Images courtesy AAA

AAA Travel is projecting Labor Day holiday travel by automobile this weekend will be up 3.1 percent over last year as some 28.2 million Americans take to the roadways. Just in time for this time-honored tradition, Allstate Insurance Company has released its annual list of “Best Drivers Report” that ranks America’s 200 largest cities according to frequency of car collisions.

For the fifth time in the eight-year history of this report, Sioux Falls, South Dakota takes top honors of being named “America’s Safest Driving City.” According to Allstate, the average driver in Sioux Falls is involved in one auto collision every 13.8 years, some 27.6 percent below the national average.

“Allstate’s Best Driver’s Report was created to boost the country’s discussion on safe driving. Each year we hope the report will increase awareness about the importance of being tolerant and attentive behind the wheel,” said Mike Roche, senior vice president of claims, Allstate. “We want to recognize the city of Sioux Falls for being the safest driving city in America, and whether you drive in a large city, small city or a rural area, we encourage all Americans to practice safe driving habits and good car safety.”

In good news for Holiday travelers this weekend, car crash fatalities are at the lowest levels since 1949 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That said, the nation still averages more than 32,000 auto-related deaths each year.

“It is vital for us to educate American drivers about safe driving behaviors they can demonstrate on the road that will help make our roadways safer,” said Roche. “Minimizing distractions, obeying traffic laws, and using your car’s safety features like turn signals and headlights, are all ways to be safer, no matter where you drive.”

The Allstate list does have a few large cities (more than one million populous) making the best drivers list and leading that bunch is Phoenix, Arizona, with drivers 1.6 percent less likely than the national average to be involved in a collision, or 10.2 years between crashes. Its ranking is 53rd. Far behind Phoenix is San Diego, California, coming in at 124th as the next one million-plus city on the list.

Big-city vs. Small-city Driving

Allstate wants motorists to be aware of the numerous variables affecting safe driving in large cities as well as small towns.

In larger cities:

• Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.

• Know what’s happening in the city during the time you’re driving.

• Stay alert.

• Get directions to where you’re going.

In smaller cities and suburban areas:

• Watch the speed limit.

• Look out for pedestrians, especially children.

• Know the rules of the road.

• Keep a safe distance – especially around large vehicles.