Allstate Insurance released its annual “America’s Best Drivers Report” in late August, listing the cities with the lowest rates of automobile collisions, both per driver and compared to the national average. The survey ranked the two hundred largest American cities, including two cities in Indiana. Indianapolis ranked 60th, and Fort Wayne ranked 31st. Smaller cities tended to rank higher than larger ones. The top city for safe drivers, according to Allstate, is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, while the worst is Washington, DC. The study is useful for Indiana drivers to understand what they are doing well in terms of avoiding car accidents, and where they could improve.
This year’s report was the eighth survey of “best drivers” conducted by Allstate. Actuaries reviewed two years of collision reports from 2009 and 2010 to identify cities with high rates of accident claims. All data used by Allstate comes from its own policy claims, which it says account for about ten percent of all auto insurance policies in the country. It is therefore not a scientific survey, but it provides a useful overview of auto accident statistics.
The study identified two signifiers to determine which cities have the “best drivers.” First, it calculated the length of time between auto collisions for an average driver in each city. Second, it compared the likelihood of an average driver having an accident to the national average. Smaller cities tended to rank higher than the big cities, at least in part because they often present fewer distractions, less traffic, and less uncertainty in terms of road conditions. The top-ranked city, Sioux Falls, has a population of around 156,000 people, making it the 153rd-largest city in the survey. Of the nine cities with populations greater than one million people, Phoenix, Arizona ranked highest on the “best drivers” scale at 53rd.