Safest driving cities revealed as July Fourth – the deadliest day on roads – looms

NORTHBROOK, Ill. – For the first time ever, Brownsville, Texas, is the safest-driving city on Allstate’s 12th annual America’s Best Drivers Report®.i The report serves as an important safe-driving reminder as motorists prepare to hit the roads for the July Fourth holiday – which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found is the deadliest day of the year on average for drivers.

AAA projects nearly 43 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend. This represents the highest Fourth of July travel volume on record and five million more travelers compared to Memorial Day weekend. The holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, June 30 to Monday, July 4. In addition to more holiday drivers, there will be more police officers patrolling the roads as well – 26% more than usual.

So where are the “safest” cities for driving? Based on Allstate Insurance Company claims data, the 2016 report measures vehicle collision frequency in America’s 200 largest cities to determine which cities have the safest drivers. The average driver in Brownsville experiences an auto collision every 14.6 years, which is 31.4% less often than the national average of every 10 years.

“With millions of drivers expected to hit the roads nationwide during the July Fourth weekend, our report demonstrates the importance of always putting safety first,” said Glenn Shapiro, executive vice president of claims, Allstate. “The Best Drivers Report spotlights America’s safest cities as we continue to heighten awareness around increasing roadway collisions that have unfortunate consequences, such as rising fatalities and potentially higher insurance costs.”

National safety experts say drivers are now spending more time on the road and suffering more fatal collisions than recent years. The U.S. Department of Transportation says that from March 2015 to February 2016 Americans drove 3.15 trillion miles, an increase of more than 3% over the previous 12 months and the largest year-to-year increase in over two decades.ii According to the National Safety Council, more than 38,000 roadway fatalities occurred last year, the highest count since 2008iii.Preventable human factors, like drunk, distracted or drowsy driving; speeding; and failure to use safety features contribute to 94% of car crashes.iv IIHS says intoxication is a significant factor in Fourth of July crash fatalities, with 42% between 2010 and 2014 involving at least one driver with a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal driving limit of .08v.

“While July Fourth is consistently the deadliest day on the road, the toll of crash deaths goes on every day, all year long,” said Adrian Lund, president, IIHS. “If everyone buckles up, avoids distractions, obeys the speed limit and doesn’t drink and drive, we can make July Fourth and every day on the road a lot safer.”

Each year, Allstate commends the cities that have the safest drivers on the report. The top 10 safest driving cities, according to Allstate’s 2016 America’s Best Drivers Report, are listed on the infographic at right. Interestingly, a trio of cities in Kansas made the top 10 in Kansas City, Kan., Wichita and Olathe. an interactive map showing this year’s findings and for historical collision-frequency rankings from the past 11 years.

Allstate’s America’s Best Drivers Report is the result of an in-depth examination 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. This year, Allstate actuaries analyzed property damage claims reported during the two-year period of January 2013 to December 2014. A weighted average of the two-year numbers determines the annual percentages.

The report defines a collision as any auto crash resulting in a property damage claim. Allstate’s auto policies represent nearly 10% of all U.S. auto policies, making this report a realistic snapshot of what’s happening on America’s roadways.

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Distracted driving is one of the main causes of Common driving distractions include eating, grooming, talking on a cell phone or texting, interacting with other passengers, adjusting navigation devices and playing loud music.

For the second straight year, the report also provides insight into braking habits in more than 100 cities across the country, using hard-braking data culled from Allstate’s Drivewise® offering, an innovative technology that enables consumers to monitor their driving habits to improve safety and gain rewards on their insurance.

A hard-braking event is defined as slowing down eight miles per hour or more over a one-second period. 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 19 hard-braking events for every 1,000 miles driven. The following are the cities with drivers who experience the fewest hard-braking events per 1,000 miles driven:

  1. Madison, WI (9.0)
  2. Anchorage, AK (9.3)
  3. Honolulu, HI (10.1)
  4. Des Moines, IA (10.5)
  5. Wichita, KS (11.1)
  6. Boise, ID (11.6)
  7. Lincoln, NE (11.7)
  8. Kansas City, KS (12.0)
  9. Chesapeake, VA (12.2)
  10. Jackson, MS (12.2)


About IIHS: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses – deaths, injuries and property damage – from crashes on the nation’s roads. IIHS is wholly supported by auto insurers and insurance associations.

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, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names.


i The Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report® tabulates property damage frequency of Allstate insured drivers from 2013-2014.The report analyzes the 200 largest cities from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places over 50,000, measured for 2014 as of July 1, 2015. In prior years, neighboring cities that shared zip codes also shared rankings. This only impacted a minimal number of cities; however, since 2014, the report used geolocation to increase accuracy and there are no longer shared rankings. U.S. Census Bureau data was used to obtain the population density factor. For the precipitation factor, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data was utilized. Allstate Drivewise® data is based on Allstate customers voluntarily enrolled in the telematics program from 2010-2015. A number of cities from the full 200 Best Drivers rankings are excluded in the Drivewise data due to the limited measurable data available, or because Drivewise was not available (California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas). 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.

ii 2016, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration,

iii 2016, National Safety Council Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimate,

iv 2016, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,

v Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

vi National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,