PORTLAND, Ore. — A report ranking the best drivers in wet weather is not kind to Portland.
Allstate's America's Best Drivers Report for 2018 includes the 200 largest cities in America and ranks them for safe wet-weather driving by factoring in average annual precipitation with collision frequency in each city. Portland checks in 10 spots from the bottom at No. 190.
According to the rankings, Portland drivers average 5.9 years between collision claims, worse than the national average of 10 years between claims. Drivers in Portland also average 22.4 "hard-braking" events per 1,000 miles, worse than the national average of 19.
A hard-braking event is defined by Allstate as "slowing down by 8 mph or more per second, [which] can indicate unsafe driving behaviors, such as following too closely, or aggressive or distracted driving." Hard-braking events are tracked by Allstate's Drivewise telematics system.
Other Northwest cities didn't fare too well, either.
- 128. Salem (7.7 years between claims, 18.1 hard-braking events)
- 151. Vancouver (7.2 years between claims, 17.8 hard-braking events)
- 157. Bellevue (7.1 years between claims, 23.8 hard-braking events)
- 167. Tacoma (6.9 years between claims, 19.3 hard-braking events)
- 179. Seattle (6.4 years between claims, 19.7 hard-braking events)
The list isn't just an exercise to inspire complaints about how terrible the drivers are where we live. Allstate said it hopes the rankings will help encourage safer driving across the country.
"By celebrating the safest-driving cities and lending a hand in bottom-ranked cities, we want to help Americans protect themselves before they get on the roads this holiday season — and ultimately help save lives," said Ken Rosen, the chief claims officer for Allstate.
Allstate shared the following safety tips to help prevent collisions:
- Do a systems check: Make sure your headlights and brake lights work, and check tires, heater, defroster, brakes, windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid level.
- Use an alternate route: Don’t drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots – it can stall your engine.
- Take it easy: Give yourself extra time to get where you’re going. Increasing following distance, traveling at slower speeds and accounting for extra stopping time will help avoid collisions.
- Stay alert: Give the road your undivided attention. That’s especially important with slick streets and other potentially dangerous conditions.
- Don’t panic: If your vehicle begins to slide or skid, don’t slam on the brakes. Look down the road in the direction you want to go and gently steer that way. Release the accelerator until traction returns.
- Have an emergency kit: Gloves, boots, blankets, flares, water, jumper cables, a flashlight and something for traction – like sand or cat litter – could all come in handy if a problem arises.
- Download Drivewise: Free to any consumer, Drivewise provides personalized, real-time driving feedback – such as how many hard-braking events you have – and allows you to earn rewards for safe driving.