At Affordable Insurance, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but Colorado drivers are bad, bad, bad says a study recently published by QuoteWizard. If you have ever thought to yourself that your fellow motorists in Colorado are particularly inept, you may not have been too far from the truth. Compared to other states, Colorado does not rank well regarding driver safety.
We all know that driving in Colorado can be fairly hazardous. Between hailstorms, icy mountain roads, and massive potholes, taking to the roads can be challenging. What might come as a surprise to some is that the drivers of Colorado are increasingly making the roads more dangerous with their risky behavior.
Collecting the Data
The study carried out by Quotewizard compares rates of road fatalities from the Federal Highway Administration to incident counts from their nationwide insurance website. The resulting data incorporates DUIs, speeding tickets, accidents, citations and fatalities on the road. From this data, the report has ranked all 50 states from worst to best concerning driver safety. Unlike many insurance company reports on driver safety; their research also incorporates government data on road fatalities. This means that despite variations in road traffic laws and insurance claims across states, this report reveals the type of bad driving that causes road deaths.
From Worst to Best
When examining the resulting list, it may be a surprise to find Utah taking the top place for worst drivers. Despite a high percentage of its population abstaining from alcohol, Utah ranks among the top ten states for DUIs. It also ranks second for both speeding and accidents, something to keep in mind if you plan on driving through Utah any time soon. Rhode Island is the clear winner in terms of driver safety, with the combined lowest score for road fatalities and incidents. Although there is no clear reason for their exemplary driving, it could have something to do with the very small land area and relatively low population.
Bad News for Colorado
Colorado is ranked as the 8th worst state overall for drivers. When looking closer at the details, we can see that risky practices such as drunk driving and speeding are fairly common here. Colorado is ranked 10th for speeding citations and 11th for DUIs. This is bad news for all drivers, whether you partake in these practices or not. High rates of speeding and drunk driving make the roads less safe for everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians.
Even more disturbing is the revelation that Colorado drivers are the number one worst offenders for a whole range of traffic citations. This is not a statistic that is likely to be shared by the Colorado Tourism Office, but if you want to see drivers running red lights, failing to use their turn signals, and ignoring seatbelt laws, then by all means, come to the Centennial State!
Why Are Colorado’s Drivers So Terrible?
So, what is the reason for this terrible rating in basic driver safety? Are drivers in Colorado badly educated? Is the test too easy? There are over 100 different private schools registered that offer the opportunity to students to take both the written and the actual driving tests. The DMV of Colorado does not provide any public information on the methods used to maintain standards between schools. One thing made clear by the DMV however, is that drivers who have received their licenses in any other US state, or in the countries of Canada, Germany, South Korea, France or Taiwan are exempt from testing requirements when applying for a Colorado driver’s license.
A recent increase in the population of Colorado has brought many more drivers to the roads. Of course, a proportion of these drivers are going to be bad drivers, but this may not be the only explanation for high rates of reported traffic violations. Compared to other states, the local police force may be working more efficiently, especially when it comes to catching and reporting these minor traffic citations. Whereas a missed turn signal might be ignored by law enforcement in other states, it seems that in Colorado the State Patrol is issuing tickets at every opportunity.
How Does This Affect the Cost of Insurance?
Whether the state really is a haven for unsafe drivers, or just relatively over ticketed, these statistics do influence the price of Colorado auto insurance. When a state has a higher rate of road fatalities and traffic law citations, the perceived risk of all drivers in that state goes up and so do the cost of premiums. Unfortunately, in Colorado, fatal crashes have risen by 12%, meaning there is a concrete reason for increases in average insurance costs.
There are some factors affecting drivers in Colorado that are uncontrollable. It has the second highest rate of auto insurance claims for hail damage amongst all 50 states. However, the nature of insurance claims has been changing in recent years across Colorado. The number of claims and the severity of these claims has been rising rapidly. According to the same Quotewizard report, Colorado is ranked 2nd regarding increased claim costs and has the 4th highest increase in physical damage claims.
What Can I Do to Keep My Insurance Costs Down?
Between careless local drivers and dangerous weather conditions, driving can be hazardous. These same conditions that drive the price of insurance higher are also the reasons why it is of particular importance to have good insurance coverage. If you know you are driving in a higher risk area, it makes sense to prepare for the worst and give yourself a good safety net.
There are ways to keep your personal insurance costs low even when the state you live in has a higher than average insurance cost. Comparing different companies and shopping around for the best deal can easily save you hundreds of dollars. When it comes to renewing your policy, you don’t have to take the default route and stay with your current insurer. A year can make a big difference. Depending on your vehicle usage, your credit score and other factors, you could be due for a discount.
At Affordable Insurance, we always strive to make sure each of our clients gets the best possible deal. We can help you compare the packages offered by different insurance providers to find the right one for your personal needs. Yes, Colorado drivers are bad, bad, bad says a study, but this shouldn’t affect the opportunity for you to get a good deal on your insurance.
For help finding the lowest possible rates on your auto insurance, contact us today.