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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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August 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I don't care what you drive you cut me off I will hit you and colle
ct your insurance, I drive an International

August 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I don't care what you drive you cut me off I will hit and collct your insurance

August 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm

I think the worst drivers, in any vehicle are the old People. Some of these people can't see over the steering wheel. Yes, I do have a BMW.

August 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm

You go Chris!!! I live in BMW country in Greer, SC and drive a Volvo made luxury Mack Longhorn dumptruck.

August 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Even though I had a BMW driver cut me entirely off the road during rush hour traffic while talking on a cell phone, I've seen most rude drivers are the ones driving any large vehicle. They seem to believe the "Road belongs to them," and you need to get out of the way!

August 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm

sounds like bs this sounds more like an ad for bmw.

August 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm

lmao a bmw!!!!! i drive an LZ 1 BMWs all look the same in my rear view mirror

August 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Whats the difference BMW owners act the same out of the car as they do in the car...However did you ever see bikers go by one they slow down and almost pull over their so scared.

August 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Nope, Bimmer drivers are nowhere near the worst: the absolute worst are CADILLAC drivers, either because they're 112 years old or because they're from the hood, and both groups are equally oblivious and inconsiderate to others. The other worst group: pickup truck drivers, especially drivers of AMERICAN pickups. Why? Because they all think their four-wheel drive makes them immortal, even though their rear wheels have no weight holding them in place, and they spin out in rain and snow, and take flight on those lonely country roads. You hear the news of a lone-car accident which occurred at 3:15 am in the middle of nowhere? You can bet it was a Ford, Chevy or Ram pickup that did the deed.

August 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Where I live it is trade truck drivers who are the worst. Talking on the phone, swerving between lanes, never looking in their mirrors. Why should they care? It isn't their truck and if they hit anything, they probably will not even notice. Since they all look alike and their plate is covered with paint, oil or something else, the person hit will not be able to ID them.

The second worst are Prius drivers. (why other hybrids don't have the same issue, I can only guess.) They like to go slow in the HOV lane flaunting their single person access to this lane then cut across four lanes of traffic at the last minute to make their exit.

Third are non Prius drivers who use the HOV lane and exit at the last minute. At least they go with the flow while in the HOV lane.

BMW's? Not so much unless in the third category above. BTW, I drive a Dodge.