Thursday, September 09, 2010

Allstate Insurance Releases 2010 "Best Drivers Report"; Anchorage, Alaska Rates 124th Out Of 193, 20 Places Better Than In 2009

On September 9th, 2010, the Anchorage Daily News reports that Allstate insurance has released their annual "Best Drivers Report" ranking 193 principal American cities, and it shows that Anchorage ranks 124th out of the 193 cities evaluated. You can read the five-page report HERE.

Highlights:

-- Anchorage was rated only 144th in 2009, so we've improved by 20 places. However, the methodology may be suspect; Jackson, MS, which is 182nd this year, was 63rd in 2009. This is an excessive change; changes of this magnitude don't normally occur.

-- Anchorage residents are 15.2 percent more likely to be in a traffic accident than the national average.

-- Anchorage motorists average 8.7 years between accidents. This obviously refers to reportable mishaps requiring public safety intervention and/or insurance claims.

Lists like this are significant because insurance carriers factor this into the rates they charge.

One commenter to the ADN story speculated on the effect winter conditions may have on Anchorage's statistics, implying that Snow Belt cities may be more accident-prone. But the top 10 cities on the list seem to belie that notion:

(1). Fort Collins, CO (snow belt)
(2). Chattanooga, TN (sun belt)
(3). Boise, ID (snow belt)
(4). Colorado Springs, CO (snow belt)
(5). Knoxville, TN (sun belt)
(6). Eugene, OR (sun belt)
(7). Reno, NV (snow belt)
(8). Huntsville. AL (sun belt)
(9). Lincoln, NE (snow belt)
(10).Cedar Rapids, IA (snow belt)

Six of the top 10 safest driving cities on the list get snow regularly during the winter, so being a "snow belt" city only has an anecdotal effect. However, most snow belt cities back East use salt to clear roads, while Anchorage doesn't. The downside of salt usage is an exponential increase in undercarriage corrosion.

Note that Washington, D.C. ranks dead last at 193. This should be no surprise; since they can't do anything else right in D.C., why would they be able to drive better than the rest of us?

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