Washington D.C. has notoriously bad motorists. But, for a metro area consistently at the top of annual "worst" drivers surveys, it ranks lower in a pedestrian fatality study than one might presume. Meaning, commuters may be failing to understand basic road etiquette, but they aren't necessarily taking out as many pedestrians while they're doing so.
This was our reasoning after noting that two widely-covered studies on knowledgeable drivers and pedestrian fatalities were released this week--one by GMAC Insurance and the other by the think-tank Transportation For America. Both seem to have their underlying assumptions (Cars are unsafe, buy insurance! and Cars are unsafe, we need better pedestrian safeguards! respectively), but share interesting data on America's commuting culture.
In the GMAC survey, which ranked which cities have the "most knowledgeable" drivers by polling them with DMV exam questions, D.C. ranked dead last in the country. This finding fits in with several years of similar, well-documented Allstate Insurance studies that deemed the city as having "worst" drivers. One might assume that having consistently bad drivers would translate into more pedestrian fatalities, but D.C. doesn't seem to do nearly as bad on that count.