Image: Traffic in fron tof the Capitol
Molly Riley  /  Reuters file
Washington D.C. residents have a 107.3 percent greater chance of crashing their cars than the average U.S. driver.
By
updated 9/7/2011 7:24:21 AM ET 2011-09-07T11:24:21

According to a recent report issued by Allstate Insurance Co., Washington, D.C. can lay claim to having the worst — or at least the most accident-prone — drivers among the 200 largest cities in the U.S.

Residents of our nation’s capitol were found to get into collisions on average once every 4.8 years. This means they’re 107.3 percent more likely to get into an accident every time they take the wheel than the typical driver in the U.S., who wrecks his or her car once every 10 years.

Other cities ranking high on the list include such traffic hot spots as Baltimore, Md., Glendale, Calif., Newark, N.J., Providence, R.I., and Philadelphia, Pa. Los Angeles holds down the number 11 position, with the driving population crashing their vehicles once every 6.6 years. Surprisingly, New York City didn’t place among the top 10, being ranked at number 20 in the survey, with motorists getting into collisions on average once every 7.3 years (guess cab drivers weren’t counted as part of the study).

While collisions have been on the decline, fatalities from car crashes still claim over 32,000 lives each year. “Human behavior is the biggest cause of accidents. It is vital for us to educate American drivers about safe driving behaviors they can demonstrate on the road that will help make our roadways safer,” says Mike Roche, executive vice president for Allstate’s claim organization.

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The Northbrook, Ill.-based insurer found the safest drivers residing in smaller cities — motorists living in U.S. cities with populations of over one million are more likely than the national average to get into accidents. Allstate says the safest drivers can be found in Fort Collins, Colo., where the average motorist experiences an auto collision only once every 14 years. Other cities on the safest driver list included Boise, Idaho, Lincoln, Neb., Chandler, Ariz., and Huntsville, Ala.

The study was based on property damage claims reported over a two-year period (from January 2008 to December 2009) adjusted for population, with a weighted average of the two-year numbers used to determine the results.

A copy of the full report can be found here.

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