Sioux Falls Back on Top of Allstate’s ‘Best Drivers’ City Rankings

Allstate released its rankings Tuesday showing how likely drivers in America’s 200 largest cities are to file a claim, with Sioux Falls, S.D., and Washington, D.C., taking familiar places at the top and bottom of the insurer’s annual “America’s Best Drivers Report.”

Drivers in Sioux Falls, which has nabbed the “America’s Safest Driving City” distinction for the fifth time since the insurer began compiling the rankings eight years ago, will be in a car crash, once every 13.8 years on average. The South Dakota city had a three-year run with the top spot between 2006 and 2009, but sunk below the top 10 for the past two years.

At the other end of the spectrum, drivers in Washington, D.C., will be in an accident once every 4.7 years, on average.

The national average amounts to a driver experiencing a vehicle collision every 10 years, according to the report.

Phoenix has also consistently held a high spot in the rankings. For cities with population sizes of over a million residents, the city had the lowest crash frequency, the eighth year that the city has placed on top. Drivers there go an average 10.2 years between collisions.

The chance of crashing in the other eight cities with populations over a million was worse than the national average. Philadelphia ranked worst out of those, with residents there filing a claim about once very 6.1 years.

The report also noted cities based on population groupings:
–Indianapolis ranked on top for cities with a population size of between 750,000 and 1 million.
–Tuscon, Ariz., placed on top for cities between 500,000 and 749,999.
–Lincoln, Neb., placed on top for cities between 250,000 and 499,999.

Several Cities Have Consistently Ranked at Bottom

On the other hand, several major cities have consistently held low spots in the insurer’s yearly report.

Motorists in Washington, D.C., are 112 percent more likely to crash than the national average, putting the nation’s capitol at 195th and last in the listing. Since 2005, the city has never ranked better than 193rd.

Baltimore ranked 194th this year, with an average of 5.3 years between collisions and an 87.9 percent higher likelihood of crashing compared with the national average. The city has never placed higher than 189th in the rankings since 2005.

Motorists in cities with high rates of crashes should stay wary on the roads, where multiple accidents can pump up prices for insurance coverage. Even worse, being at fault for too many severe crashes can force a motorist to buy more expensive, harder-to-find high-risk auto insurance. Several major insurers refuse to carry such insurance policies and consumers have to go to specialized insurance carriers that charge especially high prices for such coverage.

But the prominence of severe collisions may be on a downturn. The latest federal data show that the number of roadway fatalities in the U.S. has not only seen a steady drop in the past decade but also fell to its lowest point in 60 years in 2010, when there were 32,885 crash fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reported that the historic figure holds true even though Americans are driving more miles than ever.

Another recent NHTSA study showed that the chances a driver could escape a collision uninjured has grown, with federal officials applauding better safety features in cars as a large contributor to the improving figures.

Insurer Offers Area-Specific Tips

How well you drive is largely dependent on where you drive, so Allstate offered a list of tips for motorists traversing both small-city and large-city habitats.

In larger cities, the insurer suggests that motorists:
–Allow plenty of time to reach the destination.
–Know what’s happening in the city when driving will occur.
–Stay alert.
–Get directions to the destination.

In smaller cities and suburbs, the insurer recommends that drivers:
–Watch the speed limit.
–Look out for pedestrians, especially children.
–Know the rules of the road.
–Keep a safe distance, especially around large vehicles.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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