USA Today, the newspaper designed for people who'd rather be watching television, brings us news of a new survey ranking the two hundred largest American cities in terms of driving safety. Compiled by Allstate Insurance, the survey measures the average rate at which drivers in a city are involved in accidents. The safest city, according to Allstate, is Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This makes sense, since in my experience, South Dakota is one of the least likely places on the planet for anything exciting to happen, even a car crash. At the bottom of the list is Newark, New Jersey. Again, it makes sense. If you were stuck in Newark, you too would drive like you didn't care if you lived or died.
The first California city on the list (warning: pdf. file)– at no. 42, with an average of one crash every 10.6 years per driver– is Bakersfield. Bakersfield is the safest driving city in California? Truly, we live in an age of miracles and wonders.
The first sign of OC on the list comes at no. 81, where one finds the friendly and courteous motorists of Huntington Beach, who average one crash every 9.5 years. In Orange, no. 118, you can expect a trip to the body shop every 8.9 years, according to the survey. Things are a little more dicey in nearby Long Beach, no. 127, which is still safer than Santa Ana, no. 135. Anaheim checks in at no. 140, though to be fair, its roads are plagued by Disney-addled tourists. Irvine, that planned community carefully designed for maximum convenience and bliss, is no. 157, which, embarrassingly, is four places behind far off El Monte, which no one has ever accused of being planned. Fullerton, at no. 158, is one place more dangerous than Irvine. Its motorists can plan on an unexpected meeting every 8 years, according to the survey. The cars/suicide machines of Garden Grove give OC its lowest rating, at no. 180. That makes sense, I suppose. Filled up with grace as they roar out of the parking lot, the faithful of the Crystal Cathedral (As seen on TV) are ready to meet their maker.
And what if you live in a city that didn't make the list? You have nothing to worry about, I'm sure. Still, you might want to make sure your will is up to date. Just as a precaution. Happy motoring.