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Where do American Cities Rank in Eighth Annual "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report™?"

Sioux Falls holds top spot for fifth time in report's history; Phoenix, Indianapolis, Tucson, and Lincoln top safe driving cities in their population groups

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08/28/2012 - NORTHBROOK, Ill.

The Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) today 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.

This year's top honor of "America's Safest Driving City" is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the fifth time in the history of the report that the city has held the top spot. 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.

"Allstate's Best Driver's Report was created to boost the country's discussion on safe driving. Each year we hope the report will increase awareness about the importance of being tolerant and attentive behind the wheel," said Mike Roche, senior vice president of claims, Allstate. "We want to recognize the city of Sioux Falls for being the safest driving city in America, and whether you drive in a large city, small city or a rural area, we encourage all Americans to practice safe driving habits and good car safety."             

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 demonstrate on the road that will help make our roadways safer," said Roche. "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 both settings. In larger cities:

  • Allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Stop-and-go traffic, gridlock, traffic signal stops, pedestrian walkways and events that create traffic detours can add time to your travel.
  • Know what's happening in the city during the time you're driving. Find out if there are events that may impact traffic, and listen to traffic reports on your car radio. Avoid traffic jams or explore alternative routes, if possible. 
  • Stay alert. Be prepared to frequently stop or slow down for pedestrians, emergency vehicles, delivery trucks, parking cars, taxi cabs, and public transportation vehicles such as city buses.
  • Get directions to where you're going. Review directions carefully in advance. If you get lost mid-trip, safely pull over and wait until you feel calm enough to get back on the road, using that time to get directions, check traffic or call for help.

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 that 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 claims 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.

For the fifth time in the report's eight-year history, Sioux Falls was revealed as the safest driving city.  The top ten cities are:

City & Overall Ranking Collision Likelihood Compared to National Average Average Years Between Collisions
1.   Sioux Falls, S.D. 27.6% less likely 13.8
2.   Boise, Idaho 27.3% less likely 13.8
3.   Fort Collins, Colo. 26.7% less likely 13.6
4.   Madison, Wisc. 23.0% less likely 13.0
5.   Lincoln, Neb. 19.3% less likely 12.4
6.   Huntsville, Ala. 19.1% less likely 12.4
7.   Chandler, Ariz. 18.9% less likely 12.3
8.   Reno, Nev. 18.4% less likely 12.3
9.   Knoxville, Tenn. 18.1% less likely 12.2
10. Springfield, Mo. 17.4% less likely 12.1

Additional "Road" Scholars
For the eighth year in a row, motorists in Phoenix topped the list among commuters in American cities with more than one million people. Rankings among these cities:

City & Overall Ranking Collision Likelihood Compared to National Average Average Years Between Collisions
53.    Phoenix, Ariz. 1.6% less likely 10.2
124.  San Diego, Calif. 14.0% more likely 8.8
141  San Antonio, Texas 20.4% more likely 8.3
152.  Chicago, Ill. 25.9% more likely 7.9
153.  Houston, Texas 25.9% more likely 7.9
167.  Dallas, Texas 32.8% more likely 7.5
176.  New York, N.Y. 41.1% more likely 7.1
182.  Los Angeles, Calif. 48.5% more likely 6.7
190.  Philadelphia, Pa. 64.1% more likely 6.1

Cities holding the top spot for their respective city size:

City Population City & Overall Ranking Collision Likelihood Compared to National Average Average Years Between Collisions
750,000 - 1 million 60.  Indianapolis, Ind. 0.6% less likely 10.1
500,000 - 749,999 13.  Tucson, Ariz. 16.4% less likely 12.0
250,000 - 499,999 5.   Lincoln, Neb. 19.3% less likely 12.4

To view the complete "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report," or to see previous year's results, log onto www.allstatenewsroom.com.

About Allstate
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help more than 17 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®.

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*Notes: The report analyzes cities from the Census Bureau's Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places over 50,000, ranked by July 1, 2011. The Allstate data excludes cities in the state of Massachusetts, as Allstate did not provide insurance in Massachusetts for the two-year time period reflected in this report. Other cities not represented by any zip codes found in Allstate data: Lakewood, Colo., Pembroke Pines, Fla and West Valley, Utah. 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 tolerant and attentive behind the wheel. The report is not used to determine auto insurance rates. A state specific adjustment was utilized for the Michigan cities to account for the unique coverage offered in that state.

Contact:

Kate Hollcraft
(847) 402-5600
kate.hollcraft@allstate.com
On Twitter: @AllstateNews

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