Seattle’s drivers still rank poorly in Allstate’s “America’s Best Drivers Report,” managing to go only 7.1 years between crashes, on average. Bellevue drivers didn’t fare much better.
When it comes to bad driving, it looks like Seattle finally bottomed out.
Allstate Insurance released its 2016 “America’s Best Drivers Report” on Tuesday and for the first time since 2010 we’ve improved from the previous year.
But don’t pop the Champagne corks just yet.
Seattle now ranks 183rd among the nation’s 200 largest cities for frequency of collisions. In 2015, we ranked 184th. So we’ve gone up all of one spot. And once again, we’re in the bottom 20.
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Allstate Insurance — whose customer base is big enough in each market to constitute a statistical sample size — has been conducting this study for the past 12 years. The year 2015 marked Seattle’s worst performance. We hit our peak in 2010, coming in at 128th.
According to the data, the average driver in Seattle will experience an auto collision every 7.1 years. That’s an improvement of just two months over last year. And it’s still 40.4 percent more frequent than the national average of every 10 years.
Why are Seattle drivers so crash prone? Last year, readers I talked to blamed newcomers and cellphones in equal measure.
Eastsiders: Don’t gloat. Allstate ranked Bellevue at a dismal 175th, one spot worse than in 2015.
A couple of years ago, Portland had the worst drivers in the Northwest, but Seattle edged out the Rose City by two spots this year.
The best drivers in our region, perennially, are folks in Boise, Idaho. This year they rank as the fifth-best drivers in the nation, going a leisurely 12.8 years between accidents.
Allstate offers a separate ranking in which their analysts weighted the results for population density — that gives a boost to big cities, where there’s a greater chance for collisions because there’s much more traffic and other driving challenges. Even with that handicap, Seattle does poorly, ranking 160th. But Bellevue barely benefits from that adjustment, moving up just one spot to 174th.
Brownsville, Texas, is America’s safest driving city, while Boston — for the second consecutive year — beat out neighboring Worcester, Mass., for having the worst drivers in the nation.
The average Beantown motorist manages to go only 3.7 years without crashing into something — a couple of months more frequently even than last year.
Allstate has good reason to release its report in advance of the July Fourth holiday — according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the date is the deadliest of the year on average for drivers.