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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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September 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Sorry we drive the ultimate driving machine and do not feel like stopping.

September 13, 2013 at 6:23 am

Lol at these guys saying "its fast so I can go fast". I have a 69 nova with a supercharged 496 BBC. If I wanted to, I could blow the paint off your bmw. The difference is I'm not a mook. Want to drive fast? Hit the track, not the highway where there a vans full of kids and people just trying to get somewhere. You're irresponsible and NO ONE thinks you're cool.

September 09, 2013 at 10:21 am

I am a BMW owner....I had a Z4 and now drive an X3. I think in MY case, I just appear aggressive b/c the BMW motor GOES...and I mean GOES RIGHT NOW!!! A good example is when I am on interstate and in a cluster of cars....where Mr. Pokie is in the wrong lane and 18 wheelers and crossing lanes, all I can think about is to get the heck away from them ALL. Soooo my rude, aggressive self puts the pedal to the floor and gets the heck out of there before the careless drivers wreck. Niether of my BMW's have EVER failed me when I push on the gas....that feeling alone makes you feel confident and maybe agression comes with that.... ????

September 06, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Yes, I had one cut me off and flip me off on the expressway this morning, only to have him come to a stop a few hundred yards in front of me. I guess he did not think I was going fast enough even though I knew I had no place to go....

September 06, 2013 at 2:28 am

They are very aggressive.

Jams J
August 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

The new beemers look just like Kias and Hyundais. No wonder they drive like mad men/women.

Mike Rivera
August 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Interesting ! This morning a BMW was in and out of traffic trying to get ahead of approximately more than 5,000 vehicles heading south on interstate 75 towards Atlanta,i actually think he got on the wrong lane and stayed behind !!What an IDIOT !

August 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

The ultimate driving machine adds are taken way too serious. However, give credit to their marketing department for this attitude that we all must now endure. Audi drivers are right up there also.

August 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I resemble this article only on the point of driving fast as the M5 is designed for "spirited driving."
Don't hate the player, hate the game.

August 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

For many years, I've laughingly said that the only two vehicles on the roads I expect to be driven like kamikazes are city buses, and BMW's when the driver doesn't have gray hair yet! I base this on many thousands of miles cross country and in Phoenix, Austin, Albuquerque and San Antonio. Just what I've actually observed (and my own driving record after 40 years behind the wheel is clear of tickets and accidents--because I've driven onto the curb or into the median to get out of the way of the I-own-the-road drivers.) Sorry, Beamer defenders, but too many of you are destructive jerks.