Many Northwest Drivers Boast Their Driving Skills, Even in Wintry Conditions


As winter quickly approaches and the Northwest prepares for temperatures to drop, one negative aspect to a “white Christmas” is the lasting, dangerous icy conditions on the road. 

The newest poll by PEMCO Mutual Insurance revealed many Seattle and Portland residents boast they’re a more skillful driver than most---in both normal and wintry conditions.

According to the poll data, 50% of Seattleites and 47% of Portlanders claim they are a more skilled driver than their peers. 

This high confidence is even more common among men than women, with 57% of Portland men claiming they’re a more skilled driver than others, while only 36% of women said the same. In Seattle, men are even more confident in their driving ability, with 65% claiming they’re a better driver than others, while only 36% of women answered the same. 

Across both Seattle and Portland, few (3%) admit there’s room for improvement in their driving ability.

Though it seems traffic in the Pacific Northwest slows to a grinding halt when winter brings snow and ice to the roads, nearly half (44%) of all respondents still boast their driving superiority in winter conditions. In Portland, 55% of men believe they are more capable drivers in the snow than their peers, while only 35% of women claim the same. The gender disparity increases when looking at Seattle with 60% of men believing they are better drivers in winter conditions than their peers, while only 27% of women believe the same.

“We were surprised to see that so many people were extremely confident in their driving, especially in icy conditions,” said PEMCO spokesperson Allison Leep. “PEMCO’s focus is always the safety of everyone in our community. Especially when the roads are paved in snow and ice, we recommend that everyone slows down and does their best to drive safely and defensively. Even if you’re comfortable driving in the snow, the car next to you may not be.”

With such confidence in their driving skills, it stands to reason that individuals trust themselves the most when it comes to commuting in winter conditions. When asked how Pacific Northwesterners prefer to get around in the snow, about two-thirds of respondents said they are most inclined to drive themselves.

The poll also explored why drivers think so highly of their winter driving skills. Given the Pacific Northwest’s typically mild winters compared to other parts of the country, most locals have limited windows to practice driving in the snow. Yet, when asked why respondents truly believe themselves to be better drivers in icy conditions, about three-quarters claim they’ve spent time driving in the same or worse conditions in other wintry regions across the country.

Source: PEMCO

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