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Driving Today

Where the Safest Drivers Are

New report shows that small and medium-sized cities are homes to the safest drivers.

Do drivers in the country’s largest metro areas succumb to road rage frequently? Do big cities simply attract poor drivers? The seventh annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report from the insurance company Allstate doesn’t answer those questions, but it does rank America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car-collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers. Analysis of the study makes it clear that drivers in smaller cities have a better combined safety record than those in larger urban areas.

So where do the safest drivers in America live? For the second year in a row, the honor of America’s Safest Driving City went to Fort Collins, Colo. According to the report, the average driver in Fort Collins will experience an auto collision every 14 years, which is 28.6 percent less likely than the national average of 10 years. Boise, Idaho, was second on this list with its drivers 25.5 percent less likely to be involved in a collision than the average driver. Lincoln, Neb., was third (22.7 percent less likely); Chandler, Ariz., was fourth (20.4 percent less likely); and Huntsville, Ala., was fifth (18.9 percent less likely).

Is the infrastructure or traffic enforcement more conducive to safety in small cities and towns than in big, sprawling metros? Mike Roche, executive vice president of Allstate’s Claims Organization, said that could be the case, but he cited driving behavior as the overriding factor.

“Human behavior is the biggest cause of accidents,” he said. “It is vital for us to educate American drivers about safe driving behaviors they can demonstrate on the road that will help make our roadways safer.”

He suggested that drivers be “tolerant and attentive behind the wheel.” Among specific things drivers should do to stay safe, Allstate recommends minimizing distractions, being aware of road conditions, keeping safe distances between your vehicle and others and steering clear of road rage.