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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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Jo Ann
August 01, 2014 at 9:22 am

You can't feel the power of that vehicle. As you are driving you are wondering why "everybody" else is going so look down and see you're going almost 100 mph and wonder how did you get to that speed. One has to drive the vehicle to understand its power.
I love my "Ultimate driving machine". 7 series forever!!

August 01, 2014 at 6:53 am

So many haters. Sorry you folks can't afford a BMW. Sucks to be you.

July 31, 2014 at 10:44 pm

I think it is ridiculous to blame certain car types. I just got back from 2 week road trips in Cape Cod and Florida. The one thing I think is happening is that more and more drivers are driving aggressively. Drivers cut each other off, don't use turn signals, don't allow others to enter the freeway and text/cell use while driving. Driving anymore isn't enjoyable. It used to be fun to hit the wide open road. Now I feel like I'm in a game of Frogger!

July 31, 2014 at 10:38 pm

I have been driving a BMW since 1997 and now drive a 2013 BMW 3 series and I disagree. Every other type of car wants to always race me especially these big SUV's and pick up's forgetting that they are not driving a regular car. I have never caused or crashed into anyone and I am a safe driver according to my license and state. It's usually the moron's I see on road that DON"t drive 7 or 3 series that causes other BMW drivers to have accidents. :-) .

July 31, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I've got a 12 year old 3 series. It's awesome. I don't know what's more ridiculous: my driving or the idea that driving a certain kind of car makes you a bad person. Peace.

July 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

And we all know the answer to:
What is the difference between a porcupine and a BMW?

Jurgen Kunneke
July 31, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I'M 59 Moved to the USA in 1985. BMW & Mercedes Drivers are the worst. Followed by Audi Driver. They think, they have the right of the Road.

Hendrik Laur
July 31, 2014 at 1:07 pm

We were driving on the Ship Canal Bridge in stop-and-go traffic. While we were stopped, we were rear-ended by a car that shoved us into the tow truck in front of us. Our Hyundai was totaled! The car that hit us? Yep! A BMW!

July 11, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Even on a critical call with lights and siren as I drive the local ambulance, I have to yield to that brand vehicle quite often, to avoid collisions. It is why we are soon installing cameras and why I often request a Trooper to follow me quietly. It keeps them 'busy'.

Tim, oregon
June 12, 2014 at 11:31 am

I drive a older 5 series and feel that everyone at one time should ride a motorcycle. No matter what you drive after being on a bike for a while you learn respect to ALL others, doesn't matter if there are "boneheads" on the road or not you learn respect.