Which State Has the Safest Freeways?

By  USDR

Kansas City, Kansas tops the chart for the first time ever as the safest driving city in America according to the eleventh annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report®.” The report, based on Allstate Insurance Company claims data, ranks America’s 200 largest cities[i] in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers. The report underscores Allstate’s commitment to keeping roadways  safer.

Kansas City, Kansas, is recognized as the safest driving city in America with the average driver experiencing an auto collision every 13.3 years, which is 24.8 percent less likely than the national average of every 10  years.

“By providing this information annually, Allstate and our agency owners across the country strive to bring drivers and communities together to talk about driving safety and consider solutions to keep our roads safer,” said Jim Ledder, vice president of auto claims, Allstate. “By spotlighting the cities with strong driver safety records and spreading the word about practical steps drivers can take, we’re continuing to help protect people from life’s uncertainties and prepare them for a more secure  future.”

Recently, the National Safety Council estimated the U.S. is on track for its deadliest driving year since 2007.[ii] For the first six months of 2015, NSC reported traffic deaths are up 14 percent from a year ago, and serious injuries are 30 percent higher over the same period. While there are many factors that impact highway safety, an improving economy and lower gas prices have led to an increase in the number of miles being driven. The Federal Highway Administration’s latest Traffic Volume Trend Report says cumulative travel for 2015 is up by 3.5 percent.[iii] The June report is based on hourly traffic count data reported by the states, using data collected at approximately 4,000 continuous traffic counting locations  nationwide.

The top ten cities according to the Allstate America’s Best Drivers  Report:

11th Annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report® Top 10 Safest Cities

City & Overall Ranking

Collision Likelihood Compared to National Average

Average Years Between Collisions

1. Kansas City, Kan.

24.8% less likely

13.3

2. Brownsville, Texas

24.6% less likely

13.3

3. Boise, Idaho

23.5% less likely

13.1

4. Fort Collins, Colo.

21.1% less likely

12.7

5. Cape Coral, Fla.

21.0% less likely

12.7

6. Madison, Wis.

18.2% less likely

12.2

7. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

15.1% less likely

11.8

8. Laredo, Texas

14.7% less likely

11.7

9. Huntsville, Ala.

14.7% less likely

11.7

10. Cary, N.C.

13.8% less likely

11.6

Allstate visually depicts the report in an interactive map found at www.allstate.com/BestDriversReport. The map features the America’s Best Drivers Report with historical collision frequency rankings from the past 11 years in an interactive  format.

New this year, the report provides information about a notable factor in collisions – braking habits — in approximately 100 cities nationally. Allstate pulled data from its Drivewise® offering, an innovative technology that allows consumers to monitor their driving habits to improve safety and gain rewards on their insurance, to determine braking trends. A hard braking event is defined as slowing down eight miles per hour or more over a one-second time  interval.

Allstate found a correlation between hard braking and collision frequency. Cities with higher collision frequency also recorded more hard braking events. Nationally, on average, a driver will experience 16 hard braking events for every 1,000 miles driven. Here are the cities with drivers who experience the least amount of hard braking events per 1,000 miles  driven:

Drivewise® Hard Braking Events
(Cities’ drivers with the least events per 1,000 miles)

Des Moines, Iowa

6.8

Madison, Wis.

8.1

Wichita, Kan.

9.4

Milwaukee, Wis.

10.3

Chesapeake, Va.

11.1

Overland Park, Kan.

11.3

Vancouver, Wash.

11.9

Omaha, Neb.

11.9

Minneapolis, Minn.

12.4

Hampton, Va.

12.6

Driving tips for cities with high braking  activity:

  • Leave room between you and other vehicles. Hard braking collisions can occur when drivers are following other cars too closely, causing a rear-end collision. Try to avoid rear-end collisions by leaving more space and time to react to other vehicles’  actions.
  • Minimize distractions while driving. Distracted driving is one of the main causes for collisions.[iv] Common driving distractions include eating, grooming, talking on a cell phone or texting, interacting with other passengers, adjusting navigation devices and playing loud  music.

In addition to the traditional collision frequency rankings, two unique rankings among the top 200 largest cities are featured in the 2015 report. These location factor rankings include population density and precipitation, and show how some cities’ rankings can change when taking these challenging roadway conditions into  consideration.

Cities with Top Rankings When 
Factoring in Population Density

1. Boise, Idaho

2. Fort Collins, Colo.

3. Madison, Wis.

4. Brownsville, Texas

5. Laredo, Texas

6. Cary, N.C.

7. Kansas City, Kan.

8. Cape Coral, Fla.

9. Milwaukee, Wis.

10. Louisville, Ken.

Driving tips for densely populated  cities:

  • Allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Stop-and-go traffic, gridlock, traffic signal stops, pedestrian walkways and events that create traffic detours can add time to your travel.
  • Stay alert. Be prepared to frequently stop or slow down for pedestrians, emergency vehicles, delivery trucks, parking cars, taxi cabs, and public transportation vehicles such as city  buses.

Cities with Top Rankings When 
Factoring in Precipitation

1. Kansas City, Kan.

2. Cape Coral, Fla.

3. Brownsville, Texas

4. Boise, Idaho

5. Madison, Wis.

6. Huntsville, Ala.

7. Fort Collins, Colo.

8. Port Saint Lucie, Fla.

9. Cary, N.C.

10. Montgomery, Ala.

Driving tips for cities with high levels of  precipitation:

  • Be aware of road conditions. Ice, snow, fog, rain – all of these weather conditions require extra caution and slower speeds. Stopping safely in rain and snow takes greater lengths of roadway than in dry  conditions.
  • Maintain your vehicle to prepare for extreme weather. Headlights and brake lights are critical in low visibility situations – be sure they are consistently maintained along with other critical car functions such as brakes and windshield  wipers.

The Allstate America’s Best Drivers  Report®

For the past 11 years, Allstate actuaries have conducted an in-depth analysis of company claims data to determine the likelihood drivers in America’s 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Reported property damage claims were analyzed over a two-year period (from January 2012 to December  2013).

A weighted average of the two-year numbers determines the annual percentages. The report defines an auto crash as any collision resulting in a property damage claim. Allstate’s auto policies represent nearly 10 percent of all U.S. auto policies, making this report a realistic snapshot of what’s happening on America’s  roadways.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 32,675 car crash fatalities occurred in 2014. Additionally, 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. Allstate utilizes the America’s Best Drivers Report to remind drivers to stay vigilant behind the wheel and protect themselves from challenging driving  conditions.

About  Allstate

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompassand Answer Financial brand names. Allstate is widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®.” The Allstate brand’s network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United Statesand Canada. In the 20 years since Allstate became a fully independent public company, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners have donated more than $405 million to support local  communities.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.