Houston drivers safest among large TX cities

July 14, 2009 10:33:00 AM PDT
Houston residents are the safest drivers among the largest cities in Texas, according to the 2009 Allstate America's Best Drivers Report. They're also ranked fourth safest in the nation among cities with populations more than one million. The Allstate America's Best Drivers Report ranks the 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers according to Allstate data.

The report found Houstonians on average experience an accident every 7.6 years. Among all cities in the report, small to large, Houston ranked at 161.

"Drivers in U.S. cities with populations of one million-plus are more likely than the national average to experience a collision," said Allstate Texas field vice president Phil Lawson. "We don't want drivers in Houston to be discouraged by their overall ranking. Instead, we want the report to challenge drivers in Houston to make positive changes to their driving habits that will in turn make the city a safer place to live, work and raise families."

Below is a look at how other cities in Texas finished:

Likelihood Compared to National Average -- Average Years Between Collisions

23. Brownsville 9.3% less likely 11
38. McAllen 4.8 % less likely 10.5
44. Lubbock 2.4% less likely 10.2
59. Laredo 1.2% more likely 9.9
75. El Paso 4.3% more likely 9.6
79. Amarillo 5.2% more likely 9.5
89. Corpus Christi 7.8% more likely 9.3
124. Pasadena 16.7% more likely 8.6
133. Fort Worth 20.4% more likely 8.3
138. Waco 22.2% more likely 8.2
161. Houston 32% more likely 7.6
162. Plano 32.2% more likely 7.6
165. Grand Prairie 33.3% more likely 7.5
166. Carrolton 35.7% more likely 7.5
167. Mesquite 36.2% more likely 7.3
168. San Antonio 36.3% more likely 7.3
172. Arlington 38.6% more likely 7.2
173. Dallas 39.5% more likely 7.2
178. Garland 41.8% more likely 7.1
179. Austin 43.5% more likely 7.0
183. Irving 46.6% more likely 6.8

Auto crashes in general have declined over the last few years, but crash fatalities still average around an alarming 40,000 every year despite technological advances according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"Human error is the biggest cause of accidents," said Lawson.

America's Most-Improved Driving City
Alexandria, VA topped the most improved chart improving its years between accidents by 1.8 years and climbed from the 194 spot in 2005 to 174 in 2009. Virginia drivers in general appear to observe the safety call. Five out of the top 10 most improved driving cities were in Virginia (Alexandria, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Richmond).

City & Overall Ranking 2005 - 2009 Increase in Years Between Accidents

174. Alexandria, Va. 1.8
9. Lexington-Fayette, Ky. 1.7
177. Arlington, Texas 1.6
40. Hampton, Va. 1.3
101. Virginia Beach, Va. 1.3
65. Aurora, Colo. 1.2
57. Chesapeake, Va. 1.2
11. Reno, Nev. 1.2
31. Richmond, Va. 1.2
100. Shreveport, La. 1.0

The Top Ten
Drivers from Sioux Falls maintained their status as the safest city in this year's report for the fourth consecutive year. However, two new cities championed their way into the top ten, Eugene, Ore. and Boise, Idaho.

City & Overall Ranking Collision Likelihood Compared to National Average Average Years Between Collisions

1. Sioux Falls, S.D. -26.1% less likely 13.5
2. Fort Collins, Colo. -24.6% less likely 13.3
3. Chattanooga, Tenn. -21.4% less likely 12.7
4. Cedar Rapids, Iowa -20.7% less likely 12.6
5. Knoxville, Tenn. -19.0% less likely 12.3
6. Fort Wayne, Ind. -18.4% less likely 12.2
7. Lexington-Fayette, Ky. -17.7% less likely 12.1
8. Eugene, Ore. -16.3% less likely 11.9
9. Boise, Idaho -15.4% less likely 11.8
10. Colorado Springs, Colo. -15.0% less likely 11.8

Additional "Road" Scholars
Motorists in Phoenix topped the list in this category making them the safest big city commuters.

Cities with More Than One Million Residents
City & Overall Ranking Collision Likelihood Compared to National Average Average Years Between Collisions

95. Phoenix, Ariz. 8.8% more likely 9.2
108. San Diego, Calif. 13.0% more likely 8.8
145. New York, N.Y. 25.5% more likely 8.0
161. Houston, Texas 32.0% more likely 7.6
168. San Antonio, Texas 36.3% more likely 7.3
170. Chicago, Ill. 37.6% more likely 7.3
173. Dallas, Texas 39.5% more likely 7.2
184. Los Angeles, Calif. 46.6% more likely 6.8
188. Philadelphia, Pa. 57.1% more likely 6.4

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