Cities with the best drivers
Once again cities in the West dominate the top rankings in Allstate's annual survey.
This post comes from Chris Kissell at partner site Insurance.com.
For the second year in a row, Fort Collins, Colo., earned honors as the city with the safest drivers, according to Allstate. The insurer uses its car insurance collision claims data in the 200 largest U.S. cities to determine the rankings.
The average driver in Fort Collins is involved in an auto collision every 14 years, compared with the national average of 10 years, Allstate says. That's a good reason for all of the city's drivers to celebrate, says Kate Hollcraft, an Allstate spokesperson.
"The area you live in can impact your rates," she says. "If you're in an area with less accidents, it's going to result in lower rates -- not necessarily right away, but over time." Post continues after video.
Four of the top five safest cities on Allstate's list are located west of the Mississippi River. The country's best drivers are located in:
- Fort Collins
- Boise, Idaho
- Lincoln, Neb.
- Chandler, Ariz.
- Huntsville, Ala.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Springfield, Mo.
- Reno, Nev.
- Eugene, Ore.
- Chattanooga, Tenn.
Allstate also ranked the cities with the safest drivers and populations of at least 1 million. Again, U.S. cities west of the Mississippi dominate the list, with Phoenix taking the top slot for the seventh straight year. The highest-ranking big cities are:
- San Diego
- San Antonio
Hollcraft says it's difficult to pinpoint why cities in the West rank so high. Many cities in the South and Midwest also get good marks, she says.
Rural areas with lower traffic volumes naturally tend to see fewer accidents. She says,
"Certainly, the West is a little more spread out."
However, she says other factors also play a role in keeping down accident rates, including good individual driver habits, sound local infrastructure and effective law enforcement practices. Cities blessed with such advantages tend to appear near the top of Allstate's list year after year.
The report is intended to get communities thinking about practices that can lead to safer roads. "The report is not used to determine auto rates," Hollcraft says. "We hope the report gets a discussion happening."
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The epitome of bad driving is found in Florida. People here pay more for insurance every year because of fraud and uninsured motorist than any other place in the contiguous US.
There is no other place that is more hazardous to motor cycles than Florida. The average is around 1,200 deaths a year.
Stop signs are ignored by most of the population, a yellow light means speed up so you can run the red before the traffic in the opposite can move, and there are no restrictions on phone use or texting while driving. All of this adds up to a lot of accidents and at least a third are uninsured. This place gives new meaning to the words defensive driving.
I live just south of Denver and I don't drive on I-25 anymore. I've taken the Light Rail to downtown Denver since it opened in October 2006. The highway is filled with high-strung crazies on their cell phones during the weekdays, and with weaving drunks at night on the weekends. You can probably tell I'm older...I'm retired. But even when I was younger, I sensed a transition to more careless driving over the years. I am at the moment a really good driver, but the minute I start being unsafe, I'll hang up my keys. That's it.
The winter is the worst, however. Everyone who just moved in from California and is really proud of their brand-new SUV is driving way too fast for snow conditions in the Denver area. They don't seem to understand that a 4WD is no good on ice...just like any other vehicle.
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