The frequency of collisions by Airdrie drivers insured by Allstate Insurance declined 17 per cent from 2015 to 2017 according to a recently released report.
The Allstate Safe Driving Study is conducted every two years, according to Anthony Chan, an Allstate agency manager.
“The study includes all the major centres that we operate in. We surveyed 93 major centres in Canada. Airdrie (ranked) 78 out of 93 in 2015 but went up 17 per cent…and is sitting in 41st place compared to the last study,” he said.
According to Chan, this equates to a collision frequency rate of 5.5 per cent. This means out of every 100 people, 5.5 were involved in a collision in 2017.
Chan said a number of factors could contribute to why Airdronians appear to be better drivers in 2017 than in 2015.
“We can’t really narrow it down to any scientific facts…but we can definitely speculate when we do see improvement in certain areas,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of push on every level regarding awareness of distracted driving, from giving out tickets by police to just ads. That’s probably one major contributing factor.”
Chan said the use of winter or snow tires is also on the rise and could contribute to fewer collisions, since Allstate’s statistics show more collisions occur more frequently between November and February.
The size of the community also influences collision frequency, according to Chan. A larger community will have a great number of vehicles and therefore a greater number of collisions. He said the leveling of Airdrie’s rapid growth could have contributed to its numbers decreasing from 2015 to 2017.
Not surprisingly, collision frequency is one of the factors insurance companies use to determine insurance rates. However, Chan said the industry doesn’t necessarily automatically raise rates with a spike in collision frequency.
“Most insurance companies, including ourselves, we don’t necessarily raise rates just because we see a particular trend go one way for one year. It usually takes a few years,” he said.
“If a centre consistently has a lower frequency rate, and therefore less claims, then insurance companies can afford to give lower rates to safer drivers.”
With the holiday season fast approaching, Chan said drivers should also be aware the greatest number of collisions traditionally occurs in Airdrie during the Christmas week.
“You think that cars are off the road because people are on holidays, but we speculate that a lot of the time people are more relaxed, going to Christmas parties – (are) just more distracted,” he said.