals” give to such things as compassion, community, and society, they worship the state and use its power to do their will — without thought or care for the lives and livelihoods thus twisted and damaged.

I can now test my hypothesis, having learned of Allstate Insurance Company’s Annual Best Drivers Report. According to this page at Allstate’s web site, the report “ranks America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers.” (Actually, the report cover 195 cities, not 200, but that discrepancy doesn’t affect my analysis.)

Allstate rates each city according to the difference between the accident rate for Allstate-insured drivers in that city and the national average for Allstate-insured drivers. The report also gives each city’s rank on the accident-rate measure, its population, its population rank, and the average number of years between accidents.

The report has some limitations, which are described here (in the sixth paragraph). But the main limitation seems to be the exclusion of Massachusetts — and therefore Boston, with its notoriously bad drivers and predominantly Democrat voters — because Allstate (wisely) doesn’t operate in that State. That relationship is consistent with my hypothesis. But as I am about to show, the hypothesis is well-supported despite the absence of Boston.

To test the hypothesis, I compared Allstate’s 20 best cities and 20 worst cities, after excluding three very large ones (New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia) from the sample of worst cities. I did that because — as one would expect — a city’s accident rate is positively correlated with its population; the more drivers there are in an area, the greater the likelihood that they’ll run into each other. This is true for the 195 cities covered by Allstate’s report, though the correlation is only 0.198. (This is actually a rather weak correlation, and with a standard error of 0.069, it barely manages to be significantly greater than zero.)

In any event, the 20 best cities had an average accident rate 18 percent below the national average; the 20 worst cities (excluding NYC, LA, and Philly) had an average accident rate 57 percent above the national average. The average populations of the two samples — 247,000 and 280,000 — are not significantly different; that is, the comparison isn’t biased by the use of two essentially different samples (with respect to population).

The 20 best cities, with an average accident rate 18 percent below the national average, are situated in counties* whose voters gave Mitt Romney 48 percent of the popular vote in 2012. The 20 worst cities, with an average accident rate 57 above the national average, are situated in counties that gave Mitt Romney only 32 percent of the popular vote in 2012. Taking the lower Romney percentage as an indication of a city’s leftishness, these results strongly support my hypothesis that bad driving and left-wing politics go together.

To put it another way, a jerk’s a jerk — in the voting booth and on the highway.
* I obtained voting percentages from Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, where county-level voting records are readily available. I used counties as proxies for the cities on Allstate’s list, except where city-level records were given for cities that are coterminous with counties, and for cities that are independent of counties.