Financial Advice

6 Cities With America’s Best Drivers

Car insurance payments can take a huge bite out of your budget, and that bill can get much more expensive if you get in the occasional fender bender. Ideally, practicing safe driving habits will help you avoid accidents and keep your insurance premium down, but that may be easier to do in some cities than in others. For example, if you’re driving around in some of the nation’s biggest cities, you’re generally at much greater risk for getting in an accident than you are when navigating the streets of smaller metro areas.

Across the U.S., drivers go about 10 years between accidents, according to Allstate’s 2015 America’s Best Drivers report. The annual report uses 2012-2013 data on Allstate-insured drivers in the 200 largest cities to determine the average number of years drivers go between filing insurance claims for collision damage. The cities are determined using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places over 50,000. Keep in mind the data is limited to drivers with Allstate insurance, and also only to those who report accidents to the insurer.

Beyond avoiding car accidents, you can also keep your insurance premiums down if you have good credit (here’s a guide to what’s considered good credit). In most states, insurers can use credit-based insurance scores in determining insurance rates, meaning your bill could go up if you have negative information on your credit report. It really depends on where you live and who your insurance provider is (for example, using credit in determining insurance premiums is outlawed in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts), but poor credit can be very costly when it comes to insurance. You can get your credit reports for free every year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, and you can also get a free credit report summary from every month to watch for important changes.

No matter what, it definitely helps to stay alert and attentive when driving, but you may want to exercise extra caution when driving in densely populated areas.

So — where’s a better bet for safer driving? Let’s have a look at the U.S. cities with the best drivers.

11. Wichita, Kan.

Average number of years between accidents: 11.5
2014 rank: 16

10. Cary, N.C.

Average number of years between accidents: 11.6
2014 rank: 24

9. Huntsville, Ala.

Average number of years between accidents: 11.7
2014 rank: 5

8. Laredo, Texas

Average number of years between accidents: 11.7
2014 rank: 8

(The data is rounded to one decimal point, but there are slight differences between the averages of states that appear to be tied.)

7. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Average number of years between accidents: 11.8
2014 rank: 11

6. Madison, Wis.

Average number of years between accidents: 12.2
2014 rank: 9

Want to see the rest of the top cities for best drivers? Check out 11 Cities With America’s Best Drivers here.

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This article by Christine DiGangi was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.