The National Safety Commission Alerts

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Phoenix Auto Drivers Strike Early-Morning Gold

How early would you get up to get a free tank of gas? In Phoenix, Arizona, drivers lined up before dawn, the pumps of Greenway Road's Pasco station were reset at zero, then the Allstate Insurance Company gave away 7,000 gallons of free gas to the Phoenix drivers, who were named the safest big city drivers in the country by the insurance company's second annual Allstate America's Best Drivers Report.

Researchers evaluated Allstate's property damage claim data over a two-year period (January 2003 to December 2004) to reveal the chances that drivers in the United States' 200 biggest cities would be involved in a vehicle accident compared to the national average. According to Allstate's findings, a Phoenix driver suffers a collision every 9.7 years, which is a little more frequent than the national average of an accident every 10 years, but the best rating among cities with more than one million occupants.

San Diego, New York, San Antonio, Houston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia follow number-one ranked Phoenix in the report.

With over 500 square miles, Phoenix's immense size means drivers face road conditions different from those of drivers in other cities holding more than one million people.

"We operate and maintain more than 4,000 miles of roadway in Phoenix," observed Mike Cynecki, Phoenix Traffic Engineering Supervisor. "One of the factors for a relatively low crash rate is a very efficient and safe roadway system. We have a relatively high level of maintenance on our roads and a very good traffic signal system."

Tucson, which is Arizona's second largest city, ranks 5th among the 10 safest mid-size cities with populations of 500,000 to 1 million people. On average, Tucson drivers experience an accident exactly every 10 years. The mid-size Arizona cities of Gilbert, Scottsdale, Glendale and Mesa are likely to be in a collision almost every 10 years, while drivers in Peoria, Chandler and Tempe are likely to collide at a slightly quicker pace.

The 2006 Allstate America's Best Drivers Report revealed that South Dakota's largest city, Sioux Falls, has the safest drivers in the U.S. in terms of overall ranking. Sioux Falls residents will experience an auto crash every 14.3 years, making them a considerable 30 percent less likely to crash compared to the national average of every 10 years. Sioux Falls moved up one spot this year to replace the 2005 Allstate winner Cedar Rapids, Iowa, whose drivers now occupy the number three position on the new report. Ft. Collins, Colorado now occupies second place.

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