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Cape Coral named ‘safest driving city’

By Staff | Aug 29, 2013

Cape Coral was ranked as the safest driving city in Florida, according to a recent report.

Allstate Insurance Company released its ninth annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report” on Tuesday, which ranks the country’s 200 largest cities in terms of vehicle collision frequency to identify the cities that have the safest drivers. The outcome is based on the company’s internal claims data.

Allstate handles approximately 10 percent of the nation’s automobile policies.

“We do insure about 10 percent of the drivers out there,” Cathy Mayo, a spokeswoman for the insurance company, said. “We have a pretty sizable portion of the public’s policies.”

In the 2013 report, the Cape topped the list of Florida cities and landed at 40 in the overall list. The average Cape driver will experience an auto collision every 10.6 years, according to the data.

Allstate agent Brian Culbertson, whose client base includes drivers in the Cape and Fort Myers, explained that the Cape was not No. 1 in the state last year, the city’s ranking has improved.

“It means that Cape drivers have, obviously, done a good job of being safe and careful,” he said.

This year’s top honor went to Fort Collins, Colo.

Nationally, the average number of years between collisions is about 10 years.

“We’re slightly better,” Culbertson said.

“You have a lot less accidents when you live in Cape Coral,” he added.

In Fort Collins, Colo., an average driver will experience a collision every 13.9 years.

As the Cape is a suburban area, driving tends to be safer than if it was a more urban area.

“Cape Coral has historically always been a safe driving area,” Culbertson said.

He noted that the report tried to remove all external factors, like weather, in comparing the data.

“They’ve tried to remove all the big catastrophic things,” Culbertson said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crash fatalities increased by more than 1,700 from 2011 to 2012 – the first year-to-year increase since 2005. While fatalities have jumped, Allstate found that 70 percent of vehicles involved in auto claims are considered drivable.

This indicates that most claims are the result of low speed collisions – under 35 mph.

“Don’t text and drive,” Culbertson said, adding that it is the biggest culprit for fender benders.

“Pay attention to what’s going on,” he said. “That’s the easy answer.”

For the Cape’s seasonal visitors, Culbertson suggested reviewing the route to a new destination.

“Know a little bit about where you are going before you start driving,” he said.

Walking through the route can help to curb illegal U-turns and cutting across traffic to make a turn.

Motorists should use a vehicle’s safety features, like headlights in an afternoon thunderstorm.

“Use your turn signals,” Culbertson said.

According to the report, other ranked Florida cities included Tallahassee at No. 67, Jacksonville at No. 73, St. Petersburg at No. 79, Orlando at 153, Tampa at No. 176 and Miami at No. 187 nationwide.

To view the “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report,” visit: www.allstatenewsroom.com.