Allstate Insurance: Boise area drivers second-safest in nation

Reducing crashes in large 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.

Improving safety in small cities:

  • 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.

Crashes happen.

Just not as often in Boise as in the rest of the country, with a lone exception.

Allstate Insurance Company this week released its ninth annual overview of driver safety and indicated Boise’s are among the safest drivers in the nation, based on the potential of becoming involved in a collision. Only Fort Collins, Colo., ranked better than Boise in a list of America’s 200 largest cities.

Statistics indicate Boise drivers are 28 percent less likely than the national average to be in an automobile crash. Their Colorado counterparts are slightly better at 28.2 percent. Drivers in both cities can expect to have a collision every 13.9 years. Sioux Falls is third on the list of 10 safest drivers 21.8 percent less likely than the national average and a 12.8-year span between mishaps.

Boise drivers have occupied the No. 2 spot for three straight years. Fort Collins and Sioux Falls traded places at No. 1 and No. 3 this year. Boise ranked third in 2010 and ninth in 2009.

Insurance company actuaries – charged with analyzing data and projecting populations most likely to file a claim – began producing the safe driver report in 2000.

Internal property-damage report claims were analyzed over a two-year period (from January 2010 to December 2011) to ensure the findings would not be influenced by outside events, such as weather conditions or highway 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 its report a realistic snapshot of what's happening on America's roadways, company officials claim.

According to the most recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crash fatalities increased by more than 1,700 from 2011 to 2012, the first year-to-year increase in fatalities since 2005. While fatalities have increased over the past year, Allstate research found that 70 percent of vehicles involved in auto claims are considered drivable, which indicates that most claims are the result of low speed (less than 35 miles per hour) collisions.

"Allstate has found the most frequent collisions happen during minor fender-benders, but it's important to keep in mind that even lower-speed accidents can have serious outcomes," said Mike Roche, Allstate’s senior vice president of claims.

City & Overall Ranking
Collision Likelihood Compared
to National Average
Average Years Between
1.   Fort Collins, Colo. 28.2% less likely 13.9
2.   Boise, Idaho 28.0% less likely 13.9
3.   Sioux Falls, S.D. 21.8% less likely 12.8
4.   Brownsville, Texas 21.1% less likely 12.7
5.   Madison, Wis. 20.3% less likely 12.5
6.   Reno, Nev. 20.2% less likely 12.5
7.   Huntsville, Ala. 20.1% less likely 12.5
8.   Visalia, Calif. 18.5% less likely 12.3
9.   Montgomery, Ala. 16.3% less likely 11.9
10. Eugene, Ore. 16.2% less likely 11.9


Published 8-30-13