Providence Drivers Among the Worst



Providence Drivers Among the Worst

According to an article posted on MSN Money,

For the past seven years, car insurer Allstate has looked at its claims data for the 200 largest U.S. cities to see which cities have the fewest car accidents per capita.

Unfortunately, Providence makes the top ten list

Fifth most accident-prone: Providence, R.I.

  • Estimated population: 171,909.
  • Average time between accidents: 6.0 years.
  • Increased chance of an accident: 66.7%.
  • Providence cracks the top five with drivers who get into accidents every six years.

This means that someone driving in Providence is 66.7% more likely to be involved in an automobile accident than the national average.  While this is a report on automobile accidents, I would argue there could be a direct correlation between automobile accidents and encounters with cyclists.  While some could blame poor street designs or maintenance for high accident rates, I don’t personally fall into that camp.  Ultimately, the person behind the wheel of the car is responsible for their actions.  If a street is dangerous or poorly maintained, then you need to SLOW DOWN!

So what does this have to do with cyclists?  Two things:

  1. Cyclists in this area need to be much more vigilant than cyclists in many other cities in the US.  We need to ride defensively and take care to ensure our own safety.  It also means we need to ride predictably.  Given the increased accident numbers, it appears motorists in this area are less adept at dealing with unforeseen circumstances; don’t ride in a manner that makes you one.
  2. We need to keep up and increase the pressure on state and city organizations to make safe choices whenever road work is happening.  Do whatever they can to slow down automobiles and, wherever possible, put in cycling & pedestrian specific infrastructure.    We need to share reports like this with our state and city representatives as a way of offering support for our lobbying for safer conditions for cyclists.


  • Labann
    Sep 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Good luck with #2. I've threatened to prosecute and sue RIDOT for blatantly ignoring bikes in roadnet design. They laugh at you, and then continue to cater to their cash cow, motoring expenditure.

    About the best thing a bicyclist can do is to be ever present, ride fearlessly, take the lane, worry about nothing. Not only are you entitled, you can sue the pants off motorists who bump you, provided you don't get killed doing so. The odds are with you, since only a few hundred fatal bike accidents occur nationwide every year, less than 3 sigma of all cyclists (safer than taking a much needed shower), compared to the 40,000 motorists who kill one another. The biggest question is whether you'll win a lawsuit against a state who violates federal law by not accommodating cyclists in roadnet. That's a bridge worth crossing.