With Roadway Fatalities Rising and Wet Winter Forecast on Horizon, Allstate Ranks Safest Driving Cities

NORTHBROOK, Ill.  — As Americans get ready to embark on holiday road trips to visit friends and family, scientists are warning that one of the strongest El Niños on record could bring unusually wet conditions to roads in much of the country.i And while this added precipitation might result in mayhem in some places, the 2015 Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report® reveals certain cities are safer than others when factoring rainy or snowy conditions into collision frequency.

View the 200 safest driving cities in rain and snow according to the Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report®.

“Whether it’s packing up the family to drive to a friend’s house in another state, or traveling a few miles to open gifts at the in-laws, it’s important to stay extra vigilant on the roads this holiday season,” said Jim Ledder, vice president of auto claims, Allstate. “Auto collisions are already on the rise across the country, and combining that with an especially powerful El Niño makes Allstate’s ongoing efforts to keep drivers, their families and communities safe more important than ever.”

Recently, the National Safety Council estimated the U.S. is on track for its deadliest driving year since 2007.ii In the first six months of 2015, NSC reported traffic deaths were up 14 percent from a year ago, and serious injuries were 30 percent higher over the same period. While there are many factors that impact highway safety, an improving economy and lower gas prices have led to an increase in the number of miles being driven. The Federal Highway Administration’s latest Traffic Volume Trend Report says cumulative travel for 2015 is up by 3.5 percent.iii The September report is based on hourly traffic count data reported by the states, using data collected at approximately 4,000 continuous traffic counting locations nationwide.

Kansas City, Kan., earned this year’s top spot, after also taking home the distinction for overall Safest Driving City when the report was released in September. Factoring in precipitation, Cape Coral, Fla., and Brownsville, Tex., came in second and third, respectively.

The top 10 safest cities, when factoring in collision frequency and precipitation:

City Rank with Precipitation Factor

City

NOAA Average Precipitation

(inches/year)

Average Years Between Collisions

Accident Likelihood

(Compared to national average of every 10 years)

1

Kansas City, Kan.

39.1

13.3

24.8 percent less likely

2

Cape Coral, Fla.

55.9

12.7

21 percent less likely

3

Brownsville, Texas

27.4

13.3

24.6 percent likely

4

Boise, Idaho

11.73

13.1

23.5 percent less likely

5

Madison, Wis.

37.3

12.2

18.2 percent less likely

6

Huntsville, Ala.

54.3

11.7

14.7 percent less likely

7

Fort Collins, Colo.

15

12.7

21.1 percent less likely

8

Port Saint Lucie, Fla.

63.7

11.3

11.8 percent less likely

9

Cary, N.C.

47.4

11.6

13.8 percent less likely

10

Montgomery, Ala.

52.8

11.4

12.4 percent less likely

Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report® is based on Allstate claims data and ranks America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which have the safest drivers. The report underscores Allstate’s commitment to keeping roadways safer for customers and other drivers. The data uncovers how these cities rank when precipitation is a factor. These rankings are based on the expected driver performance given each city’s average annual precipitation as measured by NOAA.iv

Allstate releases the updated rankings annually – factoring in weather such as rain and snow – in an effort to raise awareness about the need to take extra caution when the roads are wet. As part of the Best Drivers Report, The Allstate Blog offers tips to keep you and your car safe this winter:

  • Get your vehicle ready for extreme weather. Prepare yourself for dangerous situations. Ensure your headlights and brake lights fully work, along with other things critical for low-visibility situations such as tires, heaters, defrosters, brakes, windshield wipers and fluid levels.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car. Just like making sure your car is ready for the weather, you want to know there are items to protect you if you have a problem. Pack a kit with gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a brush, water, jumper cables, a flashlight and something for traction, such as sand or kitty litter.
  • Respect the weather. Take extra care if you encounter ice, snow, fog, rain or other dangerous weather conditions. Increasing following distance, traveling at slower speeds and accounting for the extra time winter weather requires drivers to stop are all good ways to avoid collisions.
  • Keep your full attention on the road. Distracted driving has shown to be as dangerous as driving after drinking four beers. Make sure you’re 100 percent focused on the road, especially with slick streets and potentially dangerous conditions.
  • Stay calm in a skid. If your vehicle begins to slide or skid, don’t panic. Look down the road in the direction you want to go and gently steer in that direction. Don’t slam on the brakes, as that will upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to gain control. Instead, just release the accelerator until traction returns.

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The Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report®
For the past 11 years, Allstate actuaries have conducted an in-depth analysis of company claims data to determine the likelihood drivers in America’s 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Reported property damage claims were analyzed over a two-year period (from January 2012 to December 2013).

A weighted average of the two-year numbers determines the annual percentages. The report defines an auto crash as any collision resulting in a property damage claim. Allstate’s auto policies represent nearly 10 percent of all U.S. auto policies, making this report a realistic snapshot of what’s happening on America’s roadways.

Source: Allstate

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