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What Michigan cities have ‘America’s best drivers’?

October 7, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren & Sterling Heights named among largest cities with the ‘safest drivers’ in Allstate’s 2014 ‘America’s Best Drivers Report’


If you live – and drive – in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren or Sterling Heights, then congratulations to you.

You are among the “best drivers” in the country “in terms of car collision frequency,” according to the 2014 Allstate “America’s Best Drivers Report.”

The report, which is published by Allstate, is an annual ranking that identifies which of the 200 largest U.S. cities has the safest drivers.

Allstate describes its top cities as those that are least likely to experience motor vehicle accidents.

In its 2014 report, Allstate assigned the following “Safest Driving City Rankings” to the four Michigan cities that made Allstate’s list of the 200 largest U.S. cities:

  • Detroit was the 104th “safest driving city” in the country.
  • Grand Rapids was the 116th.
  • Warren was the 124th.
  • Sterling Heights was the 164th.

The Allstate “America’s Best Drivers Report” is based on Allstate claims data regarding car accident frequency, based on “property damage collision frequency of Allstate insured drivers …”

(See: Allstate’s “America’s Best Drivers Report” webpage.)

‘Safest driving city’ highlights for Michigan

During the 10 years that Allstate has been publishing its “America’s Best Drivers Report,” Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren and Sterling Heights have made the list every year.

The only other Michigan cities to be ranked were Flint, which appeared in the 2005-07 reports, and Lansing, which made its one-time-only appearance in 2005.

Highlights for Michigan’s “safest driving” cities include:

  • Flint received the highest safest driving city ranking of all the Michigan cities for all of the years when, in 2005, Flint was the 3rd safest driving city in the U.S.
  • In 2007, Warren was the 4th safest driving city in America.
  • The highest Detroit has gotten is 25th safest driving city in 2007.
  • The highest Grand Rapids has gotten is 24th in 2007.
  • The highest safest driving city ranking Sterling Heights received was 12th in 2007.
  • The highest – and only – safest driving city ranking for Lansing was 21st in 2005.

‘Safest driving city’ trends for Michigan

The graph below shows the “safest driving city ranking” trends for the Michigan cities that made the list of the 200 largest U.S. cities, which was used in compiling the Allstate “America’s Best Drivers Report”:

Michigan cities with best drivers

Why isn’t Detroit farther down on the list?

Looking at the list, you might have been wondering why Detroit did so relatively well on the list of “America’s Best Drivers.”

Well, I have a theory: Most of the vehicle damage crashes, on which the Allstate list is based, aren’t reported in Detroit.

That happens for two reasons:

  1. Allstate auto insurance is too expensive for most Detroit drivers to purchase, so Allstate wouldn’t know about those crashes to include in their “Best Drivers” calculations.
  2. Nearly 50% of the drivers in Detroit are driving without auto insurance. As a result, there will likely be little or no reporting to Allstate or any other insurer about the accident. To read more, please check out Michigan Auto Law’s blog post, “Uninsured drivers in Detroit: How this has become a civil rights issue.”

Related information:

22 factors that affect your car insurance rates

In a Michigan car accident?

 – Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by David May

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