By William Bill Hurst

If you live in Fort Collins, Colorado, congratulations! Your city is the safest driving city in the nation according to Allstate.  This is based on its seventh-annual “Allstate Americans Best Drivers Report”.  http://www.autoblog.com/photos/allstate-2010-safe-driver-report/

In Indiana, Fort Wayne came in fifteenth.  However, this was a drop from the city’s number eleventh spot the prior year, and a sixth place ranking in 2009.  It is clear that drivers in Fort Wayne, Indiana are making great progress in keeping America’s roads safer.    By comparison, drivers in Indianapolis are forty-sixth on the list, beating the national average.

Drivers in the nation’s capital are the least safe, according to the study.   Indeed, it found that motorists in Washington D.C. are more than twice as likely to be involved in an accident as the national average.  The company’s report was created to encourage dialogue on safe driving to save lives.  While automobile crashes have declined over the past years, more than 32,000 people die each year in auto crashes, according the National Highway Safety Administration.  In defense of Washington D.C’s record, the problem with using crash frequencies to determine a driver’s ability and fault jumps to the conclusion that Washington D.C. areas drivers are the nations worst.  This puts blame on all drivers rather than on defective road design, licensing authorities, police enforcers of law, etc.  For a complete review of the report see http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110902/LOCAL/309029974 Certainly, there are other cause for accidents/claims than other “bad drivers.”

While good road design can reduce severe crashes, as well, bad road design can contribute to collisions.  Poor signage or markers can confuse drivers and induce sudden movements.  Also, our roads that are crumbling and maintenance of the road design and warnings may be an issue.  None of those contributory circumstances were taken into consideration by the survey. In addition, Allstate ranked areas based on the average time between claims per driver.  If one adjusts the numbers to equalize vehicle miles traveled per capita, then Maryland comes out with the fewest collisions.  So, this story could have easily borne the headline “Maryland Drivers, the Best in the Nation”.  This at least is the reasoning of David Alpert, the founder of Great Greater Washington.  http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/11906/are-washingtons-drivers-really-the-worst/

It is true that all of these ingredients do not necessarily point to the lack of abilities of the drivers in certain locals.  However, obviously this is of some value in determining the exposure resulting from insurance claims from automotive collisions.  Or at least that is the position taken by Allstate Insurance in their seventh-annual “Allstate Americans Best Drivers Report”.  http://www.allstatenewsroom.com/channels/News-Releases/releases/seventh-annual-allstate-america-s-best-drivers-report-reveals-safest-driving-cities

As a result of the annual report, Allstate continues to offer safe driving tips for drivers, such as:

A. Minimize Distraction

B. Be aware of road conditions

C. Be a safe driving distance between your car and others around you

D. Steer clear of road rage

E. Maintain your vehicle to ensure your car brakes, exhaust system, etc. are in good working order

The top ten safest driving cities according to the recent review of collision claims over two years lists these cities in order of the “most safe” first:

1.  Fort Collins, Colorado

2. Boise, Idaho

3.  Lincoln, Nebraska

4. Chandler, Arizon

5. Huntsville, Alabama

6. Knoxville, Tennessee

7. Spring Mill, Missouri

8. Reno, Nevada

9.  Eugene, Oregon

10.  Chattanooga, Tennessee.

 The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) recently put Florida on its list of states that need the most improvement in their highway safety laws.  Florida is one of just twenty remaining states that have not yet enacted any restrictions on talking or texting on cell phones while driving, even though the Florida Highway Patrol passed a new policy for its troopers prohibiting them from doing the same.  In addition to Florida, the NTSB gave Pennsylvania a failing score in its driver safety laws for the second year in a row. http://www.allstate.com/insurance-industry-news/road-safety-news-and-tips/florida-ranks-among-the-countrys-worst-states-for-highway-safety-800404596.aspx

In addition to Allstate, Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) also ranks States based on the total percentage of traffic deaths in each state relating to drinking participation.  www.madd.org/drunk-driving/campaign/state-ranking Their ranking is based upon 2010 statistics ranked Indiana nineteenth.  In Indiana, the percentage of all traffic deaths that involved drinking was 30%.  Of our neighboring states, in making the rankings, only Kentucky has a higher ranking, being second in the nation.

US News has ranked the “best states” for teen driver safety.  USN used about eleven variables, the most important of which were the licensing, fatalities, and generally safety laws.  For the best states for teen driving, see http://www.usnews.com/news/features/best-states-for-teen-drivers .  US News concluded that Washington D.C. was the safest place for teen drivers.  The District of Colombia topped the list, having some of the most rigorous laws in the country governing driver’s license requirements for teens, laws banning text messaging, and using automated traffic cameras to control speeding.  South Dakota was at the bottom of the list, allowing teenagers to legally drive at the age of fourteenth.  South Dakota also has some of the most relaxed laws regarding driving while intoxicated or distracted.  More than 4,000 teens die in car crashes each year, making this the leading cause of death for teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19.  There has been a drop in teen fatalities over the lasts few years which has been attributed to new “graduated” driver licensing laws in most states.  National Safety Counsel researchers have developed information that delaying the licensing age from 16 to 16 and a half reduce fatal crash rates from teens 15 to 17 year olds by 7%.  In addition, restricting teen drivers to daylight hours cut fatal crashes by 18%; (comparable to states with no restrictions).  The conclusion of the National Safety Council is that it takes a while to learn to drive safely, and we need to promote laws which help teens do that.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also has done in depth research on what can be done to keep teen drivers safe.  This research includes recommendations for graduated driver licensing laws, which may be reviewed at http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Teen_Drivers/index.html

Clearly, it is good news that law enforcement and government bureaus are stepping in to try to prevent motor vehicle crashes for drivers of all ages, but it is still up to drivers to operate their vehicles safely.  From time to time people “slip up” and cause accidents as a result of failing to drive with care. If you or a loved one in your family was injured in an auto accident, and you would like to have a free evaluation of your case, please contact William “Bill” Hurst at www.billhurst.com Bill Hurst is an attorney with over 35 years of experience in representing victims suffering various kinds of accidental injury.

 

www.indianapolisabogado.com

Bill Hurst has successfully represented hundreds of accident victims, and has limited his practice to personal injury cases for over thirty-five (35) years. Bill has helped families with tragic life altering injuries and deaths. Bill has obtained substantial verdicts and settlements to compensate families for their losses. He is a graduate, with honors, from Indiana University School of Law. He has served on the Executive Committee and is a Director Emeritus of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He has published articles on various personal injury topics and has lectured at various legal seminars. Bill is listed in Naifeh and Smith, The Best Lawyers in America and has been for over ten (10) years, Bill is selected as a “Super Lawyer” by the Indianapolis Monthly Magazine from its first publication in 2002 to its most recent; he was selected as one of Indiana’s Top 100 Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association. In 2000, Bill was named the Indiana Trial Lawyer Of The Year by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. Bill has the highest rating given by Martindale Hubble, as does his law firm. Bill has extensive litigation experience involving automobile, truck, motorcycle, bike accidents, slip and fall cases, product and manufacturing failures, dangerous drugs, product design, construction site accidents and more. He has represented clients not only in Indiana but also throughout the Country. Bill successfully represented the State of Indiana in the Tobacco Litigation. He has been involved in mass tort litigation, representing all women in the State of Indiana in the Norplant litigation, breast implant litigation, and represents represented numerous clients in the Vioxx litigation. Bill believes that every case is unique and requires special personal attention. You may email him at WHurst@MHJD.com or call (800) 636-0808 for a free consultation.