Auto News: Rockford ranks 35th of 200 on ‘Best Drivers Report’

Staff Report

Allstate Insurance Company has released its eighth annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report.” The report, based on Allstate claims data, ranks America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers.

In the 2012 report, Rockford ranks as one of the safest driving cities, landing 35th on the list. That’s an improvement for a second consecutive year, and up one spot from last year’s report.

According to the 2012 report, the average driver in Rockford will experience an auto collision every 11 years.

Drivers in Rockford are making great progress toward keeping America’s roadways safer,” said Brian Cobb, Allstate territory sales leader in Illinois. “We salute Rockford’s best drivers and recognize their safe driving skills, which make all of our communities safer places to live, work and raise families.”

The Allstate America’s Best Driver’s Report was created to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on safe driving that saves lives. This year’s top honor of “America’s Safest Driving City” is Sioux Falls, S.D., the fifth year the city has held the top spot in the report’s eight-year history.

According to the report, the average driver in Sioux Falls will experience an auto collision every 13.8 years, which is 27.6 percent less likely than the national average of 10 years.

Compared to other cities in Illinois, Rockford ranked 35th, Joliet 56th, Aurora 81st, Naperville 109th and Chicago 152nd.

Car crash fatalities are at the lowest level they’ve been since 1949, but still average more than 32,000 every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It is vital for us to educate American drivers about safe driving behaviors they can practice on the road that will help make our roadways safer,” said Cobb. “Minimizing distractions, obeying traffic laws, and using your car’s safety features like turn signals and headlights, are all ways to be safer, no matter where you drive.”

Big-city vs. small-city driving

Different levels and types of traffic, noise and activity, as well as varying road conditions and rules, can make big-city driving different than driving in smaller cities or more suburban areas. Allstate offers the following tips for driving in smaller cities and suburban areas:

• Watch the speed limit. Speed limits may be greater than in city traffic, which can lead some drivers to speed up and make roads dangerous.

• Look out for pedestrians, especially children. While there are typically fewer pedestrians or obstacles than in large metropolitan areas, there are also typically fewer crosswalks, so pedestrians may be less aware of traffic rules such as where and when to cross the street.

• Know the rules of the road. Suburban streets typically have fewer streetlights and signs, or greater distance between lights and signs. This means darker conditions when driving at night and less opportunity to be reminded of speed limits and other road rules throughout the day.

• Keep a safe distance — especially around large vehicles. Large vehicles like semi-trucks are more likely found on suburban roads than in large metro areas. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others, and know truck drivers might have limited visibility. If you attempt to pass a truck, make sure you have plenty of time and space to maneuver safely.

The report

For the past eight years, Allstate actuaries have conducted an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the likelihood drivers in America’s 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Internal property damage reported claims were analyzed over a two-year period (from January 2009 to December 2010) to ensure the findings would not be impacted by external influences such as weather or road construction.

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

To view the complete “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report,” or to see previous year’s results, log on to

From the Sept. 5-11, 2012, issue

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