Salinas might smell of fertilizer and Fresno might have more crime, but both cities have far safer drivers than Santa Clarita, according to a new study from Allstate Insurance.
Accustomed to ranking high on lists for public safety and business friendliness, Santa Clarita can’t claim bragging rights when it comes to its residents’ propensity to slam into each other when they get behind the wheel.
On that score, Santa Clarita is below average.
Santa Clarita ranked 25th out of 43 large California cities surveyed in Allstate’s “America’s Best Drivers Report,” released Friday.
Figures were based on the number of years between collisions for the average driver.
The typical Santa Clarita driver goes 8.8 years between collisions. That compares to 10.8 years for Salinas residents and 10.1 years for drivers in Lancaster.
That’s right: Santa Claritans could take a cue from their neighbors in Lancaster and Palmdale, which ranked second and sixth best, respectively. Fresno drivers came in No. 3 with 9.9 years between collisions.
SCV Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Efflandt said he was “not that surprised” about Santa Clarita’s reported collision rate.
“We’ve got a lot of young drivers in the valley, and I’m sure that contributes to it,” he said. “We also have a lot of congestion, and that probably adds to the mix.”
At the bottom end of Allstate’s spectrum were Glendale, where drivers crash into each other every 5.5 years, and San Francisco, where the average is 6.4 years.
At least Santa Clarita has a couple of years on Los Angeles, where drivers typically go 6.6 years between collisions.
As for the 100 best cities in the nation, forget about it. California cities hold 14 of those slots, but Santa Clarita misses out with a ranking of 124th.
First place went to drivers in Fort Collins, Colo., who go 14 years between collisions, followed by Boise, Idaho, at 13.4 years.
“Human error is the biggest cause of collisions,” said Phil Telgenhoff, Allstate’s assistant field vice president in California. “It’s vital for drivers to understand the importance of being tolerant and attentive behind the wheel.”