Don't drive while distracted. Illustration courtesy City of Fort Collins

Don’t drive while distracted. Illustration courtesy City of Fort Collins

For the fourth time, Fort Collins, Colorado, drivers have been ranked the safest in the U.S. in Allstate’s annual America’s Best Drivers Report. On this, the report’s 10th anniversary, Worcester, Massachusetts, is ranked as the worst of the 200 largest urban areas in the U.S., followed by Boston, Massachusetts.

Allstate said Fort Collins has placed in the top 10 safest driving cities every year, as Dan Reichl reports for Bloomberg. With drivers there having an average of 14.2 years between collisions, they are 29.6% less likely to have an accident than the national average, Reichl writes. In 2013, on its website, the City of Fort Collins thanked the many citizens who have contributed to this safe driving record.” But the city wrote that there is always room for improvement, and that it would not “rest on [its] laurels.” Also included in the Allstate rankings are Colorado Springs, at 14, and Denver, ranked 88.

Ranking Methodology

To rank the cities, Allstate analyzes claim data, Reichl writes. This 2014 report is based on data from January 2011 to December 2012. Urban drivers are challenged by traffic problems related to population density, including pedestrians, emergency vehicles, delivery trucks, parked cars, taxis, and public transportation vehicles such as buses, Reichl writes.

Allstate, which sells about 10% of auto policies in the United States, had not previously included Massachusetts cities in the report because the company did not sell policies there until 2009, Reichl writes. The insurance company writes:

The Allstate Best Drivers Report is produced solely to boost the country’s discussion about safe driving and to increase awareness of the importance of being safe and attentive behind the wheel. The report is not used to determine auto insurance rates.

Accident Prevention Tips

Fort Collins, located in northern Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains, offers the following tips for preventing vehicle accidents:

  • When you are crossing or making a left turn from a stop sign at a busy intersection, be patient and don’t take risks, even when there are long delays; consider turning right instead of left if you are running out of patience; plan alternate routes to avoid difficult intersections.
  • Slow down when approaching a signaled intersection.
  • On high-speed approaches, let off on the accelerator in anticipation of a yellow light.
  • Remember that rain and snow increase stopping distances; adjust your speed and your decisions accordingly.
  • When you are stopped at a red light, before you proceed once the light changes, be aware that a vehicle coming from the cross street might run its own red light.
  • Make sure that oncoming traffic has stopped before you make a left turn at an intersection.
  • If approaching an intersection and someone in the opposite direction is turning left, err on the side of caution if the light turns yellow. Don’t trust that they’ll wait.
  • Use turn signals before you put on your brakes to slow down.
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and be prepared to stop; don’t tailgate.
  • If someone is tailgating your vehicle, take extra precautions when slowing ot turning: Signal for longer periods of time; slow more gradually; tap your brakes repeatedly to flash your brakes while slowing.
  • Keep right to allow faster traffic to pass on the left.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Wear a helmet when on a motorcycle.
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