Okay, they might not have the freshest sushi in Sioux Falls, S.D., and the nightlife might pale in comparison to a more cosmopolitan city like, say, Des Moines, but there’s one claim Sioux Falls can make what others can’t: It is the home of the safest drivers in the U.S., according to the fourth annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report. For the second year running, Sioux Falls drivers topped the list, and their combined record is impressive. With the average driver in Sioux Falls experiencing an auto collision every 14.6 years, Sioux Falls motorists are 31.6 percent less likely than the national average to have an accident.
“I am happy to know that our residents are continuing to drive safely,” said Dave Munson, mayor of Sioux Falls. “The quality of our community driver education programs, combined with the careful consideration of our traffic engineering department, goes a long way to make our roadways safe for everyone.”
Not only did Sioux Falls cling tight to the No. 1 spot on the list, but Fort Collins, Colo., held onto the No. 2 spot for the third consecutive year. On average, motorists in Fort Collins experience a car collision every 13.4 years, making them 25.5 percent less likely to experience a collision than the nationwide average.
So, you might be asking yourself, how does Allstate know this, and what does it really mean? For the past four years, Allstate actuaries have conducted an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the likelihood drivers in America’s 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Since the insurance company’s auto policies represent about 12 percent of all U.S. auto policies, the report is a realistic snapshot of what’s happening on America’s roadways. As to what this really means, you might have to judge for yourself, but one obvious reality is that residents of smaller cities are less likely to be involved in a crash than those who live in big cities. Detroit was the only city with a population of 500,000 to make the top 10, and its drivers finished in the 10th position. With a collision every 12.4 years, they are 19.5 percent less likely to be involved in a collision than the average American driver.
2007 seemed to be a year of especially safe driving by Michigan drivers. In addition to Detroit, three more Michigan cities and towns -- Sterling Heights, Warren and Grand Rapids -- found a spot on the top 10 list. Midwestern drivers appear to continue to recognize the importance of driving safely. Half of the 10 top cities are in America’s heartland, according to the report.
So how do big-city dwellers fare? Not so well, according to the report. For the fourth consecutive year, drivers in Phoenix, Ariz., are the safest big-city commuters, according to Allstate. Phoenix motorists can expect to bump into another vehicle (or worse) on the roadway every 9.8 years -- slightly more frequently than the national average. San Diego, New York, Houston and San Antonio round out the top five in cities with populations of a million or more.