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Cities with the best drivers

Once again cities in the West dominate the top rankings in Allstate's annual survey.

By MSN Money Partner Sep 1, 2011 11:18AM

This post comes from Chris Kissell at partner site Insurance.com.

 

Looking for safe streets and responsible drivers? Go west, young man! (Or woman.)

 

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:

  1. Fort Collins
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Lincoln, Neb.
  4. Chandler, Ariz.
  5. Huntsville, Ala.
  6. Knoxville, Tenn.
  7. Springfield, Mo.
  8. Reno, Nev.
  9. Eugene, Ore.
  10. 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:

  1. Phoenix
  2. San Diego
  3. San Antonio
  4. Houston
  5. Chicago

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."

 

More on Insurance.com and MSN Money:

33Comments
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Now that we have cell phones,best drivers don't exist!
Sep 1, 2011 6:34PM
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Yet another list. Man, do we love lists in this country. Can you imagine the joy of driving if states truly stepped up and enforced the rules of the road so that only people who were allowed to drive were permitted on the roads? No more illegals, no more uninsured, no more unlicensed people. It would be a pleasure to drive and take far fewer time to get to a destination. Nice dream, but it will never happen.
Sep 1, 2011 6:21PM
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Live in Phoenix now and people do not know how to drive here.  No one uses blinkers and add a little sprinkle of rain and it's over. 
Sep 1, 2011 5:48PM
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The western states should have every top ten spot. I just drove from the western border of Idaho to the eastern border of Nebraska. That's the most desolate drive I've ever made. It seemed like forever between populated areas, and the majority of those were tiny. Meeting another vehicle was a rare experience on several of the roads I drove,
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I don't understand how Florida didn't make the list?! We have the worst drivers period. I have been involved in three seperate car accidents, none of them my fault, all three happened in the same year. Not only do we have derelicts who text, and talk on their phone while driving, but we also have older people who don't pay attention, and teenagers who are in such a huge hurry to go who knows where. Not to mention all of the under the influence drivers. This report above is bogess by all means!!!Smile
Sep 1, 2011 7:07PM
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no city is safe if I'm on the road....................get out of my way!!!!
Sep 1, 2011 6:14PM
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You are kidding me, Phoenix is #1??!! Scariest 6 months of my life when I had to live there. Nothing like a semi passing me on the 10 going 80.
Sep 7, 2011 6:22PM
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Interesting comment, Anon...In California ALL Illegals (Middle-Easterners included.) Drive dangerously; barely able to see over the steering column, rearview mirrors pointing toward the driver, illegal debris loads in trucks not tied down properly and objects fly out without the driver being aware, EVERYONE using cell phones and Not paying attention to traffic. Overall in both So. and No. CA people do not use driving skills. Everyone has an attitude of entitlement thinking and driving like its a right not a privalege. Californians (I am a Native Californian, but most of us have left the State permanently.) have an overall attitude of entitlement from the homeless to the wealthiest. I'm looking to relocate in another Country along with my spouse when he retires.
Sep 7, 2011 3:58PM
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this is not a raciest comment but a truth! a big reason why Phoenix is at the top is because there are so many illegals there and many drive under the speed limit, any where from 5 to 10 miles under. I lived there so this is not speculation but experience. Then you have the grey hair snowbirds from September to May. Their is nothing more scary than a 70 year old man/woman in a 35 ft motor home and they need 3 phone books to see over the steering wheel while sucking down the oxygen tank as the door is in the front window barking is damn head off. 
Sep 7, 2011 2:22PM
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all state has their heads up their arses
Sep 7, 2011 6:18PM
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This article is a joke. In areas where there are a lot of uninsured drivers the number of accidents is high and yet many do not get reported.

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. 

Sep 7, 2011 2:04PM
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It's all irrelevant. Too many factors involved with being safe or unsafe drivers. How much do they drive? How many on the road with them? who is rested and not.... Etc. etc etc.  Labeling one place as the worst does not mean there will be an accident at any given time or labeled the best doesn't mean they will remain that way. I see this as just a waste of money to do such useless research.  Insurance rates are calculated in such a way that your actual driving record is just a small part of how your rate is determined.   Perhaps insurance companies could save the consumers some money but not wasting it on pointless things like this.
Sep 1, 2011 6:53PM
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The surprise is that cities with the best drivers have the worst weather. I've been to several midwest states when the roads were so icy you could hardly walk outside. Brakes are useless.the worst drivers seem to live where the climate is best, san diego for instance.
Sep 1, 2011 5:51PM
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Best drivers????  You mean the better drivers.  So far I have not seen a single driver that is "The Best"  That includes the race car drivers.....
Sep 7, 2011 5:06PM
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Hmmm...just who did Chicago sleep with to be rated as a best-driver city? Chicago drivers are HORRIFYING. In a single weekend there, I literally had 4 very close calls....and this was a weekend where I mostly walked and wasn't in the car much. Had it not been for my killer defensive driving moves, I would have been killed by several of these really good drivers.
Sep 7, 2011 2:16PM
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I know Fort Collins, CO. very well and can tell exactly WHY it placed #1. There are more police cars around town than I've seen anywhere in the U.S.! I was a 48 state semi-truck driver in the late 70's and  early 80's, and have lived in a dozen states, now living in a motor-home 5 years. Ft.Collins is a partying college town with a lot of well off people that pay for a well staffed police department.   
Sep 7, 2011 5:34PM
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I too am a 52yr old CO Native born and raised right here in Denver, and just started driving a lot more on the highway too help out kids with babysitting...OMG WTH Happened!!! COnative makes a point about drivers who are on the phone or texting but I see more of a distraction when it comes to people who just don't pay attention... Eating, reading  yacking with friends and not  watching where they are going!!! We have a very large population now and with highways that are outdated and not able to accommodate all the vehicles on the road!! When and if the population explosion in our area ever slows down this will continue to be a problem...If I had access to light Rail out North I would be one damn happy camper!!!! We aren't arrogant people.... generally people here are very nice ...but there is always someone who is going to find negative no matter where they live!!!
Sep 1, 2011 7:55PM
Sep 7, 2011 5:14PM
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     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.  

Sep 7, 2011 11:36PM
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It would make sense that typically the safer cities are west of the Mississippi.  Many cities out east have very old histories and without the thought of how transportation would be in the future.  The roads during their development are much more narrow and the layouts tend to angle.  Where the west has more space to build there infrastructures on and are typically newer; therefore had a chance to plan a modern infrastructure.
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