Report unveiled amid increase in fatalities as drivers log more miles
Allstate Insurance Company today released its 12th annual America's Best Drivers Report, and Buffalo ranked 157 safest among America's 200 largest cities.
The Allstate Best Drivers Report is produced solely to boost the country's discussion about safe driving and to increase awareness of the importance of being safe and attentive behind the wheel. The report is not used to determine auto insurance rates in terms of collision frequency. The report underscores Allstate's commitment to safety, especially as motorists prepare to hit the roads for the July Fourth holiday - the deadliest day of the year for drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Allstate's report found the average driver in Buffalo would experience an auto collision every 7.9 years, compared to the national average of every 10 years. Buffalo ranks 134 when factoring in population density and 155 when considering precipitation.
"As Buffalo drivers look forward to celebrating the holiday weekend, the results of our report are an important reminder to put safety first on the road," said Jaclyn Darrohn, Allstate New York spokesperson. "We encourage drivers in Buffalo to refocus on safe-driving practices, to help reduce roadway collisions that may result in unfortunate consequences, such as tragic fatalities and potentially higher insurance costs."
The Allstate America's Best Drivers Report tabulated property damage frequency of Allstate insured drivers from 2013-14.The report analyzed the 200 largest cities from the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places over 50,000, measured for 2014 as of July 1, 2015.
In prior years, neighboring cities that shared ZIP codes also shared rankings. This only impacted a minimal number of cities; however, since 2014, the report used geolocation to increase accuracy, and there are no longer shared rankings. U.S. Census Bureau data was used to obtain the population density factor.
For the precipitation factor, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data was utilized.
Allstate Drivewise data is based on Allstate customers voluntarily enrolled in the telematics program from 2010-15. A number of cities from the full 200 Best Drivers rankings are excluded in the Drivewise data due to the limited measurable data available, or because Drivewise was not available (California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas).
This year Brownsville, Texas, claimed the overall top spot for the first time in the report's 12-year history. The average Brownsville driver experiences an auto collision every 14.6 years, which is 31.4 percent less likely than the national average.
National safety experts say drivers are now spending more time on the road and suffering more fatal collisions than recent years. The U.S. Department of Transportation said that, from March 2015 to February 2016, Americans drove 3.15 trillion miles, an increase of more than 3 percent over the previous 12 months, and the largest year-to-year increase in over two decades.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 38,000 roadway fatalities occurred last year, the highest count since 2008.
Preventable human factors, like drunk, distracted or drowsy driving; speeding; and failure to use safety features contribute to 94 percent of car crashes.
IIHS said intoxication is a significant factor in Fourth of July crash fatalities, with 42 percent between 2010-14 involving at least one driver with a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal driving limit of .08.
Allstate created its America's Best Drivers Report to facilitate an ongoing dialogue about safe driving, to help save lives. The following is a look at how other cities in New York fared:
Allstate's report is the result of an in-depth examination 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.
This year, Allstate actuaries analyzed property damage claims reported during the two-year period of January 2013 to December 2014.A weighted average of the two-year numbers determined the annual percentages.
The report defined a collision as any auto crash 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.
In addition to traditional collision-frequency rankings and hard-braking information, Allstate's 2016 report also showed how the largest 200 cities ranked when factoring in two other challenges drivers face: population density and precipitation:
Driving Tips for Cities with High Levels of Precipitation
•Be aware of road conditions. Ice, snow, fog, rain - all of these weather conditions require extra caution and slower speeds. Stopping safely in rain and snow takes greater lengths of roadway than in dry conditions.
•Maintain your vehicle to prepare for extreme weather. Headlights and brake lights are critical in low-visibility situations - be sure they are consistently maintained along with other critical car functions such as brakes and windshield wipers.