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Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of report on safe driving

Allstate released the company's annual report that ranks the 200 largest cities in the U.S. for driver safety on August 26, and Pittsburgh ranked at 187 on list, which means the city fared worse than the previous year for the sixth time in a row. Allstate estimates that it issues 10 percent of car insurance policies in the nation, and it used claims data from 2011 and 2012 for the rankings.

Allstate has issued this report for 10 years but does not use it for determining rates. The company analyzes accident data and ranks cities to congratulate the drivers in safer cities. A representative from Allstate said the list also encourages those from cities at the bottom to find out how they can improve, and she also acknowledged that driving through Pittsburgh can be challenging. She noted that outside factors like road conditions and weather do not make a difference when tallying the crash totals. The data indicated that Pittsburgh residents were 51.3 percent more likely to get in an accident than other drivers in the U.S.

The best way to become a safer driver is to simply pay attention while on the road according to the Allstate representative. She also said drivers are less safe when stressed, so motorists should check traffic reports prior to getting on the road.

The high rate of accidents in Pittsburgh stems from many causes, but drivers nationwide take risks by driving under the influence of alcohol. Crashes caused by drunk drivers can result in serious injuries, and the drivers can be held responsible for their reckless actions through civil litigation. Those hurt in a wreck can file a personal injury claim against the driver. Bars and restaurants can also be held accountable through a civil suit if it can be shown that they were guilty of over-serving a customer.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Pittsburgh ranks among worst for frequency of crashes", Jon Schmitz, August 27, 2014

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