Insurance companies operate under a theory known as a “pool of risk.” To make the math easy, lets assume 100 people in a town want to purchase auto insurance. The company will use its vast amount of data to determine how likely it will be for the average driver to get into a serious crash in any given policy year and how much it will cost the company when an accident occurs.
While there are obviously some variables, such as age of a driver, past driving record and type of vehicle, these companies are pretty skilled at determining their risk levels when setting premiums. If one particular town were known for having dangerous drivers, the insurance companies might charge higher premiums for applicants in that town. According to a recent news article from Mass Live, Springfield, Mass. is one of those places.
Allstate’s most recent survey on the best drivers in America rated Springfield drivers as the fifth-worst in the entire country. Specifically, according to Allstate’s math, the average driver in Springfield will be involved in a car crash at least once every 5.2 years, which is significantly worse than the national average.
However, Springfield drivers should not feel too bad, as our Boston car accident lawyers understand, the number for the city of Boston was an accident at least once every 3.9 years. This puts Boston at the top of the list of America’s 200 most dangerous cities in terms of auto accidents. At the other end of the spectrum, Kansas City, Kansas came in as the safety city in the survey with an average driver having an auto accident every 13.3 years.
The method used to collect risk data for the study involved taking information from all claims involving property damage and assigning the insured driver’s zip code, then entering it into a national map and computer algorithm. Other information included showed that 70 percent of accidents occurred at speeds slower than 35 mph, which is not consistent with conventional wisdom.
The company is claiming the purpose of this survey was not to set premiums higher, but rather to highlight areas where drivers are having difficulty and work to change behavior through increased awareness. The insurance company is urging drivers to avoid speeding, make sure their cars are in good and safe working order, and be mindful of weather conditions. They also urge people to avoid distractions, including mobile phones, while driving.
Regardless of their ultimate motives, these are all good tips that can be used to help avoid being involved in a serious car accident involving personal injury. One of the most important things drivers can do to avoid accidents is to avoid texting while driving. Texting while driving is a serious problem that results in numerous serious car accidents. While the problem is often worse with younger drivers, we are seeing texting while driving at all ages. When someone is texting while driving, he or she is taking his or her eyes of the road for an extended amount of time and diverting mental attention during that time.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment: 1-888-367-2900.
Springfield drivers ranked 5th worst in the country by Allstate, September 2, 2015, Mass Live, by Jim Kinnery
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Woman Run Over by Own Car at Massachusetts Hotel, June 26, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog