The Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) today released its eighth annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report™.” The report, based on Allstate claims data, ranks America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers.
In the 2012 report, Seattle ranks as one of the LEAST safe driving cities, landing at number 154 on the list. According to the report, the average driver in Seattle will experience an auto collision every 7.9 years.
“We don’t want drivers in Seattle to be discouraged by their ranking. Instead, we want the report to challenge drivers in Seattle to make positive changes to their driving habits that will in turn make the city a safer place to live, work and raise families,” said Shauna McBride, Allstate’s Regional Spokesperson.
The Allstate America’s Best Driver’s Report was created to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on safe driving that saves lives. This year’s top honor of “America’s Safest Driving City” is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the fifth year the city has held the top spot in the report’s eight-year history. According to the report, the average driver in Sioux Falls will experience an auto collision every 13.8 years, which is 27.6 percent less likely than the national average of 10 years.
Below is a look at how other cities in Washington finished.
City & Overall Ranking Collision Likelihood Compared to National Average Average Years Between Collisions
43. Spokane, WA 5.3% less likely 10.6
67. Vancouver, WA 1.0% more likely 9.9
156. Tacoma, WA 28.0% more likely 7.8
Car crash fatalities are at the lowest level they’ve been since 1949, but still average more than 32,000 every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“It is vital for us to educate American drivers about safe driving behaviors they can practice on the road that will help make our roadways safer,” said McBride. “Minimizing distractions, obeying traffic laws, and using your car’s safety features like turn signals and headlights, are all ways to be safer, no matter where you drive.”
Big-city vs. Small-city Driving
Different levels and types of traffic, noise and activity, as well as varying road conditions and rules, can make big city driving different than driving in smaller cities or more suburban areas. Allstate offers the following tips for driving in both settings. In larger cities:
Allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Stop-and-go traffic, gridlock, traffic signal stops, pedestrian walkways and events that create traffic detours can add time to your travel.
Know what’s happening in the city during the time you’re driving. Find out if there are events that may impact traffic, and listen to traffic reports on your car radio. Avoid traffic jams or explore alternative routes, if possible.
Stay alert. Be prepared to frequently stop or slow down for pedestrians, emergency vehicles, delivery trucks, parking cars, taxi cabs, and public transportation vehicles such as city buses.
Get directions to where you’re going. Review directions carefully in advance. If you get lost mid-trip, safely pull over and wait until you feel calm enough to get back on the road, using that time to get directions, check traffic or call for help.
In smaller cities and suburban areas:
Watch the speed limit. Speed limits may be greater than in city traffic, which can lead some drivers to speed up and make roads dangerous.
Look out for pedestrians, especially children. While there are typically fewer pedestrians or obstacles than in large metropolitan areas, there are also typically fewer crosswalks, so pedestrians may be less aware of traffic rules such as where and when to cross the street.
Know the rules of the road. Suburban streets typically have fewer streetlights and signs, or greater distance between lights and signs. This means darker conditions when driving at night and less opportunity to be reminded of speed limits and other road rules throughout the day.
Keep a safe distance – especially around large vehicles. Large vehicles like semi-trucks are more likely found on suburban roads than in large metro areas. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others, and know that truck drivers might have limited visibility. If you attempt to pass a truck, make sure you have plenty of time and space to maneuver safely.
For the past eight years, Allstate actuaries have conducted an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the likelihood drivers in America’s 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Internal property damage reported claims were analyzed over a two-year period (from January 2009 to December 2010) to ensure the findings would not be impacted by external influences such as weather or road construction.
A weighted average of the two-year numbers determined the annual percentages. The report defines an auto crash as any collision resulting in a property damage claim. Allstate’s auto policies represent about 10 percent of all U.S. auto policies, making this report a realistic snapshot of what’s happening on America’s roadways.
To view the complete “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report,” or to see previous year’s results, log onto www.allstatenewsroom.com.