Cars zip through the intersection of 12 Mile and Telegraph roads.

Cars zip through the intersection of 12 Mile and Telegraph roads.

File photo by Donna Agusti

Report claims Southfield has rudest drivers in Michigan

By: Andy Kozlowski | Southfield Sun | Published October 8, 2021


SOUTHFIELD — Insurify, an online insurance comparison site, recently released its 2021 report on the U.S. cities with the rudest drivers, by state. In Michigan, that city was listed as Southfield.

Insurify evaluated cities based on their share of drivers with one or more of the following violations on record: failure to yield, failure to stop, improper backing, passing where prohibited, tailgating, street racing, and hit-and-run accidents.

Data scientists at Insurify referenced the company’s database of over 4 million car insurance applications to identify the cities with the rudest drivers. The study examined 869 cities and found that on average, 22.65 out of every 1,000 drivers across the nation have been cited for one or more rude driving infraction.

It should be noted that seven states were excluded due to insufficient municipal data: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont. The cities in the report are from the other 43 states.

In Michigan, the city of Southfield was found to have the rudest drivers, with 27.89 out of every 1,000 drivers having been cited for one or more rude driving infraction. This is 36% ruder than the Michigan state average.

The nation’s city with the highest rate of drivers with rude driving citations is Rancho Cordova, in California, which exceeds the national average by 65%. The cities with the second and third highest rates of rude drivers were also in California — Citrus Heights and Ventura.

At the opposite extreme, with the most polite drivers in the nation, is Somerset, Kentucky, with a rude driving rate that is 93% lower than average. The second most polite city is Corbin, Kentucky, and the third is Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Maia Sutton, the spokesperson for Insurify, said in an email that they hope the report will encourage people to exercise care while driving, since infractions can drive up costs for everyone.

“Insurify Insights investigates topics like this in order to educate people on meaningful trends in driving statistics. Not only do these ‘rude’ violations pose a threat to driver and pedestrian safety within a city, but they can also raise insurance premium costs for all drivers in the area,” Sutton said.

“Many people know that having an infraction on your record increases your insurance rates; however, even if you have a clean record, simply living in an area with a high volume of claims can raise your prices. Sharing data on which cities have the highest prevalence of aggressive driving patterns allows drivers to stay informed and exercise caution on the roads.”

Southfield City Councilmember Lloyd Crews said in a phone interview that he has observed some problematic driving in the city.

“The main thing that comes to mind is around 10 Mile and Southfield roads, and 12 Mile and Telegraph roads — those are the two spots where we have the most accidents in our city, and the most severe accidents. And I see people on the Lodge Freeway speeding all the time. That road is shared between us and Detroit,” Crews said.

“So yes, I do have concerns about those types of road conditions. We’re always trying to find ways to improve road conditions, in terms of street lighting and signage and traffic light patterns — sometimes I think they’re a bit confusing to people,” he said. “It’s not just us — the county is also involved in those matters. Still, we try to do what we can to make sure that people are safe and traveling safely. And I really do believe that our Police Department is doing a fine job at trying to control the situation. It’s just that in the end, you can’t fully control people’s behaviors.”

Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver also shared his thoughts on Insurify’s findings.

“I am very surprised to learn that Southfield has the ‘rudest drivers’ in Michigan. I would be interested to know what constitutes a rude driver in the eyes of Insurify. Does driving too fast account for that? We do have a problem with speeders, especially on residential streets,” Siver said via email.

“Because we are a business hub and have a network of freeways, Southfield does have a great deal of traffic,” he continued. “Perhaps that is why we earned this unwanted ‘distinction.’ Personally, I rarely encounter rudeness on our roads. We do have some pretty aggressive drivers, though.”