September 26th, 2008

Photo reprinted from

Many Las Vegans would not be surprised by a 2008 “America’s Best Driver’s” report released by Allstate Insurance Company in July that shows Vegas drivers are some of the worst in the country. The report ranks Las Vegas at a low 165 among 193 American cities ranked from the best to the worst drivers. 

Although the report was compiled with only Allstate company data, Allstate’s auto policies represent about 12 percent of all U.S. auto policies, which they say makes the report an accurate one.  Allstate researchers looked at the frequency of accidents to come up with the list. The report ranks cities according to their accident rate, which is based on the average years a driver goes between accidents.  The accident rate for Las Vegas was 7.9 years between collisions.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota was named as the city with the best drivers, with an average of 14.6 years between collisions followed by Fort Collins, Colorado with 13.4 years as an average and Chattanooga, Tennessee close behind with 13.3. 

According to the report, the city with the worst drivers is Washington, D.C., with an average of only 5.4 years between accidents, trailed by Glendale, California and Baltimore, Maryland both with an average of 5.9 years.

The report noted that although auto accidents have declined over the last few years, accident fatalities still average around 40,000 a year and a much higher number result in permanent disability.  To influence drivers to be safer throughout the U.S., Allstate offered the following driving tips:

·        Avoid disastrous distractions

·        Take extra care in wild weather

·        Never drive while drowsy

·        Steer clear of road rage

·        Maintain your vehicle

By following those simple rules, and all traffic laws, Las Vegas can take a significant leap up the ranks on Allstate’s 2009 report.  I hope to hear good news with the release of next year’s report!




September 23rd, 2008

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There are so many things that exist to distract us while driving: talking on our cell phones, adjusting the radio or an iPod, eating, attending to children in the back seat, observing an accident on the side of the road, or fixing hair and makeup.  With the increasing demands of our busy lives and the inventions of modern technology, more driving distractions are causing more accidents.

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, in 2006, the latest year for Nevada highway statistics, inattentive driving was a factor in 7,404 crashes which resulted in 83 fatalities and 2,748 injuries. This was the third highest factor behind failure to yield and failure to reduce speed.  Inattentive driving was the number one factor for fatal crashes (23%) and the third highest contributor for injury crashes and property damage only crashes. Overall, inattentive driving was a factor in about 12% of crashes in Nevada.

Although Nevada law does not define or prohibit “distracted driving” with that term, all drivers are required to use “due care.”  Those who are distracted will usually be cited for not using due care.

Below are some driving behaviors to follow and avoid in order to prevent distracted driving accidents:

─Keep your radio volume low so you can hear people in the backseat, other drivers, trains, police or emergency vehicles.  Passengers and other drivers may see something you don’t notice right away.  Make sure you can still easily communicate with others around you.

─Keep your eyes on the road.  If you must change your CD, adjust your iPod, or fix your make-up, wait for a red light.  If you need to immediately attend to children in the backseat while driving, safely pull off to the side of the road when possible.  Do not “rubberneck.”

─Keep objects out of your hands and keep both hands on the steering wheel, with the exception of shifting. In an emergency situation you may not have time to appropriately react with both hands if one or both hands are full. And NEVER attempt to steer with your knees!

─ Do not text message and if you must talk on your cell phone, use a hands-free device.  However, keep in mind that some studies have shown that driving while talking on a cell phone with a hands-free device is almost just as dangerous as without using a hands-free device.

Although these tips may seem like common sense, they are good reminders.  I think every once in a while each one of us could use a reminder to pay more attention to our driving, even with all the disruptions of life.  Even though many of us have been driving for years and think we can do so “in our sleep,” we need to remember that it calls for our constant vigilance to keep ourselves and others safe.




September 19th, 2008

Sometimes there is just nothing you can to do avoid being in accident no matter how much of a safe and attentive driver you are.  But there are ways to increase your chances of coming out of an accident with as minor injuries as possible.  The government just created a public database,, which provides information on vehicle safety ratings, tire and air bag safety ratings, product recall notices, tips on how to minimize accident risk and injury and much more driving safety information.

By entering information about your vehicle’s make, model and year at, you can view its crash test ratings.  The ratings are created with data gathered during controlled crash and rollover tests. Vehicles with the highest ratings receive a 5-Star rating.  Check out how your vehicle measures up!

The site also contains info about rollover prevention and tips on how to minimize accident injuries.  One great tip they give to prevent a rollover is to gradually reduce speed if your vehicle leaves the roadway, then, when it’s safe to do so, ease the vehicle back onto the roadway.  It also warns drivers not to panic in emergency situations, as many rollovers occur when drivers overcorrect their steering in reaction to an emergency—or even to a wheel going off the pavement’s edge. At highway speeds, overcorrecting or excessive steering can cause the driver to lose control, which can force the vehicle to slide sideways and roll over.

To minimize injury in an accident, the site advises drivers to always maintain at least 10 inches between their breastbone and the center of the steering wheel.  Doing so helps to prevents air-bag related injuries.

I suggest that you all check out  to see how safe your car is and to educate yourself on ways to minimize injury should you ever be involved in an accident. You’ll probably learn something you didn’t already know that could one day save your life!


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