Allstate analyzes car crash claims to rank 49 Ontario communities

St. Thomas has the safest drivers, while GTA communities bring up the rear

TORONTO, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - St. Thomas has the lowest rate of car crashes in all of Ontario, according to Allstate Insurance Company of Canada's inaugural Ontario Safe Driving Study, released today. Thornhill, Ajax, Maple, Brampton and Bolton make up the bottom five communities with the highest crash rates.

"Allstate's first Ontario Safe Driving Study shows that communities in the Greater Toronto Area have collision rates more than twice as high as some other Ontario communities," says Tony Irwin, Manager of External Affairs at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. "However, there are several communities across the province in which drivers have reduced their number of collisions."

The Ontario Safe Driving Study ranks communities, as well as regions, by analyzing car collision frequency to identify which communities have the safest drivers according to Allstate data from 2006-2009. It also offers a comparison to the same data from 2003-2006.

Other highlights from the study include:

    
    -   When the 49 Ontario communities examined are aggregated in five
        regions, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) ranks lowest on the list,
        while Northern Ontario ranks the highest.

    -   Along with leading the safe driving rankings, St. Thomas also shows
        the greatest improvement from 2003-2006 to 2006-2009.

    -   Cornwall and Georgetown show the biggest proportional increases in
        car crash claims over the two, three-year periods.
    

"We're thrilled to hear that our community has been ranked as Ontario's safest driving community by Allstate. It's a great reflection of our community and our commitment to making St. Thomas a safe and welcoming place to live or visit," says St. Thomas Mayor, Cliff Barwick.

Despite the strides that many communities are making, car collisions are still a common occurrence. As a friendly reminder to drivers, Allstate offers the following tips to stay safe on Ontario roads:

    
    -   Minimize Distractions - Focus on the road; avoid engaging in any
        other activity while driving.
    -   Be Aware of Road Conditions - Weather can influence your visibility
        and ability to control your vehicle.
    -   Leave a Safe Distance - Maintain at least 'Three Steamboats'
        (seconds) between your vehicle and the one in front of you in good
        driving conditions. In wet conditions leave 'Six Steamboats', and in
        poor/slippery conditions leave 9 - 12 seconds.
    -   Avoid Road Rage - Reduce stressful driving by allowing extra time to
        arrive at your destination.
    -   Maintain Your Car - Make sure your brakes, exhaust, tires, lights,
        battery and hoses are all in good working order.
    -   Watch Your Speed - Many accidents occur as a result of drivers
        disobeying the legally posted speed limit.
    -   Don't Drive While Impaired - Plan ahead, designate a sober driver,
        take a taxi, walk with a friend, arrange to stay over or take local
        transit.
    

The Study

Allstate conducted an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the average number of collisions per 100 cars in communities across Ontario. To ensure the data provides a realistic outlook of what is happening on Ontario roadways, only communities with at least 900 cars insured by Allstate over the three-year period were included in the study. Three-year periods were chosen to provide a larger sample for more meaningful analysis. The collision data used in this study tracks back to the registered car address.

The Allstate Ontario Safe Driving Study is produced solely to boost discussion about safe driving and to increase awareness of the importance of being tolerant and attentive behind the wheel. The study is not used to determine auto insurance rates.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada produces and distributes home and auto insurance products across Canada. The "Good Hands Network" enables consumers to contact Allstate by visiting over 90 community Agencies, going online at www.allstate.ca or by calling the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-allstate.

Backgrounder - Ontario Safe Driving Study

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada's Ontario Safe Driving Study ranks communities, as well as regions, by analyzing car collision frequency to identify which communities have the safest drivers according to Allstate data. This study spans a three-year period from 2006-2009 and offers a comparison to the same data from 2003-2006.

Methodology

    
    -   The Number of Collision Claims/100 cars is calculated for 2003-2006
        and 2006-2009, based on:

        -  Communities with at least 900 cars insured by Allstate over the
           three-year period.

        -  More than 25,000 collision claims paid out in each of the
           designated three-year periods.

    -   Three-year periods were chosen to provide a larger sample for more
        meaningful analysis.

    -   Claims data is limited to collisions for which there was a payout.
        Claims on comprehensive policies for such incidents as break-ins or
        vandalism are not included in this analysis.

    -   Collision data tracks back to the registered car address.

    -   The Number of Collision Claims/100 cars is determined by dividing the
        total number of paid collision claims by the number of cars insured
        by Allstate in each community, times 100 cars.

    -   Survey data ranks frequency of crashes, not severity of crash.

    -   The term 'cars' refers to private passenger vehicles.

    -   Allstate Canada claims data is used to establish the rankings.
    

Community Highlights

    
    -   Communities in the Greater Toronto Area ranked 40 through 49 out of
        the 49 communities reviewed for the study.

    -   St. Thomas ranks as the safest driving community with an average
        number of collision claims of 2.5/100 cars (2006-2009).

    -   St. Thomas showed a 25 per cent improvement from 2003-2006 to
        2006-2009.
    

Regional Highlights

    
    -   Northern Ontario ranks as number one region with the lowest crash
        rate in Ontario.

    -   The Greater Toronto Area ranks as the bottom of the five Ontario
        regions.

    -   Southwestern Ontario is the most improved region from 2003-2006 to
        2006-2009.
    

Regional Breakdown

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        2006-2009 Number of
                          Collision Claims       2006-2009      (2003-2006
    Region                   /100 cars            Ranking         Ranking)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North                       3.5                  1              (1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central                     3.9                  2              (2)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Southwest                   4.3                  3              (4)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    East                        4.5                  4              (3)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GTA                         5.5                  5              (5)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

Community Breakdown

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                             2006-2009
                                             Number of
                                 Population  Collision
                                   (2006      Claims    2006-2009 (2003-2006
    Community           Region     Census)   /100 cars   Ranking  Ranking)*

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    St. Thomas        Southwest      36,110     2.5         1         (9)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Belleville             East      48,821     2.6         2         (1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chatham           Southwest     108,177     3.4         3        (14)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Welland           Southwest      50,331     3.4         4         (2)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sudbury               North     157,857     3.6         5         (6)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Bay             North      53,966     3.7         6        (15)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Amherstburg       Southwest      21,748     3.7         7         (3)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thunder Bay           North     109,140     3.7         8        (16)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sault Ste. Marie      North      74,948     3.7         9        (10)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Keswick                 GTA      21,000     3.8        10         (5)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    St. Catharines    Southwest     131,989     3.8        11        (12)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Innisfil                GTA      31,175     3.9        12        (21)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bowmanville             GTA      31,830     3.9        13         (7)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bradford                GTA      24,039     4.0        14        (18)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kingston               East     117,207     4.0        15        (11)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Niagara Falls     Southwest      82,181     4.0        16        (23)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sarnia            Southwest      71,419     4.0        17        (13)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Peterborough        Central      74,898     4.1        18        (17)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Windsor           Southwest     216,473     4.3        19        (29)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cornwall               East      45,965     4.3        20         (4)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Brantford         Southwest      90,192     4.3        21        (22)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newmarket               GTA      74,295     4.5        22        (20)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cambridge         Southwest     120,371     4.5        23        (35)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Georgetown              GTA     120,371     4.5        24         (8)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kitchener         Southwest     204,668     4.7        25        (25)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Guelph            Southwest     114,943     4.8        26        (19)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Burlington              GTA     164,415     4.9        27        (26)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hamilton          Southwest     504,559     5.1        28        (30)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stouffville             GTA      24,390     5.1        29        (32)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Barrie              Central     128,430     5.3        30        (39)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Markham                 GTA     261,573     5.3        31        (40)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Aurora                  GTA      47,629     5.4        32        (28)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa                 East     812,129     5.4        33        (31)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Orillia             Central      30,259     5.4        34        (24)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    London            Southwest     352,395     5.5        35        (33)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oshawa                  GTA     141,590     5.6        36        (37)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Woodbridge              GTA     238,866     5.6        37        (27)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oakville                GTA     165,613     5.6        38        (34)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pickering               GTA     100,273     5.6        39        (43)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Concord                 GTA         (xx)    5.6        40        (48)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto                 GTA   2,503,281     5.6        41        (44)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mississauga             GTA     668,549     5.8        42        (41)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Milton                  GTA      53,939     5.8        43        (36)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Richmond Hill           GTA     162,704     5.9        44        (42)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bolton                  GTA      26,478     5.9        45        (NR)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Brampton                GTA     433,806     5.9        46        (45)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Maple                   GTA      49,388     6.2        47        (38)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ajax                    GTA      93,104     6.5        48        (46)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thornhill               GTA     106,394     6.6        49        (47)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    *    NR - not ranked
    (xx)   Concord is an unincorporated community in the
           City of Vaughan (2001)
    

Communities with the Largest Decrease in Collision Claim Rate

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                Percent Reduction in
                                Collision Claim Rate
    Community                   (2003-06 to 2006-09)       Overall Ranking

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1.  St. Thomas                       25%                      1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2.  Concord                          16%                     40
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3.  Chatham                          13%                      3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4.  Cambridge                        10%                     23
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5.  Niagara Falls                    10%                     16
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6.  Innisfil                         10%                     12
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7.  Windsor                           9%                     19
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8.  Thunder Bay                       6%                      8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9.  North Bay                         6%                      6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10. Brampton                          3%                     46
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

Communities with the Largest Increase in Collision Claim Rate

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                 Percent Increase in
                                Collision Claim Rate
    Community                   (2003-06 to 2006-09)       Overall Ranking

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1.  Cornwall                         42%                     20
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2.  Georgetown                       35%                     24
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3.  Amherstburg                      31%                      7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4.  Bolton                           23%                     45
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5.  Keswick                          22%                     10
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6.  Welland                          21%                      4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7.  Woodbridge                       20%                     37
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8.  Orillia                          19%                     34
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9.  Bowmanville                      16%                     13
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10. Milton                           16%                     43
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

SOURCE Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

For further information: For further information: on Allstate's Ontario Safe Driving Study, please visit www.allstate.ca; For more information regarding safe driving tips or to speak with Tony Irwin, please contact: Karen Nussbaum, Thornley Fallis Communications, (416) 515-7517, ext. 334, (647) 294-3321, nussbaum@thornleyfallis.com


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