Allstate Insurance Co. recently released its 2012 America's Best Drivers Report. It reveals that Oklahoma City ranked 80th in accident rates among the 200 largest cities in the nation. This is an improvement of four spots from 2011. Our safe drivers should be commended, but we all can do better.
Allstate releases the report annually to drive a conversation about driving habits, to recognize and eliminate distractions behind the wheel and to make our communities safer. The report reflects all accidents in which a claim was filed with Allstate — whether a multicar pileup on the highway or a single-car fender bender in the driver's own garage.
We can look at this report and think, “At least we're not as bad as that other city.” Let's instead look at our ranking and ourselves and commit to driving safer behind our own wheel. Let's buckle our seat belts, adjust the mirrors, choose our radio station, turn down the volume and turn off our cellphones before putting the car into gear. Drive defensively. Avoid road rage.
These simple steps will improve our accident rate and our ranking. They'll save us all our hard-earned money. Each year, let's follow our ranking to see whether we improve. Every day, let's do all we can to drive safely.
Larry Dumas, Jr., Oklahoma City
Dumas is an Allstate agent in Oklahoma City. The report can be found at www.allstatenewsroom.com.
Pursuit of averageness
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's keynote address to the Democratic National Convention sought to establish a middle class where with hard work, “everybody ought to be able to get there, and stay there.” The sad irony is that Castro twice interjected this recommendation for the pursuit of and contentment with mediocrity as he described his and his twin brother's own rise from their grandparent's immigrant poverty to the heights of elected office.
The problem with demonizing the successful portion of our population is how to convince people to just want to be average, especially when you parade out people to deliver that message who aren't. Nor does the pursuit of normalness seem like a successful recipe for creating a country of hope, dreams, motivation, innovation and education. Neither would it make a particularly inspirational bedtime speech for your kids. But I suppose if you're going to place all your eggs in the basket of hopeless averageness, you'd better somehow make the basket desirable.