Every year, Allstate Insurance churns out its “America’s Best Drivers” report, and every year, it continues to report accident data that only reflects a narrow sliver of information drivers should find interesting. As the old saying goes, there are lies, damned lies and statistics, and depending on what survey you read, any number of cities rise to the top as having the worst drivers.
Allstate’s survey suggests that Fort Collins, Colorado has “America’s Best Drivers,” based on its data that on average, drivers in that city only experience an accident every 14.2 years. Compared to the national average, drivers in Ft. Collins are -29.6% less likely to get in an accident.
In Worcester, Massachusetts, on the other hand, Allstate’s information suggests that drivers will experience an accident every 4.3 years, and are 134.8% more likely to get in an accident as compared to the national average.
But all Allstate’s data suggests is the raw number of crashes. It doesn’t take population density, miles traveled, or any other piece of information into account.
However, there’s a range of data that suggests a completely different story, based on what source you consider valid.
Most Distracted: Tennessee
Both NHTSA and the National Safety Council are on the warpath regarding driver distractions. NHTSA often cites data from a University of Utah study that suggests “when driving conditions and time on task are controlled for, the impairments associated with using a cell phone while driving can be as profound as those associated with driving with a blood alcohol level at 0.08%.”
The NSC found that 10.6 percent of all fatal crashes in the state of Tennessee involved the use of a cell phone, more than ten times the national average, and well beyond that of states like New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Worst Elderly Drivers: Florida
The good news for Worcester, Massachusetts residents is that a percentage of its elderly drivers will eventually move to Florida, where older drivers will account 25 percent of all drivers by 2030. According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, that people over the age of 65 are more likely to get killed in a car accident there. California has more senior drivers, but experienced fewer fatalities. Per capita, Texas had the most senior traffic deaths.
Highest Traffic Deaths per Capita: Montana
You might get in more fender-benders in Massachusetts, but if you get in an accident in Montana, it’s much more likely to be fatal. According to US Census data, per hundred million miles traveled, Montanans suffer an average of two fatalities per year, compared to 0.9 in New York, and 0.6 in Massachusetts.
Worst Drivers in America: Louisiana
Number of accidents are just one factor that contributes to a bad driving record. When CarInsuranceComparison.com studied drivers, its methodology included data from NHTSA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the National Motorists Association. Data included the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled, total citations for failure to obey traffic signals and seat belt regulations, drunk driving offenses, traffic tickets and careless driving citations.
The “award” for worst drivers in America based on this data went to Louisiana, finished in the top 5 for three different categories (Failure to Obey, Ticketing Rate, and Careless Driving), and finished in the Worst Drivers in America spot two years running.
You can read the entire Allstate Best Drivers Report here.