Solving Cities

Which cities have the best (and worst) drivers?

Posting in Cities

How often do drivers in your city get into accidents?

Driving around a city can be difficult anywhere, but some city drivers are safer than others.

Allstate released its eighth annual list of the largest 200 cities in the United States with the best and worst drivers based on the insurance agency's claims data for collisions -- the agency represents about 10 percent of all U.S. auto policies. If you've been following Allstate's Best Drivers Report through the years you'll recognize some familiar cities at the top and bottom of the list.

When it comes to the best drivers, Sioux Falls, S.D. leads the way for the fifth time in eight years. The average driver will have a collision once every 13.8 years. Washington, D.C., on the other hand, is once again ranked as the city with the worst drivers -- it's been at the bottom of the list in all eight of Allstate's Best Drivers Reports. In contrast with Sioux Falls, D.C. drivers get into collisions once every 4.7 years. The national average is once every 10 years.

Here are the five cities with the best drivers:

  1. Sioux Falls, S.D.
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Fort Collins, Colo.
  4. Madison, Wisc.
  5. Lincoln, Neb.

And the five cities where avoiding cars should be a top priority:

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Baltimore
  3. Providence, R.I.
  4. Hialeah, Fla.
  5. Glendale, Calif.

For the eighth year in a row, Phoenix tops the list of best drivers in cities over 1 million, followed by San Diego, San Antonio, Chicago, and Houston.

I live in the city with the worst drivers in the country. You might ask: "How can you stand it?" For one, I limit the amount of driving I do. We also have an above average transit system that, for the most part, gets me anywhere I need to go in a timely manner. That's probably the reason why one-quarter of residents in D.C. don't even own a car. They only come across bad drivers in the crosswalk.

D.C. commuters also overwhelmingly ride transit, bike, or walk to work. Only about 41 percent of residents drove to work, while the other 59 percent choose other means. Maybe the problem isn't that we're a bunch of bad drivers, but that we don't drive enough to remember the rules (wishful thinking). Or it could be intersections like this one. Either way, I'll stick you avoiding driving whenever I can.

Here's the complete list where you can see how your city ranks.

Photo: Flickr/IntangibleArts

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure