Phoenix drivers have a reputation for aggressive driving and high speeds, and Phoenix highways never seem to be without crashes on any given day. So how did Phoenix, Arizona do in a study of cities and traffic accidents?
Recently, Allstate Insurance researchers analyzed internal data to determine the likelihood that drivers would be involved in a vehicle collision. They looked at those cities in the U.S. with at least 100,000 in population–the largest 196 cities. To create the report entitled, “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report,” they took property damage claims over a two-year period (from January, 2002 to December, 2003) and used a weighted average of the two-year numbers to determine the annual percentages. The report defines an auto crash as any collision resulting in property damage.
Nationally, the average driver can expect to experience an auto crash with property damage once in every ten years. In Cedar Rapids, though, the average is only once in every 15 years, making that city the safest of all cities of more than 100,000 population.
Here are the top 10, nationally:
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Huntsville, Alabama
- Knoxville, Tennessee
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Topeka, Kansas
- Lakewood, Colorado
- Fort Collins, Colorado
- Birmingham, Alabama
Clearly, those of us who live in bigger cities face bigger risks. In the category of big cities–those with a million or more people–Phoenix, Arizona was the top ranked city in the country, mirroring the national average of a collision once every ten years.
Here are the top 10 cities over 1 million in population:
(the number represents the national ranking)
- San Diego
- San Antonio
- New York City
- Los Angeles
Tucson, Arizona also did very well, ranked 53rd overall in the study, and 6th among cities with populations between 500,000 and one million residents. The average driver in Tucson has an accident once in very 10.3 years.
We have heard that most accidents occur close to home, and Allstate says that’s still true: the majority of crashes occurring within five miles of the home. That’s logical to me; I would think that that’s where most people drive! How cities rank are affected by many factors, like demographics, commuting patterns, and city design, traffic engineering, and strong law enforcement initiatives.