Allstate analyzes car crash claims to rank 49 Ontario communities

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St. Thomas has the safest drivers, while GTA communities bring up the rear

TORONTO, Dec. 8 2009 – St. Thomas has the lowest rate of car crashes in all of Ontario, according to Allstate Insurance Company of Canada’s inaugural Ontario Safe Driving Study, released today. Thornhill, Ajax, Maple, Brampton and Bolton make up the bottom five communities with the highest crash rates.

“Allstate’s first Ontario Safe Driving Study shows that communities in the Greater Toronto Area have collision rates more than twice as high as some other Ontario communities,” says Tony Irwin, Manager of External Affairs at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “However, there are several communities across the province in which drivers have reduced their number of collisions.”

The Ontario Safe Driving Study ranks communities, as well as regions, by analyzing car collision frequency to identify which communities have the safest drivers according to Allstate data from 2006-2009. It also offers a comparison to the same data from 2003-2006.

Other highlights from the study include:

  • When the 49 Ontario communities examined are aggregated in five regions, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) ranks lowest on the list, while Northern Ontario ranks the highest.
  • Along with leading the safe driving rankings, St. Thomas also shows the greatest improvement from 2003-2006 to 2006-2009.
  • Cornwall and Georgetown show the biggest proportional increases in car crash claims over the two, three-year periods.

“We’re thrilled to hear that our community has been ranked as Ontario’s safest driving community by Allstate. It’s a great reflection of our community and our commitment to making St. Thomas a safe and welcoming place to live or visit,” says St. Thomas Mayor, Cliff Barwick.

Despite the strides that many communities are making, car collisions are still a common occurrence. As a friendly reminder to drivers, Allstate offers the following tips to stay safe on Ontario roads:

  • Minimize Distractions – Focus on the road; avoid engaging in any other activity while driving.
  • Be Aware of Road Conditions – Weather can influence your visibility and ability to control your vehicle.
  • Leave a Safe Distance – Maintain at least ‘Three Steamboats’ (seconds) between your vehicle and the one in front of you in good driving conditions. In wet conditions leave ‘Six Steamboats’, and in poor/slippery conditions leave 9 – 12 seconds.
  • Avoid Road Rage – Reduce stressful driving by allowing extra time to arrive at your destination.
  • Maintain Your Car – Make sure your brakes, exhaust, tires, lights, battery and hoses are all in good working order.
  • Watch Your Speed – Many accidents occur as a result of drivers disobeying the legally posted speed limit.
  • Don’t Drive While Impaired – Plan ahead, designate a sober driver, take a taxi, walk with a friend, arrange to stay over or take local transit.

The Study

Allstate conducted an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the average number of collisions per 100 cars in communities across Ontario. To ensure the data provides a realistic outlook of what is happening on Ontario roadways, only communities with at least 900 cars insured by Allstate over the three-year period were included in the study. Three-year periods were chosen to provide a larger sample for more meaningful analysis. The collision data used in this study tracks back to the registered car address.

The Allstate Ontario Safe Driving Study is produced solely to boost discussion about safe driving and to increase awareness of the importance of being tolerant and attentive behind the wheel. The study is not used to determine auto insurance rates.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada produces and distributes home and auto insurance products across Canada. The “Good Hands Network” enables consumers to contact Allstate by visiting over 90 community Agencies, going online at www.allstate.ca or by calling the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-allstate.