The average Oklahoma City driver will be involved in an auto collision every 10 years, which ranks the metro behind 79 other U.S. cities in Allstate Insurance Co.'s annual “Best Drivers Report.”
The 2012 report, based on Allstate claims data, said Oklahoma City “ranks as one of the least safe driving cities.”
Larry Dumas Jr., a local Allstate agency owner, said the report is designed to raise awareness rather than scold drivers.
“We don't want drivers in Oklahoma City to be discouraged by their ranking. Instead, we want the report to challenge drivers in Oklahoma City to make positive changes to their driving habits that will in turn make the city a safer place to live, work and raise families,” he said.
Although Oklahoma City ranks poorly in the report, the likelihood of being in an auto collision, when compared to the national average, decreased to 3.3 percent this year, from 5.1 percent.
OKC rises in ratings
Oklahoma City moved up four spots in the rankings as the average years between collisions improved to 10 years from 9.5 in 2011's Allstate report.
Oklahoma City drivers may take some satisfaction that they're not the state's worst. Tulsa, the only other state city listed in the report, ranked 95th, with an average of nine years between collisions, which is 6.5 percent more likely than the national average.
Tulsa did improve its standing from last year's report when it ranked 107th, and was rated 10.8 percent more likely to be the site of an accident than the national average.
Sioux Falls, S.D., was the safest city for drivers for the fifth time in the report's eight-year history. Drivers there can expect to experience a collision every 13.8 years, which is 27.6 percent less likely than the national average.
Washington, D.C., came in 195th and last in the report. Large cities tend to fare worse in the Allstate rankings, with Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, Fla., San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York in the bottom 20.
Car crash fatalities are at their lowest level 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 practice on the road that will help make our roadways safer,” Dumas said. “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.”
Allstate, which writes about 10 percent of the nation's auto insurance, developed the report using a weighted average of two years of numbers to determine the annual percentages. The report defines an auto crash as any collision resulting in a property damage claim.