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Driving goal At 66th, Tulsa can do better

Driving goal At 66th, Tulsa can do better


By World's Editorial Writers
Published: 7/9/2009  2:29 AM
Last Modified: 7/9/2009  4:05 AM

As great drivers go, Tulsans aren't in the top 10 among the 200 largest U.S. cities. Tulsa isn't even in the top 50; it's 66th, according to the Allstate America's Best Drivers Report.

Tulsa drivers average 9.8 years between collisions but are 2.5 percent more likely to be in an accident than the national average.

Oklahoma City fared better in the report than Tulsa, ranking 50th. Drivers there experience an accident every 10.2 years on average and are 1.6 percent less likely to be in a collision than the national average.

The report's rankings are based on how often an average driver would experience a collision compared with the national average. The report compares two years of accident claims filed through Allstate in the nation's 200 largest cities.

So, what pulled Tulsa down? You might have guessed red-light running, tailgating, driving while text messaging or driving while talking on a cell phone. In particular, speeding and failing to yield to other drivers are areas where Tulsa drivers can improve, said Craig Murray, the Tulsa Police Department's traffic safety coordinator.

Tulsans also tend to be oblivious, or at least inattentive, to motorcyclists. Tulsa is off to a tragic start this year with at least five traffic deaths that involved motorcycles.

Incidentally, the safest driving cities are Sioux Falls, S.D.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Knoxville, Tenn. Bring up the rear are Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Glendale, Calif.; Hartford,
Conn.; and Newark, N.J.

Murray said he's not surprised by Tulsa's ranking.

"We do try to do a good job in our enforcement and education," he said. "I wish it was higher than 66, but it's better than 67."

We agree, but Tulsans could better the city's score so easily by simply ignoring the cell phone while driving, holding down speeds and exercising common courtesy with fellow drivers.

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