Each year, Allstate comes out with a list of America's worst drivers, and each year, Dallas is puzzled to discover it doesn't come out on top, an honor typically reserved for Washington, D.C.
That's not to say that drivers here aren't terrible. In this year's report, Frisco, Plano, McKinney, Irving, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Garland, Arlington and Dallas are all clustered in the bottom quarter. It's just that they could be worse.
Garland is the only city with a legitimate shot to crack the top 10. With drivers there averaging 6.8 years between accidents, which puts it at a respectable 16th from the bottom. The ranking gives the suburb an undisputed claim to having Texas' worst drivers.
Yet Garland has so far declined to exercise its duly earned bragging rights, opting instead to pursue a policy of denial. Garland police spokesman Joe Harn told The Dallas Morning News that the criteria are "unfair."
It only represents the 10 percent of drivers who are covered by Allstate, for example; Garlandites with other coverage could have sterling safety records. It also doesn't control for where an accident happens, just where the driver lives.
Whining isn't going to score Garland any points. Better to embrace the worst-drivers-in-Texas label and spin it to the city's advantage. Maybe the abnormally high number of car accidents is a manifestation of Garlandites' fervent love of freedom. Or, alternatively, it could be the sign of a spontaneous, grassroots effort to punish traffic violators. Not that hard.
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