Nationwide survey of safe driving cities ranks Glendale near bottom

GLENDALE — Motorists in Glendale were ranked for the third year in row as having some of the worst driving skills in the nation, according to independent insurance report.

Glendale ranked 191 out of 193 cities for having the worst drivers in the latest "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report," coming in below that of cities with populations of more than a million. Only Baltimore and Washington D.C. ranked lower.

"The No. 1 cause of accidents is human error," said Allstate spokesman Jim Klapthor.

Fort Collins, Colo., had the best drivers, who averaged about 14.5 years between collisions and were 31% less likely to be involved in a crash, according to the report.

Drivers in Glendale averaged 5.9 years between crashes and were 70.8% more likely to be involved in a crash, according to the report.

Glendale drivers maintained their 191 ranking for the second year in a row, which was a slight improvement from the next-to-last ranking in 2008.

The report was based on claims filed in January 2007 to December 2008 by Allstate-insured drivers, Klapthor said.

The company covers about 11% of all insured drivers in the U.S., which Klapthor said was a realistic depiction of roadway conditions.

Rankings were also based on where the accidents actually occurred, and were not on the driver's home address, he added.

Klapthor acknowledged that the report doesn't factor in law enforcement traffic collision and citation statistics, but said it was an accurate "snapshot of claims data" for the two-year period.

"This is not a public safety report," Klapthor said.

The report was mostly created to be a conservation starter for drivers, so that more information is circulated, he said. And the report's findings do not affect insurance policy rates, Klapthor added.

While the report may have been created as a conversation starter, it doesn't provide a complete picture of traffic collision data in Glendale, Lt. Carl Povilaitis said.

"It appears to be one company's experience," he said.

The report does not impact the Police Department's handling of traffic issues, Povilaitis added.

The Police Department uses its own data to monitor the frequency and location of traffic collisions in the city, Povilaitis said, and uses the information to to improve the most dangerous areas, he added.

In 2008, Glendale ranked above average among similarly-sized cities for the number of fatal and injury-related traffic collisions, said Chris Cochran, a spokesman for the California Office and Traffic Safety.

The city ranked 42 out of 55, with one being the worst, according to agency's statistics, which Cochran said include data from police reports.

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