Allstate recently released its latest America’s Best Drivers Report and by the looks of it, Portland drivers are getting worse. Allstate reviews its own claim data to rank cities according to various factors that depict their driving abilities. Last year, Portland ranked at the very top — of the very last page — at #181.

The report analyzes the average number of years that take place between insurance claims, the relative claim likelihood, how many hard braking events occurred within 1,000 miles, and also accounts for each city’s rank after controlling for the population density and average annual precipitation. The report also contrasts each city’s suburban metro area to depict how much time passes, on average, between accident claims in traditionally less congested areas. In Portland, the average driver goes just 6.5 years between accident claims. The national average is 10 years. Portland suburbs also rise above the national average, with 8.6 years between claims.

Portland has been steadily dropping in the rankings since 2010 when the city placed at 113th.

How Allstate Collects Data

Allstate’s report is based on collision frequency and evaluates data collected from its own archive of claims. The report also includes data collected by special sensors installed in many of their drivers’ cars that detect the movement of the vehicle. Allstate customers agree to install these devices in exchange for an insurance discount. These devices detected a high rate of hard braking events among Portland drivers. Hard braking events are strong predictors of collisions.

When a hard brake event occurs, a rapidly-moving vehicle experiences a drastic decrease in speed. At times, the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system is activated. Hard brakes often occur when there is significant congestion on the roads but can happen at any time a driver is distracted or following the vehicle ahead too closely. These events are also common on wet roads and are almost always a reaction to an unexpected situation.

“Lead Foot” Syndrome

Allstate and Progressive regularly use data from devices that monitor their customers’ driving habits in order to reward them for good driving. Progressive releases their own annual report evaluating how long it really takes drivers to come to a complete stop. Their first Lead Foot Report was released in 2015. After analyzing over 12 billion miles of driving data from its Snapshot program, Progressive’s report revealed that the average time it takes to stop safely is much greater than what is taught in driving school.

For years, drivers have learned the 4 second rule of thumb — that is, keep at least 4 seconds’ worth of distance between yourself and the car in front of you. Yet in reality, we should be leaving much more time just in case the driver ahead suddenly stops. Findings from the report revealed that the most aggressive one percentile of stops took 12 seconds from 60 miles per hour to come to a complete stop. It takes the average driver a total of 24 seconds to come to a complete stop from 60 miles per hour. The majority of claims filed in 2014, according to Progressive, were due to rear-end collisions.

Twenty and a half hard braking events occur every 1,000 miles on Portland streets. In Allstate’s top city, Kansas City, Kansas, 9.9 hard brake events occur every 1,000 miles. The top 10 cities for 2017 are the following:

  1. Kansas City, Kansas
  2. Brownsville, Texas
  3. Madison, Wisconsin
  4. Huntsville, Alabama
  5. Cape Coral, Florida
  6. Boise, Idaho
  7. Laredo, Texas
  8. Port St. Lucie, Florida
  9. McAllen, Texas
  10. Olathe, Kansas

Texas was crowned this year with the state having the most cities in the top 10. Eugene, Oregon placed at #55 while Salem came in at #141. Seattle, Washington ranked #181.

It doesn’t seem that Vision Zero is having much of an impact on the number of collisions just yet. For more information regarding accident claims and insurance practices, speak with attorney Richard Rizk of Rizklaw. He fights hard for those who have been seriously injured in the Portland metro area. Call (503) 245-5677 or contact info@rizklaw.com.