Allstate Insurance Company recently released their annual list of cities with the best and worst drivers. Sadly, no city in Texas was included in the top 10 list for best or safest drivers. The only good news is no city in Texas made it in the top 10 of worst drivers either.
We did have three metropolitan areas ranked in the top 10 large cities listing with the worst drivers. Included are San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas where the ranking is from bad to worst.
- San Antonio was ranked third with drivers being 22.4% more likely to be involved in an accident and average time between accidents being 8.2 years.
- Houston was ranked fifth with drivers being 25.6% more likely to be involved in an accident and the average time between accidents as 8.0 years.
- Dallas was ranked sixth with drivers being 35.6% more likely to be involved in an accident with an average time between accidents of 7.4 years.
When we “zoom in” on the Dallas area and include the surrounding cities, the worst drivers in Texas can be found in:
- Garland – drivers are 50% more likely to be involved in an accident and average time of 6.8 years between accidents
- Grand Prairie
Drivers in Mesquite through Frisco were ranked 31% to 26% more likely to have an accident. The two factors most commonly attributed to the Dallas area’s high ranking are population growth and construction. Texas as a whole has seen a population explosion over the past 6 years as people move here looking for jobs. The D/FW area has been one of the prime destinations for job seekers and our population continues to grow at a rate of about 1 million people every 6 years.
That level of growth means more cars on our already overcrowded streets and highways. This leads to multiple construction projects across the area where we’re attempting to keep up with the influx of vehicles and traffic. The most likely areas to have an accident are our construction zones. Add these two factors together and it’s easy to see why the Dallas area ranks so high on the worst drivers list.
The top three cities in Texas with the best driving records or drivers least likely to be involved in an accident are Brownsville, Laredo, and McAllen. Brownsville drivers were 21% less likely to be involved in an accident as compared to the national average. Their average time between accidents is almost 13 years or nearly 6 years longer than drivers in Dallas. This too is population related.
So for those of us living in the Dallas area, what can we do if our population continues to grow as it has and the level of road construction attempts to keep pace? In this case, I believe the best offense is a great defense, and that can be summed up with 3 recommendations:
- Drive defensively
- Slow down
- Put the phone down
Driving defensively starts with watching the drivers around me. People change lanes without signaling, traffic stops and starts sometimes for no reason, dogs and children run out into the street, people turn right on red without stopping, and some people drive like they’re related to NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon. If you look twice, use your blinkers, provide room to stop, and anticipate the person in front of you is going to do the unexpected you’ll be ahead of 80% of the drivers around you.
It’s hard to slow down on some of our freeways when people are driving 70 mph or faster. I want to get there too, but if I leave on time, instead of trying to cram one more productivity item in before I leave, I’m safer for me and those around me.
Driving without referencing my smartphone should be the way I always drive. I don’t text anymore, but I do talk on the phone. If we all put the phone down, we’d gain a little peace in our life and be safer drivers too!
What suggestions do you have for us to improve the driving safety in Dallas? Share your suggestions, thoughts, and questions with me in the comments section of our blog or on our Facebook and Google + pages. Together, we can create a safer driving environment.