AllState Insurance Company has released its “America’s Best Drivers Report” for 2011, and the news is mostly good for Kansas and Missouri drivers. Of 200 U.S. cities surveyed for the report, Kansas City, Missouri ranks 22nd, and Kansas City, Kansas ranks 37th. Rankings for cities in Kansas and Missouri are as follows:
|Kansas City, Missouri||22|
|Kansas City, Kansas||37|
|Overland Park, Kansas||34|
|St. Louis, Missouri||103|
AllState based its figures on the number of automobile accidents requiring insurance claims for the 200 largest American cities. Its analysis was limited to claims made through their own insurance policies, but as the second-largest auto insurance company in the U.S., its figures cover a relatively large percentage of accident statistics. The report also only covers accidents in urban areas, leaving accidents in rural areas unaddressed.
Drivers in Springfield, the Missouri city ranking highest in the report, will go an average of 12.2 years between auto collisions, and they are 17.9% less likely to have a collision than the average American driver. AllState offers the following tips to avoid collisions:
- Minimize distractions
- Be aware of road conditions
- Leave a safe distance between your car and others around you
- Steer clear of road rage
- Maintenance matters
Despite advances in safety technology and an overall decline in automobile accidents nationwide, AllState reports that there are an average of 32,000 traffic fatalities per year in the United States. Missouri’s high ranking in driver safety is only a matter of comparison. The Kansas Department of Transportation reports 385 traffic fatalities and 21,058 injuries for 2008, the most recent year for which it has statistics. The Missouri Department of Transportation reports 652 fatalities and 20,178 injuries for 2009.
Recent news also demonstrates the need for caution on the roads. The Missouri Highway Patrol reports nine traffic fatalities for Labor Day weekend 2011, the same number as in 2010. The Patrol attributes most of these fatalities to a lack of protective gear, such as seat belts or life jackets in the case of boating accidents. Holiday weekends always seem to bring an increase in accidents on the roads, but the need for care when driving is never-ending.
Despite the high rankings of Missouri and Kansas in AllState’s study, one auto accident on our roads is one too many. Missouri and Kansas both require drivers to exercise “ordinary care” in driving. Drivers must follow the rules of the road, to be physically capable of driving, to not have excessive distractions, to be aware of road conditions in front of them, and to share the road with other drivers. These expectations make up the standard of ordinary care, and it is a duty that all drivers have to all other people using the road. Drivers who breach this duty, who fail to follow the rules of the road, who drive while distracted or impaired, or who otherwise fail to drive in a safe and reasonable manner are liable for the injuries and damages they cause. In addition to criminal punishments, the drivers of Kansas and Missouri should know that people who are injured due to negligent or unsafe driving will hold them accountable.
To learn more about your rights after an auto accident, contact Kansas City automobile accident attorney Doug Horn at his website or at 816-795-7500 for a free consultation.
Seventh Annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report™” Reveals Safest Driving Cities, AllState Newsroom, September 1, 2011
Allstate to city drivers: You’re slipping, Topeka Capital-Journal, September 1, 2011
2011 Labor Day fatality totals same as 2010, Missourinet.com, September 6, 2011
Kansas Department of Transportation, Traffic Accident Statistics
Missouri Department of Transportation, Traffic Accident Statistics
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report™ for 2011 (PDF)