Cedar Rapids drivers back near top ten in safest city rankings

By Dave Franzman, KCRG-TV9

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- If you had to rank Cedar Rapids drivers in terms of safe driving and avoiding accidents what would you say? One national insurance company says drivers here do extremely well compared to national averages.

Allstate Insurance ranked Cedar Rapids drivers as the 11th safest in the country. Des Moines came in two spots behind at number 13. Fort Collins, Colorado grabbed the top stop in the Best Drivers Report survey for the fourth year in a row.

However, Cedar Rapids drivers have ranked as high as number one. That was in the first survey year of 2005 and the reward then was 8,000 gallons of free fuel provided by Allstate to the top safest driving city.

Based on the statistics, Cedar Rapids drivers will have an accident every 12.1 years on average. The likelihood of getting into a wreck on Cedar Rapids streets is a full 17 percent less than the national average.

Greg Buelow, spokesman for Cedar Rapids Public Safety, said it’s a statistic that local drivers should take pride in.

“I think Cedar Rapids drivers should be proud of the fact that they made a national ranking and are within striking distance of the top ten … Cedar Rapids drivers will want to strive for number one and a lot of that has to do with obeying traffic signs and signals,” Buelow said.

A handful of Cedar Rapids drivers scored a personal win in 2005 by filling up when Allstate gave away gasoline for winning the safest city designation. But all Iowa drivers get rewarded when it’s time to buy auto insurance — at least compared to drivers in other states.

Surveys consistently show Iowa ranks at or near the bottom in the cost of policies.

Lisa Schrock, owner of the Allstate agency in Cedar Rapids, compared some policies to show the difference that safe driving makes on insurance rates.

She said one driver who recently moved from neighboring Missouri was paying $520 every six months for an auto policy there. The policy in Iowa, for the same coverage, was $275. Another driver from Georgia got an even more pleasant surprise. The policy that cost $1,130 every six months in that southern state will be just $550 in Iowa.

“It’s all based on how your driving is. Also realize that Iowa has less of a population than where they are coming from and higher population usually means a higher rate of accidents,” Schrock said.

Cedar Rapids drivers haven’t grabbed the top safety spot since the first Allstate survey year of 2005. But local drivers have either been in or near the top ten in the years since.

Actually, Cedar Rapids drivers got the better deal compared to the current safest city of Fort Collins, Colorado by winning early. Allstate has stopped the free fuel giveaway to the winning city.

l Comments: (319) 368-8611; dave.franzman@kcrg.com

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