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Washington Drivers Ranked Most Accident-Prone

Washington Drivers Ranked Most Accident-Prone of Any U.S. City
Motorists in the nation’s capital get in a collision every 4.8 years, more than double the national average, according to a report by Allstate Corp. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Drivers in Washington are the most accident-prone of any U.S. city, again placing at the bottom of an annual ranking by Allstate Corp.

Motorists in the nation’s capital get in a collision every 4.8 years, more than double the national average, the Northbrook, Illinois-based insurer said today in a report. It’s the sixth straight year the city has held the designation.

Allstate, the largest publicly traded U.S. auto and home insurer, publishes the annual analysis of its claims data to highlight safe-driving practices. More-congested streets are part of the reason Washington and other urban areas in the East fare worse than places in the West and South, said Kate Hollcraft, a spokeswoman for the insurer.

“The cities that are along the East Coast are a little more compact,” she said in a phone interview. “They’re older.”

Baltimore had the second-worst result, with drivers crashing every 5.4 years, followed by Providence, Rhode Island. New York motorists get in a collision every 7.3 years, the 23rd worst of almost 200 cities studied. Boston wasn’t included in the ranking because Allstate has limited data for the study period, which ran from January 2010 to December 2011.

Phoenix was the top-ranked city with a population of more than 1 million. Drivers there get in an accident every 9.8 years, Allstate said. Motorists in Fort Collins, Colorado, led the ranking with an average of 13.9 years between collisions.

The national rate of auto accidents has been declining for most of the past two decades as carmakers improve safety features, U.S. Department of Transportation data show. Allstate, which sells about 10 percent of all auto policies in the U.S., offered driving tips such as listening to traffic reports to avoid congested areas and keeping a safe distance from other vehicles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Noah Buhayar in New York at nbuhayar@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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