GSN NEWS STAFF

Gilbert has worse drivers than neighboring Mesa and Chandler, Allstate Insurance reported.

The town ranked No. 41 out of 200 largest cities in the country for safe motorists in 2019 while Mesa and Chandler came in at No. 16 and No. 26, respectively, according to the annual America’s Best Drivers report.

The study used Allstate claims to determine the likelihood that drivers in the 200 cities will experience a collision compared with the national average.

Additionally, Gilbert fell 20 places from its 2018 ranking as 21st for safe drivers.

“There are many factors that could lead to more hard-braking events and more collisions, like heavier traffic due to an increase in population and many other factors,” said Kate Peifer, an Allstate spokeswoman, for Gilbert’s drop.

The town is considered one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country with an estimated population of 248,279 residents in 2018.

The report also looked at hard-braking events, defined as deceleration of at least 8 mph per second, which can indicate unsafe driving behaviors such as aggressive or distracted driving or following too closely, according to Peifer.

“Nationally, the average driver will experience around 19 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles,” she said. “Gilbert drivers will experience 25 hard-braking events every 1,000 miles.”

Allstate found a correlation between hard braking and collision frequency. Drivers in cities with fewer hard-braking events per 1,000 miles tend to have fewer property damage claims.

Gilbert’s safe drivers ranking over the years included No. 18 in 2017, No. 34 in 2016 and No. 33 in 201, according to Allstate.

For this year’s report, researchers analyzed claims reported during the two-year period of January 2016 to December 2017.

 “Allstate’s auto policies represent nearly 10 percent of all U.S. auto policies, making our America’s Best Drivers Report a realistic snapshot of what’s happening on the nation’s roads,” Peifer said.

 Overall, Brownsville, Texas was No. 1 with the safest drivers in America for the second year in a row, according to the report. At bottom was Baltimore, Maryland.
Report highlights include:

U.S. car collisions have decreased overall despite increases in 2015 and 2016.

The average driver in top-ranked cities still gets in a collision about once every 15 years.

Only five cities have earned the No. 1 spot, and all are west of the Mississippi River — Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Generally, top-ranked cities are less densely populated.