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caption: The Seattle skyline behind heavy traffic on northbound Interstate 5 in 2011.
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The Seattle skyline behind heavy traffic on northbound Interstate 5 in 2011.
Credit: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Washington is the worst to drive in. And drivers are only getting more aggressive

Aggressive driving is on the rise in the Northwest.

A new study by Pemco found drivers admit they’re about twice as likely now to “assert themselves” behind the wheel.

Researchers say millennials could be playing a role in the increase.

Those under 35 admitted to engaging in an average of about three risky maneuvers per month, compared to one per month by those over 35.

The poll adds up to Northwest drivers engaging in risky behavior 2.1 times each month, on average. That’s up from the previous poll’s results of 1.3 aggressive acts each month.

Even though drivers do admit to their own aggressive driving, they also claim that everyone else out there is worse. Drivers generally report seeing five times more bad behavior than they personally contribute.

To be fair, a new study by WalletHub says Washington is the worst state in the lower 48 to drive in — only Alaska and Hawaii are considered worse.

Washington scored below average in several of the study's categories, including average gas prices (48th of 50), road quality (44th), car theft rate (44th), auto maintenance costs (37th) and share of rush hour traffic congestion (33rd).

Yet despite the increases in aggressive driving the Pemco survey also found Northwest drivers are still showing some considerate behavior, like yielding or giving a courtesy wave, about eight times a month. The poll found that drivers witness about seven polite behaviors from others each month, as well.