Fort Collins, Colorado has again been named America's Safest Driving City, while drivers in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Dallas leave a lot to be desired—if you wish to avoid an accident, that is.
So assesses Allstate Insurance Company [NYSE:ALL], in its annual America's Best Drivers Report, which looks at collision frequency in the 200 largest U.S. cities.
Those in Fort Collins are in a collision once every 14.5 years (about 31 percent less likely than average), while those in Philadephia will be in a crash once every 6.5 years (nearly 54 percent more likely than average).
Runners up for the safest city accolade include Chattanooga, Tennessee; Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs; and Knoxville, Tennessee. Among big cities, Phoenix drivers were safest—only 1.9 percent more likely than the national average to be in an accident.
Staying focused behind the wheel has an important role in avoiding crashes, as does attitude, Allstate emphasizes. "Human error is the biggest cause of accidents. It is vital for us to educate drivers across the country on the importance of being tolerant and attentive behind the wheel," said Mike Roche, Allstate's senior VP for claims, in a release.
The analysis is done internally at Allstate, based on its own claims data, and takes into account external factors like weather and road construction so as to focus on the quality of the driving rather than infrastructure or other factors. Allstate holds about eleven percent of all U.S. policies.
To help maximize your chances of staying safe and avoiding a crash, Allstate recommends the following:
- Minimize distractions – Engaging in any other activity while driving – talking on your cell phone, text messaging, changing a radio station, putting on makeup – is a distraction.
- Be aware of road conditions – Ice, snow, fog, rain – all of these weather conditions require extra caution and slower speeds.
- Leave a safe distance between your car and others around you – Maintain at least one car length space between your car and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 miles per hour of speed.
- Steer clear of road rage – Reduce stress on the road by allowing plenty of time for travel, planning your route in advance, and altering your schedule or route to avoid congested roads. Remember not to challenge aggressive drivers and stay as far away from them as possible.
- Maintenance matters – Ultimately, safety also depends on the maintenance of one's car. Ensure that car brakes, exhaust system, tires, lights, battery and hoses are in good working order.