Photo from y98.radio.com

Driving this Labor Day weekend? If you’re heading westward towards Kansas City or Springfield, chances are that you’re less likely to be involved in a collision.

According to Allstate Insurance’s annual “America’s Best Drivers Report” released yesterday, some of the nation’s safest drivers are found west of the Mississippi River. Within Missouri, Springfield was ranked the 7th the safest driving city in the country (I mentioned I love lists and rankings didn’t I?). What that means is that you’re almost 19 percent less likely to be involved in a traffic accident compared to the national average.

Kansas City ranked pretty well too. The city climbed up nine spots from last year to be placed at #22.

St Louis, on the other hand, creeped down three notches from last year to be among the list’s 100 most dangerous driving city this year.
Explore the map to see how cities in and around Missouri are ranked.

Here’s a big disclaimer though: the rankings are based primarily on property damage claims, not police incident reports. The survey does make an effort to ensure that the findings would not be impacted by external influences such as weather or road construction.

Regardless, I thought the ranking provided a pretty accurate reflection. Having driven in all three cities and in other urban areas, I’ve found The Lou’s drivers to be far from gracious.

Auto crashes in general have declined over the last few years, but crash fatalities still average more than 32,000 every year despite technological advances, according to Allstate, quoting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Here are a couple of tips to make sure you stay safe on the road wherever you’re heading to, regardless of the rankings.

Minimize distractions - Engaging in any other activity while driving – talking on your cell phone, 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 miles per hour 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.

Drive safe and arrive alive folks. Happy Labor Day!

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