Insurer Ranks Major US Cities by Drivers’ Odds of Crashing

Motorists in Fort Collins, Colo., are less likely than residents of any other city nationwide to get into an auto accident, according to a report released Thursday by Allstate Insurance.

The seventh-annual Allstate Best Drivers Report, which ranks the largest 200 cities by frequency of property damage claims from the company’s policyholders, found that drivers in Fort Collins could expect to be involved in a crash once every 14 years.

That made motorists in the city, which nabbed the top spot for the second straight year, about 29 percent less likely to crash than the national average of once a decade.

Crashed carThe latest edition of the report shows that Washington, D.C., retained its spot as the city with the highest frequency of crash claims. Drivers in D.C. filed a claim about once every five years— about twice the national average.

Mike Roche, executive vice president of the company’s claim organization, said the annual report is meant to increase discussion about safe driving.

“Each year we hope the report will increase awareness on the importance of being tolerant and attentive behind the wheel,” Roche said in a statement.

Other cities rounding out the top 10 in which drivers were least likely to crash:

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.

The Allstate report focuses on the likelihood of crashes in cities as compared to the national average and does not include the number of vehicle crashes in a given metropolitan area. But crash frequency has decreased nationwide in recent years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The federal agency reported that there were more than 5.5 million motor vehicle crashes in 2009, down from more than 5.8 million in 2008.

About 2.2 million people were injured in motor vehicle collisions in 2009, down from 2.35 million the previous year. The decrease in 2009 marked the tenth year of injury reductions in a row, according to NHTSA.

Fatal collisions have also fallen, with 2009 seeing a 10 percent drop from the roughly 37,500 people killed the previous year, NHTSA reported.

But safety experts say those numbers are still too high, and insurance industry officials point out that vehicle accidents can hit policyholders in the pocketbook, in addition to endangering life and limb.

Driving records are a major factor used by underwriters to determine the size of premium a motorist pays, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In other words, having been involved in a crash or two can make it difficult to find low-priced auto insurance in Colorado and other states.

For its report, Allstate analyzed internal property damage claims over a two-year period to make sure that outside factors such as inclement weather and temporary road construction did not impact the data.

The company used a weighted average of statistics from the two years to determine annual percentages.

 


 

To find out how policyholders rank Allstate on claims, rates and service, readers can research user-submitted Allstate auto insurance reviews online.

About Gregor McGavin
Gregor McGavin is an award-winning journalist who has reported across the country for such publications as The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Press-Enterprise.

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