Washington DC Ranks Last in Annual Ranking of “Best Drivers;” Surrounding Areas Also Fare Poorly

404px-EVENING_TRAFFIC-JAM_FROM_WASHINGTON%2C_DC_TO_VIRGINIA_ON_MEMORIAL_BRIDGE._LEE%27S_MANSION_ON_HORIZON_-_NARA_-_546591.jpgAllstate Insurance Company released its eighth annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report,” and Washington DC again ranked last among two hundred American cities. The survey examined its own data on accident claims to determine each city’s auto collision frequency. The cities with the lowest frequencies were deemed to have the “safest” drivers. Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, along with Baltimore, also ranked very low on Allstate’s list. In general, smaller cities, such as the top-ranking Sioux Falls, South Dakota, have a lower incidence of car collisions, and Allstate discusses the factors that contribute to that trend.

According to Allstate, fatalities due to automobile crashes are currently at the lowest rate, nationwide, since 1949. Car accidents still account for about 32,000 deaths per year. To compile the “Best Drivers” report, Allstate reviewed actuarial data for the 200 largest U.S. cities for a two-year period, in this case 2009 and 2010, to estimate the likelihood of collisions for drivers in each city. The study calculated the average number of years a driver in a particular city may go without experiencing a collision, as well as the difference between a city’s likelihood of collisions and the national average. All of the data came from Allstate’s own claims data, so it may not present a truly accurate picture of national driver safety. Allstate claims that it provides roughly ten percent of all auto insurance policies in the country, and calls its report a “realistic snapshot” of the situation on American roads.

The top-ranking city in the study, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has an average of 13.8 years between collisions for its drivers. Its likelihood of an accident is 27.6% below the national average. Drivers in the bottom-ranking city, Washington, DC, go an average of 4.7 years between accidents. The likelihood of an accident is 112.1% greater than, or more than double, the national average. Alexandria, Virginia has an average of 6.2 years between accidents and a collision likelihood 62.6% above the national average. For Arlington, the numbers are 6.5 years and 53.0%. Baltimore’s numbers are 5.3 years and 87.9%. These four cities in the greater DC area all ranked in the bottom ten in Allstate’s report.

The report draws a distinction between big-city and small-city driving, as each presents a different set of concerns. Larger cities tend to have higher traffic density, higher levels of noise and other activity, and a wider variety of road and traffic conditions. The top ten cities in its list are all small cities, while the highest-ranking city with a population over one million, Phoenix, Arizona, ranks fifty-third. This may partly account for the low rankings of Washington-area cities. Baltimore and Washington, DC are the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth largest cities on the list, respectively, each with over 600,000 people. Arlington and Alexandria have many of the same traffic issues as Washington. Sioux Falls, by comparison, ranks 153rd in population, with just over 150,000 people.

The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen help people in the Washington, DC area recover their just compensation when they have suffered injuries in automobile accidents or other incidents caused by the negligent or unlawful conduct of others. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today online or at (800) 654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Cars Collide with Washington DC-Area Fire Engines; Police Remind Drivers of State “Move-Over” Laws, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, September 13, 2012
Washington DC and Baltimore Motorists Rank at Bottom of Allstate’s List of Best Drivers Report, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, September 8, 2010
US News & World Report Ranks Washington DC as Safest Place for Teen Drivers, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, March 20, 2010
Photo credit: ‘Evening Traffic-Jam from Washington, DC to Virginia on Memorial Bridge. Lee’s Mansion on Horizon – NARA – 546591’ by Yoichi R. Okamoto, Environmental Protection Agency [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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