What are the safest cities for driving?

By Barbara Marquand on October 10th, 2013

Fort Collins, Colo., is the safest driving city, according to the latest report on the nation's best drivers from Allstate Insurance Co.

This is the ninth year Allstate has ranked America's 200 largest cities for car accident frequency.

The average driver in Fort Collins experiences an auto collision every 13.9 years, 28 percent less frequent than the national average of every 10 years. The college town along the Rocky Mountain Front Range has placed in the top 10 every year since Allstate began issuing its report, and holds the top spot for the third year in a row.

Other cities in the top 10 and the average number of years between collisions:

2. Boise, Idaho, 13.9 years

3. Sioux Falls, S.D., 12.8 years

4. Brownsville, Texas, 12.7 years

5. Madison, Wis., 12.5 years

6. Reno, Nev., 12.5 years

7. Huntsville, Ala., 12.5 years

8. Visalia, Calif., 12.3 years

9. Montgomery, Ala., 11.9 years

10. Eugene, Ore., 11.9 years

Accidents are more likely to happen in big cities. The safest cities for their sizes are:

  • Phoenix topped the list for cities with 1 million or more people. The average driver gets in a wreck every 9.8 years.
  • Denver, combined with one of its suburbs, Lakewood, Colo., is the safest city with a population of 750,000 to 1 million. A driver gets in a wreck every 10 years on average.
  • Tucson, Ariz., is the safest city with a population of 500,000 to 749,999. The average time between collisions for drivers is 11.4 years.
  • Mesa, Ariz., is the safest city with a population of 250,000 to 499,999. The average time between collisions: 11.9 years.

Allstate found that most collisions are minor fender-benders. Seventy percent of vehicles involved in Allstate auto claims are considered drivable after the accidents.

"But it's important to keep in mind that even lower-speed accidents can have serious outcomes," Mike Roche, Allstate's senior vice president of claims, said in a press statement.

Car crash deaths rose by more than 1,700 from 2011 to 2012, the first year-to-year increase in fatalities since 2005, according to the most recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This year's safe driving report was based on Allstate auto insurance property damage claims made from January 2010 to December 2011. A weighted average of the two-year numbers determined the annual percentages. The report defines an auto crash as any collision resulting in a property damage claim. Allstate's auto policies represent about 10 percent of all U.S. auto policies, making the report a decent snapshot of what's happening on U.S. roadways.

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