Bad drivers are everywhere, but look out if you drive the streets and highways of Washington, D.C.
Compared to the national average of one accident every 10 years, D.C. drivers have collisions once every 4.8 years. That places the likelihood of having a car crash in the District of Columbia at a whopping 109.3 percent when compared with the national average, according to the ninth annual Allstate America's Best Drivers Report.
The nation's capital ranked at the bottom of a list of the 200 largest U.S. cities, according to Allstate insurance claims, earning it the dubious title of the home of the nation's worst drivers.
Compare that to Fort Collins, Colorado, the home of the best drivers in the U.S.A. and America's safest driving city, where the average time between collisions is 13.9 years. That means residents of Fort Collins are 28.2 percent less likely to have an accident, compared with the national average of 10 years. Fort Collins has placed in the top 10 every year since the report's inception.
The top 10 most dangerous driving cities:
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Baltimore, Maryland
3. Providence, Rhode Island
4. Hialeah, Florida
5. Glendale, Pennsylvania
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7. Alexandria, Virginia
8. Miami, Florida
9. San Francisco, California
10. Arlington, Virginia
Call them "road scholars"! The top 10 safest driving cities:
1. Fort Collins, Colorado
2. Boise, Idaho
3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
4. Brownsville, Texas
5. Madison, Wisconsin
6. Reno, Nevada
7. Huntsville, Alabama
8. Visalia, California
9. Montgomery, Alabama
10. Eugene, Oregon
Car crash fatalities increased by more than 1,700 from 2011 to 2012, the first year-to-year increase in fatalities since 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While fatalities have increased over the past year, Allstate research found that 70 percent of vehicles involved in auto claims are considered drivable, which indicates that most claims are the result of low speed (under 35 miles per hour) collisions.
What is the biggest cause of car crashes? Human behavior.
Allstate offers the following safe driving tips:
- Minimize distractions.
Engaging in any other activity while driving--talking on your cell phone, text messaging, changing a radio station, putting on makeup--is a distraction.
- Be aware of road conditions.
Ice, snow, fog, rain--all of these weather conditions require extra caution and slower speeds.
- Leave a safe distance between your car and others around you.
Maintain at least one car length space between your car and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 miles per hour of speed.
- Steer clear of road rage.
Reduce stress on the road by allowing plenty of time for travel, planning your route in advance and altering your schedule or route to avoid congested roads. Remember not to challenge aggressive drivers and stay as far away from them as possible.
- Maintenance matters.
Ultimately, safety also depends on the maintenance of your car. Ensure that your car brakes, exhaust system, tires, lights, battery and hoses are in good working order.
--From the Editors at Netscape