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New rankings spotlight cities with the best drivers

By Chris Kissell Posted : 09/01/2011

Safe driversLooking for safe streets and responsible drivers? Go west, young man! (Or woman.)

For the second year in a row, drivers in Fort Collins, Colo., earned honors as the city with the safest drivers, according to Allstate. The insurer uses its car insurance collision claims data in the 200 largest U.S. cities to determine the rankings.

The average driver in Fort Collins is involved in an auto collision every 14 years, compared to the national average of 10 years, Allstate says. That's a good reason for all of the city's drivers to celebrate, says Kate Hollcraft, an Allstate spokesperson.

"The area you live in can impact your rates," she says. "If you're in an area with less accidents, it's going to result in lower rates – not necessarily right away, but over time."

Four of the top five safest cities on Allstate's list are located west of the Mississippi River. The country's best drivers are located in:

  1. Fort Collins, Colo.
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Lincoln, Neb.
  4. Chandler, Ariz.
  5. Huntsville, Ala.
  6. Knoxville, Tenn.
  7. Springfield, Mo.
  8. Reno, Nev.
  9. Eugene, Ore.
  10. Chattanooga, Tenn.

Allstate also ranked the cities with the safest drivers and populations of at least 1 million. Again, western U.S. cities dominate the list, with Phoenix taking the top slot for the seventh straight year. Other high-ranking big cities include:

  1. Phoenix
  2. San Diego
  3. San Antonio
  4. Houston
  5. Chicago

Formula for success

Hollcraft says it's difficult to pinpoint why cities in the West rank so high on the list. Many cities in the South and Midwest also get good marks, she says.

Rural areas with lower traffic volumes naturally tend to see fewer accidents, she says:

"Certainly, the West is a little more spread out."

Rita Davis, a spokesperson for the Fort Collins Police Department, says her city's place at the top of the rankings is "most likely the result of a variety of factors," including good citizen driving habits, well-designed and maintained roadways, and a "strong emphasis on traffic enforcement of laws."

Cities like Fort Collins that are blessed with such advantages tend to appear near the top of Allstate's list year after year, Hollcraft says.

The report is intended to get communities thinking about practices that can lead to safer roads.

"The report is not used to determine auto rates," Hollcraft says. "We hope the report gets a discussion happening."

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