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"Allstate America’s Teen Driving Hotspots" Study Highlights Metro Areas With Highest Rates of Deadly Crashes


Study release launches Allstate’s “Action Against Distraction” campaign, stresses dangers of distracted driving, calls for uniform, national Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) laws.

Metro areas in the southern United States scored lowest in a study released today by Allstate Insurance Company that identifies “hotspots” where fatal teen driving crash rates are highest. The release of the study, which includes data for metropolitan areas around the country, kicks off the company’s national “Action Against Distraction” safe teen driving campaign.

The “Allstate America’s Teen Driving Hotspots” study found that the 10 deadliest hotspots among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas are concentrated in the southern United States and include three in Florida. According to the study, the metropolitan areas (a central city and its surrounding counties) that were the deadliest hotspots for fatal teen crashes are:

* Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Fla.
* Orlando/Kissimmee, Fla.
* Jacksonville, Fla.
* Nashville, Tenn.
* Birmingham, Ala.
* Phoenix, Ariz.
* Kansas City, Mo. (and Kan.)
* Atlanta, Ga.
* Charlotte, N.C.
* Louisville, Ky.

The study examines recent federal crash statistics, Allstate claims data on teen collisions, and U.S. Census bureau statistics to score metro areas across the nation on rates of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

“The study shouldn’t just concern parents and leaders in the nation’s deadliest hotspots - car crashes claim the lives of more American teens than anything else coast-to-coast,” said George Ruebenson, president, Allstate Protection. “Although some cities post better scores than others, the whole country must take responsibility for addressing this crisis. We feel that state and federal leaders should enact uniform national standards for graduated drivers licensing laws. Further, we must have better conversations with teens about safe driving and set good examples through our own good driving behavior.”

Interestingly, the markets scoring best in the study include some of the nation’s largest cities. While these metro areas generally had more total fatal accidents than others - including the New York City area with a nation-leading 869 fatal accidents involving teen drivers from 2000 through 2006 - the scores were lower when factored against the size of local teen populations. The best scoring cities are:

* San Francisco/Oakland, Calif.
* San Jose, Calif.
* New York City (including Long Island and northern New Jersey)
* Los Angeles, Calif.
* Cleveland, Ohio
* Milwaukee, Wisc.
* Boston, Mass.
* Portland, Ore.
* Salt Lake City, Utah
* Chicago, Ill.

The study also found that, across the U.S., fatal crash rates for teens are double in rural areas compared to cities and suburbs. Nationally, of the 43,437 fatal crashes involving teen drivers from 2000 through 2005, 29,998 were in metro areas. But the average rate of fatal teen crashes in rural areas nationally is 51.5 annually per 100,000 teens, compared to 25.4 in metro areas. The greatest disparities in rural over metro crash rates was seen in Florida, with Delaware and Utah also posting significant differences.

The study was conducted by Allstate in conjunction with Sperling’s BestPlaces (, a Portland, Oregon research firm specializing in demographic studies and analysis. A more detailed breakdown on the study results - including other market and state comparisons - can be found here: “Allstate America’s Teen Driving Hotspots” Study

Today’s release of study findings by Allstate Insurance Company kicks off the company’s new national “Action Against Distraction” public awareness and policy campaign, which also calls for a national federal standard for graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws and urges Congress to enact the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act.

In addition, throughout May and June - months leading up to some of the deadliest driving days for teens - Allstate will be conducting teen distracted driving training courses aimed at reducing the impact of distracted driving practices such as texting and talking on the phone while driving. Teens in over a dozen cities throughout the United States will participate in the distracted driving training courses.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of more than 17 teens a day die on American roads during June, July and August - the three months with the highest teen crash rates. Nearly 6,000 teens die in car crashes every year, a statistic that hasn’t changed in more than a decade. While research shows that both parents and teens believe alcohol is the cause of most crashes involving teen drivers, the primary causes of most teen crashes - between 2003 and 2005 - was driver error (87 percent).

To help teens stay safe through prom, graduation, the summer and beyond, parents should initiate a conversation about smart driving. This conversation can include completion of a Parent-Teen Driving Contract, which helps set guidelines for smart driving and consequences for not living up to those expectations. Parents and teens can fill out the interactive contract - setting their own expectations and consequences - online at

Research conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development indicates intervention materials, including parent-teen driving agreements, increase parental restriction of high-risk teen driving conditions among newly licensed drivers.

Allstate also urges state lawmakers to enact better state-level GDL laws that allow novice drivers to gain driving experience gradually and under low-risk situations. An effective tool for saving lives, GDL laws typically involve longer periods of supervised driving, restrictions on late-night driving, limits on teen passengers and cell phone bans for drivers.


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