Washingtonians have been named among the nation’s fittest residents as well as its ugliest. Now, a new study is adding another less-than-positive superlative to the region’s roster: America’s worst drivers hail from the DMV.
The seventh annual “America’s Best Drivers Report” by Allstate named drivers in D.C. the absolute worst in the country, behind 199 of the nation’s largest cities.
This is Washington’s third consecutive year coming in last place, behind Baltimore, Los Angeles and Newark.
Given the state of D.C. area traffic — conditions that a national traffic survey called the worst congestion in the nation and that a Washington Post poll showed pushes more than a third of drivers to “wild rage” — the Allstate study isn’t exactly a shocker.
The report says that D.C. drivers are the worst when it comes to avoiding accidents, averaging one accident approximately every five years.
On the other hand, the average driver in Fort Collins, Colo., which was named the safest driving city, has a car accident every 14 years, on average.
So what can we do to improve our ranking in 2012, not to mention stay safe?
Here are some safe driving suggestions from Allstate:
— Minimize distractions: Engaging in any other activity while driving — talking on your cellphone, text messaging, changing a radio station, putting on makeup — is a distraction.
— Be aware of road conditions: Ice, snow, fog, rain — all of these weather conditions require extra caution and slower speeds.
— Leave a safe distance between your car and others around you: Maintain at least one car length space between your car and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 mph of speed.
— Steer clear of road rage: Reduce stress on the road by allowing plenty of time for travel, planning your route in advance and altering your schedule or route to avoid congested roads. Remember not to challenge aggressive drivers and stay as far away from them as possible.
— Maintenance matters: Ultimately, safety also depends on the maintenance of your car. Ensure that your car brakes, exhaust system, tires, lights, battery and hoses are in good working order.
Tell us: Does the ranking surprise you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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