Drivers in Richmond, Tidewater, VA, Cities Safer Than NOVA Drivers "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report™"

Eighth Annual Study Reveals Cities with Safest Drivers

Aug 28, 2012, 08:30 ET from Allstate Insurance Company

FAIRFAX, Va., Aug., 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) today released its eighth annual "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report™." The report, based on Allstate claims data, ranks America's 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers.  According to the report, drivers in Tidewater cities and in Richmond, VA, have accidents less often than drivers in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

In the 2012 report, the cities of Hampton, Chesapeake, Newport News, and Virginia Beach rank as some of the safest driving cities in Virginia.  Research from the report shows, for example, that the average driver in Hampton, Virginia will experience an auto collision every 10 years in contrast to Alexandria, Virginia, where the average driver will have an auto collision every 6.2 years. 

"Drivers in Tidewater area are making great progress toward keeping America's roadways safer," said Dave Prendergast, Field Senior Vice President.  "We salute Tidewater's best drivers and recognize their safe driving skills, which make all of our communities safer places to live, work and raise families."

The Allstate America's Best Driver's Report was created to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on safe driving that saves lives.This year's top honor of "America's Safest Driving City" is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the fifth year the city has held the top spot in the report's eight-year history. According to the report, the average driver in Sioux Falls will experience an auto collision every 13.8 years, which is 27.6 percent less likely than the national average of 10 years.

Car crash fatalities are at the lowest level they've been 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," said Prendergast. "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."

Here's how Tidewater cities ranked compared to Northern Virginia cities and Washington, D.C:

City & Overall Ranking

Collision Likelihood Compared to National Average

Average Years Between Collisions

Hampton, VA   62



Richmond, VA  66



Chesapeake, VA  92



Newport News, VA  118



Virginia Beach, VA  139



Norfolk, VA  173



Arlington, VA  184



Alexandria, VA  189



Washington, DC  195*



* Ranked last in overall 2012 report

Big-city vs. Small-city Driving Different levels and types of traffic, noise and activity, as well as varying road conditions and rules, can make big city driving different than driving in smaller cities or more suburban areas. Allstate offers the following tips for driving in both settings. In larger 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.

In smaller cities and suburban areas:

  • 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.

The Report For the past eight years, Allstate actuaries have conducted an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the likelihood that drivers in America's 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Internal property damage reported claims were analyzed over a two-year period (from January 2009 to December 2010) to ensure the findings would not be impacted by external influences such as weather or road 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 this report a realistic snapshot of what's happening on America's roadways.

To view the complete "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report," or to see previous year's results, log onto

About Allstate The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help more than 17 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via and 1-800 Allstate®.

Notes: The report analyzes cities from the Census Bureau's Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places over 50,000, ranked by July 1, 2011. The Allstate data excludes cities in the state of Massachusetts, as Allstate did not provide insurance in Massachusetts for the two-year time period reflected in this report. Other cities not represented by any zip codes found in Allstate data: Lakewood, Colo., Pembroke Pines, Fla and West Valley, Utah. The Allstate Best Drivers Report is produced solely to boost the country's discussion about safe driving and to increase awareness of the importance of being tolerant and attentive behind the wheel. The report is not used to determine auto insurance rates. A state specific adjustment was utilized for the Michigan cities to account for the unique coverage offered in that state.


Debbie Pickford




SOURCE Allstate Insurance Company