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October 21, 2014

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Las Vegas rates low on ranking of America’s best drivers

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Steve Marcus

Traffic is shown on Interstate 15 in this April 14, 2011, file photo.

It might be time for Southern Nevada residents to do the unthinkable and learn a thing or two from their northern rival, Reno.

Reno might not have much on the Las Vegas Valley (in our not-so-humble opinion), but it has far better drivers, according to a report released Tuesday by Allstate.

Reno ranked eighth in Allstate’s 2012 America’s Best Drivers Report, which is based on the insurance company’s claims data. The report ranked the United States’ 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to determine the safest drivers.

Las Vegas scored on the opposite end of that spectrum — landing at 136 out of 200 cities. North Las Vegas and Henderson ranked 126th and 70th, respectively.

The average Las Vegas driver will be involved in a crash every nine years, according to the report. That represents an improvement of 0.4 years compared with the 2011 report.

“We don’t want drivers in Las Vegas to be discouraged by their ranking,” Jayna Magliaro, a Las Vegas-based Allstate exclusive agency owner, said in a statement.

Wait. Come again?

She elaborated: “We want the report to challenge drivers in Las Vegas to make positive changes to their driving habits that will in turn make the city a safer place to live, work and raise families.”

There are signs of improvement already. Southern Nevada’s three cities posted gains compared with 2011. Henderson jumped 27 spots in the ranking.

North Las Vegas and Las Vegas showed more modest improvements — moving up by nine and two spots, respectively.

Sioux Falls, S.D., took this year’s top honor for safest drivers. Boise, Idaho; Fort Collins, Colo.; Madison, Wis.; and Lincoln, Neb., rounded out the top five.

And, if the report has any sway, drivers should avoid Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Providence, R.I.; Hialeah, Fla.; and Glendale, Calif. They scored lowest on the ranking, with Washington taking the bottom spot.

Allstate officials say Southern Nevada residents can improve their driving by employing these common-sense practices: staying alert, allowing plenty of time to reach destinations, reviewing directions before driving, following the speed limit, watching for pedestrians and maintaining a safe driving distance around other vehicles.

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  1. Duh! Tell me something I didn't know! We have the dumbest, most uncourteous and dangerous drivers I have ever had the mispleasure of dealing with in my lifetime plying our roadways. It's only because there are also many good-to-excellent drivers that there are fewer accidents and fatalities on the highways & byways. Metro should cut the crap about having "special" events to "crack down" on errant & drunk drivers and strictly enforce speed limits & other moving violations 24/7. One other thing, those "We'll go to court for you" outfits ought to be banned. Let's inconvenience the crazies out there who believe that speed limit signs are only "suggestions" and not mandatory. As for the drunks? Lock them up for 30 days upon 1st conviction. They are potential killers and stupid ones at that. And no plea bargains. Yes, it will raise costs to taxpayers but it'll also raise costs to the dummies who drink & drive. Sock it to them! There is absolutely no reason, no excuse, to drink & drive and the penalties must be stiffened.

  2. I've never had a reportable accident and my last ticket was about 15 years ago. I try hard to be careful and defensive. I'm not a perfect driver by any means but I try hard to avoid any accident or violations not wanting the consequences of them.

    I have had the opportunity to live in several states and from large urban to small rural areas and almost without exception the locals always think theirs is one of the worst for drivers including San Diego.

    That said, I will say that I have had too many close calls since settling in the Valley despite heightened alertness and increased efforts to avoid them. I blame some of that on me, some on highway design and some on reckless and foolish drivers. I've tried most things, like most when I was young I thought I was the next Mario and even did a little sanctioned racing on various courses including a couple of drivers schools and still never would have tried some of the moves I see here.

    Worst drivers in Vegas? I believe it.

  3. No kidding? I thought New Yorker's were bad.....The LV area is like a demolition derby compared to other parts of the country.

  4. The number one problem I see among LV freeway drivers is the person in the far left lane who causes backups by driving 5 or 10 mph UNDER the speed limit.

  5. We're 136 out of 200 ranked cities? I'm surprised we weren't closer to the 200 mark. By far, Vegas has the worst, non-defensive drivers in any city I've driven in. The worst!

  6. I have driven all over the place, including England, Scotland and Nice, and I am from Boston. Las Vegas drivers are far and away the worst drivers I have ever seen. These people are crazy! And Emthree is right -- people driving too slowly in the fast lane probably cause more accidents than any other group, except maybe teenagers in general.

  7. The traffic volume in Vegas is a piece of cake but add in the idiots and it's a whole different story. The amount of bad drivers far outweighs actual traffic volume. THAT is what makes it bad.

    I also think the "free drinks" mentality in the casinos is a major problem. I remember driving home from work at 5:15pm and there were already drunks on the road, especially on Fridays. It was not only the schlumps who started in the casino at 12:00 noon, but you had the construction workers who ended their day at 2-3 in the afternoon and started pounding them.

    And WHY WHY is it that trucks driving on 15 can use ANY lane instead of the right lane like everywhere else in the country??? I stayed off of 15 as much as I could because of that and also - the blatant disregard of the speed limit! Damn at times it was scary driving on that thing!!!

  8. I am a native Las Vegan. I think some of the crticism is unfair. We get so many tourists, new residents, and new roads. You can't go a year after a road or freeway was tore up when it's tore up again. Then it takes years for them finish. Look at 15 and 95. They are always a giant construction zone. Lanes cut down and no one is working on the road. Reno hasn't has to face the same circumstances and they are a bit smaller then we are.

    @TEAMSG1 The rivalry with Reno is quite old. Reno was the largest city in the state up till the 80's when Las Vegas exploded. Part of the rift is that even when Las Vegas put most of the money into the state coffers the north was taking more than their fair share. UNR was always the priority and UNLV a second thought. This occurred in many different areas. So there is still an abundance of hard feelings about that.

  9. In Las Vegas You can solve the Bad Driver AND Traffic Congestion Problems at the Same Time by having the size of your vehicle determined by the size of your IQ. Make way for those Crazy Bicyclists.

  10. So? Drivers are poor everywhere, and since Las Vegas (a) is comprised of people who moved here from somewhere else (11-to -1) and filled with visitors, the information is mostly irrelevant as a statement about Las Vegas. Next!

  11. I wonder if Allstate is only looking at the cities within the city limits considering that south of Sahara is county yet, it is called Las Vegas. What about Summerlin, etc? Las Vegas may be taking the most lumps but may not be as bad as reported. Yes, there is bad drivers here but I have been to places where the drivers are worse and rude.

  12. I'd rather have cops fighting crime than sitting in residential neighborhoods waiting for people to speed and run stop signs.

  13. NO FAULT AUTO INSURANCE cuts out all sorts of costs--the administrative costs of determining fault. The crazy drivers pay more cause they keep running into things. The rest of us pay less and less, and even less when we can stay out of their way.

  14. I've seen some pretty bad drivers overall in other states (in Maryland and northern Virginia they have signs telling people to move fender-benders to the side) but Las Vegas is by far the worst I have seen. And we have the insurance rates to prove it.

  15. I'm sorry I don't think it's all that bad...

  16. Exactly, Tom. It's no different than any other city. Better than some, worse than others. Who cares?

  17. Reza...

    Who CARES?
    Certainly the survivors of those killed in all the carnage.

    Don't kid yourself...
    We ALL pay higher insurance premiums because of the number of selfish, 'I drive like my hair is on fire while I text, talk, eat, drink and otherwise entertain myself while motoring about' fools that populate OUR valley.

    SLOW DOWN!
    No matter how fast you 'drive', you will NOT get there 'faster' than anyone else.
    FACT.

  18. Driving is a dangerous undertaking. It is irrelevant to me that some study shows Las Vegas drivers to be poor. Studies are useless unless they have context, and this one does not.

    As for "slowing down," might I suggest you just move over and let others pass? Or must you continue your passive-aggressive, all-caps tirade? (A passive-aggressiveness that I am certain carries over to your driving behavior.)

    (Oh, and can anyone possibly explain what "a survivor of those killed" means?)