Allstate has released a new survey revealing that more than a third (35 percent) of U.S. drivers say wet winter driving stresses them out, and almost half (48 percent) are concerned by the prospect – all while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an especially wet winter for much of the country.
The Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report 2017 Rankings
The Allstate winter-driving survey is being released in conjunction with the 2017 Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report winter data, which ranks the top 200 cities with the safest drivers when rain and snow are part of the equation. Coming in as the safest-driving city when factoring in precipitation is Kansas City, Kansas, reclaiming its top spot from two years ago. The rest of the top 10 include: Brownsville, Texas; Huntsville, Ala.; Cape Coral, Fla.; Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Madison, Wis.; Olathe, Kansas; Laredo, Texas; Boise, Idaho; and McAllen, Texas.
“As part of Allstate’s safe-driving legacy, we’re shining a light on our country’s safest drivers and helping communities across the country stay vigilant on the road, especially during winter and the holiday travel season,” said Glenn Shapiro, Allstate’s chief claims officer. “Just as you would grab an umbrella or coat when heading out the door, Allstate encourages everyone to take the appropriate precautions to ensure they arrive at their destinations safely.”
Those precautions are especially important for drivers this winter, with NOAA predicting wetter-than-average conditions across most of the northern United States in its recently released annual Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Winter Outlook. To determine the precipitation-based rankings, Allstate researchers use a predictive model that standardizes the rankings to account for the fact that weather conditions affect road safety and vary dramatically across the United States. Allstate is recognizing the cities that topped the report and offering tips to help people across the country drive safely.
While the Allstate survey found that only a quarter (26 percent) of American drivers feel confident in their winter driving abilities, a resounding 92 percent take active steps to better prepare themselves for slick roads, including increasing following distance behind another vehicle (78 percent) and checking the weather before heading out (70 percent). According to NOAA, preparations like these are key to navigating potentially harsh conditions.
“NOAA shares advanced seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for what’s likely to come in the next few months and minimize the winter weather’s impact on lives and livelihoods,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Empowering people with actionable forecasts and winter weather tips is key to NOAA’s efforts in building a weather-ready nation.”
To help keep precipitation from causing a collision, Allstate offers these tips:
- Do a systems check: Make sure your headlights and brake lights are in working condition, along with tires, heater, defroster, brakes and windshield wipers, and that you have enough windshield washer fluid.
- Play it safe: Don’t drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots – it can stall your engine. Take an alternate route.
- Take it easy: Give yourself extra time to get where you’re going. Increasing following distance, traveling at slower speeds and accounting for the extra stopping time will help avoid collisions.
- Stay alert: Give the road your undivided attention. That’s especially important with slick streets and potentially dangerous conditions.
- Don’t panic: If your vehicle begins to slide or skid, don’t slam on the brakes. Look down the road in the direction you want to go and gently steer your vehicle that way. Release the accelerator until traction returns.
- Have an emergency kit: Include the tools you will need to protect yourself should a problem arise. Gloves, boots, blankets, flares, water, jumper cables, a flashlight and something for traction, such as sand or cat litter, are all helpful items to have in the car.
- Party smart: Especially during the busy holiday travel season, including one of the most deadly days on the road – New Year’s Day – Allstate strongly urges drivers to plan ahead and always find a sober ride home before partaking in holiday festivities.