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Which cities have the best and worst drivers?

By Posted : 08/29/2012

cities with the best and worst driversThe nation's capital finished last in this year's “Allstate America's Best Drivers Report,” with the average motorist there having a collision every 4.7 years, compared with the national average of 10 years.

In compiling the list, Allstate used its claims data to compute the likelihood that drivers in the country’s 195 largest cities would get in a car collision, as compared with the national average.

After Washington, D.C, here's how the rest of the bottom five rank:

Rank and city

Collision likelihood compared to national average

Average years between collisions

194. Baltimore, Md.

87.9 percent more likely

5.3

193. Providence, R.I.

80.9 percent more likely

5.5

192. Hialeah, Fla.

77.6 percent more likely

5.6

191. Glendale, Calif.

77.5 percent more likely

5.6

 

Cities in the heartland clinched the top five spots on the list, with Sioux Falls, S.D., earning the No. 1 rank for the fifth time in the eight-year history of the report.

The average driver in Sioux Falls, S.D., will experience an auto collision every 13.8 years, which is 27.6 percent less likely than the national average of 10 years, according to Allstate's analysis.

Here's  how the other cities in the top five  rank, according to the report:

Rank and city

Collision likelihood compared to national average

Average years between collisions

2. Boise, Idaho

27.3 percent less likely

13.8

3. Fort Collins, Colo.

26.7 percent less likely

13.6

4. Madison, Wis.

23 percent less likely

13

5. Lincoln, Neb.

19.3 percent less likely

12.4

 

Location and car insurance rates

So, how does where you live impact how auto insurance companies set rates?

Car insurance premiums are based on a variety of factors. Insurers consider your driving record, your age, your marital status,  the model of car you drive and where you live, among other things. (See: "Learn how car insurance rates work.")

Typically, your insurer will begin by using your ZIP code's base rate as a starting point in calculating your premium.

ZIP codes are categorized by insurers based on the number and severity of claims to create a base rate for motorists living in those respective areas.

In Sioux Falls, S.D., for instance, the average premium for ZIP code 57105 is $972 per year, according to the "Nosy Neighbor" tool at CarInsurance.com that compares rates by ZIP code. That's $340 less than the $1,332 average premium per year for ZIP 57714 for Allen, S.D., five hours away. It's $602 less than Washington, D.C.'s average of $1,574 for ZIP 20001.

Where you live also plays a role in any rate hikes you may experience. Surcharges are calculated from your base territorial rate, so if that number is high, any rate hikes you experience for violations will be more significant. (See: "Got a ticket? You could be paying for years.”)

It's prudent to compare auto insurance quotes, though, even in the same ZIP code. This is because each insurer likely has a different claims experience in your area, and their rates will reflect that. So, one insurance company may put your ZIP code in a high-risk zone, but another may not. (See: "5 ways to compare auto insurance companies.")

 

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1 Responses to "Which cities have the best and worst drivers?"
  1. Sue Pinsley 05, Sep, 2012

    I am not surprised to see Hialeah, FL in your "worst" list, but all of Miami should be ranked among the worst. Every time you go out on the road here, you are playing Russian roulette. I can't imagine that there are any worse drivers anywhere than we have here. Maybe there are a few less collisions, but we definitely have the worst drivers.

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