Two Connecticut cities, Bridgeport and New Haven, ranked among the worst in the nation in Allstate Insurance Company’s annual “America’s Best Drivers” report. This is the eighth time Allstate has compiled this report, which compares cities based on calculations of the frequency of accidents for an average driver and the likelihood of an accident compared to the national average. Car accidents claim the lives of about 32,000 people a year nationwide, according to Allstate, but that total is the lowest the country has seen since 1949. The survey has found that drivers in smaller cities with lower traffic densities to be “better,” based on the survey’s indicators. Drivers in Connecticut should be aware of the factors that cause Allstate to call them “worse” drivers.
The report’s two indicators, frequency of accidents and the difference between the likelihood of accidents in a given city and the national average, come from actuarial data on collision claims received by Allstate. The company states that its policies account for roughly ten percent of the nation’s auto policies. While the report’s available data may not provide a statistically significant sample, it can still assist drivers in identifying areas of concern.
The distinction between smaller and larger metropolitan areas is striking. Cities with large, dense populations present different challenges for drivers than smaller towns. In big cities, particularly cities on the East Coast, dense urban areas bring heavy traffic, higher levels of noise, and distractions like construction or pedestrian activity. Suburban areas in large, sprawling cities present a challenge, in the sense that drivers may spend considerably more time in their cars than if they lived in a smaller city or a city center. More time behind the wheel means more risk of a collision.