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Annual survey shows that some motorists are safer than others

Americans like to both joke and complain about the ways in which other Americans drive. Stereotypes, some based fairly solidly in reality, paint Midwesterners as slow, Californians and Bostonians as overly aggressive and Texans as folks who believe they own the road.

However, when it comes to rates of motor vehicle accidents, some cities truly do stand out as safer as or more dangerous than others. All stereotypes aside, hard data is calculated and compiled each year to produce a list of the safest and most dangerous cities in America for motorists.

The list, which is created annually by the car insurance giant AllState, was released late last month. The standard by which each city's safety is measured is the average time it takes for the average motorist to become involved in a collision.

Across the nation, the average motorist is involved in a crash once every 10 years. In the nation's safest city (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) motorists only crash once every 13.8 years on average. The nation's most unsafe spot (the District of Columbia) witnesses average crash rates of every 4.7 years per motorist.

The District boasts the worst traffic congestion in the nation, which certainly does not lend itself to safe driving conditions. Other congested cities which experience high average crash rates include New York City, Philadelphia, Glendale and Chicago. Less congested Madison, WI, Lincoln, NE and Fort Collins, CO, are among the safest cities in the U.S.

There are regional differences to how Americans drive. But the real function of this annual survey is to highlight the trouble spots and figure out how to combat them. Because in a perfect world, we would all be safe, every time we sat behind the wheel.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Safest-driving cities: Sioux Falls tops list; D.C. is at bottom," Richard Simon, Aug. 29, 2012

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