Magazine: Drivers in Cheyenne, Wyo., 2 N.C. Cities among Worst

April 6, 2007

As far as Dick Lennox is concerned, things that go “bump” on the road are good for business. Still, even the owner of Lennox Body Shop would like to see a little less of it on local roads.

An analysis in Men’s Health magazine ranked Cheyenne drivers among the nation’s worst. Similar drivers were found in two cities in North Carolina based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Allstate Insurance and the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Greensboro, N.C., was ranked 98th out of 100 cities, while drivers in North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte, were ranked 93rd. The magazine ranked Cheyenne 96th, and gave all three cities an “F.”

Cheyenne’s ranking was no surprise to Lennox.

“The drivers here are pretty scary,” he said. “Any day of the week, go sit at any major intersection in town and watch people run stop lights. They do it all day long.”

Men’s Health’s ranking used the NHTSA’s data on the rate of fatal accidents, deaths caused by speeding, and seat belt use; Allstate’s data on accident frequency; and the Governors Highway Safety Association’s data on speeding drivers.

Columbia, S.C., had the worst drivers in the ranking, followed by St. Louis; Greensboro, N.C.; Jackson, Miss.; and Cheyenne. Kansas City, Mo., and Orlando also received F grades.

The cities with the safest drivers were Des Moines, Iowa; Jersey City, N.J.; New York; Yonkers, N.Y.; and San Francisco.

Rebecka Seymour, who moved to Cheyenne from Las Vegas, said too many drivers in Cheyenne seem not to be paying attention.

“It seems like the drivers are never aware of what’s around them,” she said. “There are just a bunch of bad drivers.”

Audrey Hobbs, who works for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said the biggest problem is with the basics: “People need to slow down, use turn signals and learn how to merge.”

All of which adds up to plenty of business for Lennox.

“To be a good driver these days, you have to be a defensive driver,” Lennox said. “But the more accidents, the more I stay in business. It’s sad, but true.”

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