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Study: BMW drivers are the worst

By Claes Bell ·
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET

Maybe  "Glengarry Glen Ross" writer David Mamet was onto something when he had Alec Baldwin's abusive and famously foul-mouthed character brag about his "$80,000 BMW."

Turns out there's substantial scientific evidence that BMW drivers are some of the most aggressive and selfish on the road.


A study conducted in 2012 by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Toronto examined driver behavior at a four-way intersection and crosswalk on busy roads in California. Drivers were graded on criteria such as whether they cut in front of other drivers or stopped for pedestrians in a crosswalk.

In general, luxury-car drivers were the least likely to be kind to other drivers and pedestrians, but BMW drivers earned a special mention from Berkeley researcher Paul K. Piff.

"One of the most significant trends was that fancy cars were less likely to stop," Piff told Benjamin Preston of The New York Times. "BMW drivers were the worst."

Maybe that penchant for aggressive driving has something to do with why the BMW 3 Series and BMW 7 Series hold spots on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's list of the top 10 models that generate collision insurance losses for car insurance companies.

Those losses are based on the frequency and size of collision insurance claims, and it's important to note, collision insurance only pays out when the driver is at fault, according to the IIHS. According to data from IIHS website, the collision insurance losses on BMW 7 Series are more than twice the average for vehicles nationwide, and BMW 3 Series two-doors are more than three times.

So the next time you're walking or driving down the road, you might want to give any cars with blue and white roundels, and their drivers, a wide berth.

What do you think? Are BMW drivers really the worst? If so, why do you think that is?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell.

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K. Eaise
August 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Yes, I agree that BMW drivers are among the worst. I no longer own it but when I last bought a BMW 3, I drove faster and more aggressively. I believe at the heart of this with me and others is that more aggressive driving is part of the advertised capability of the car. It definitely handled better and was more responsive than the lexus that I had been driving. The BMW name adds a lot of more aggressive driving capability in addition to matching the luxury component of pure luxury cars.

August 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

I am a former cop and even though this article may have a hint of truth, I always found that the large SUV drivers, especially those driving the Toyota FJs were consistently the most aggressive drivers.

August 24, 2013 at 10:33 am

I believe their rage and bad driving habits are learned from living in large metropolitan areas.. Another factor is the owners of these BMWs realize that they have been duped into buying a second rate vehicle and paying a lot of money to own or lease the BMW they drive... After all BMWs are pedestrian at best.. A shade above Germany's VW... People failing to stop for stop signs is not limited to just BMW drivers... It applies to the drivers of all makes and models of motor vehicles.. "There wasn't anyone else around so why should I stop.." or "I'm late for work and in a hurry for my hair appointment" " I didn't see that kid in the street.. It's not my fault he/she didn't get out of my way.." To go on about this is pointless.... If you want to buy the Best, then you'll have to pay for the Best... Let me know when you find out what the "Best" is...LOL...

Gabriel Lewis
August 24, 2013 at 10:14 am

Once again the headlines are empty. I guess the media or writer has nothing better to do but publish useless information! Who cares, lets face it, we have become an angry society and country. My wife told me many years ago, the internet is the devel and ruin the world! I disagreed with her, but now I agree with her 100%.

I am glad that I am senior and wish all you social media characters the best in life. LOL!!!

August 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

I don't know about the rest of the world but in SLC, Utah, beemers (especially black ones) think they are exempt from all rules.

Leroy Foster
August 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

Speaking for my wife and me,drivers of 3S and 5S,weare as cautious in the beamers as if in a smart car.everyone deserves road courteouscy.

August 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

Although these BMW enthusiast think the roads are their own personal space the real culprits are the short women in the SUV's. The Ken's drive the BMW's and the Barbies drive the SUV'

Mike Abuhatoum
August 24, 2013 at 7:53 am

First Off most BMW drivers are fairly young well educated people, simply the hardworking top managements and executives of the country, so I strongly disagree with this entire research as I am sure BMW drivers do follow traffic laws and respect pedestrians, and yes they enjoy driving when it is legal to do so. I have an X5 now, and 3S and 5S before and thanks God the only accidents I had ever been involved in was caused by those drunk or illegal drivers" Never at Fault" . Now if your study was done in California then most likely you are talking about some of those rich group which they are most likely uneducated spoiled and low trash.....:) you might want to have this conversation with there mothers or drunk spouses.....

Walter Barnes
August 24, 2013 at 6:31 am

If you have a car that need so body work and you see a BMW driving a little wrong. It pay day hit it and get your car fix for free.

Bill Otten
August 24, 2013 at 3:30 am

Is this really any surprise? People who drive high-end cars have always thought that they were better than the rest of us! D'UH!