Tulsa Has More Traffic Accidents Than Oklahoma City, Insurer Says

July 9, 2008

A report by an automobile insurer concludes that Oklahoma City drivers are less likely than Tulsa drivers to be involved in traffic collisions.

“Its kind of weird,” Lt. Roger Bratcher of the Oklahoma City Police Department’s Traffic Fatality Unit said of the Americas Best Drivers report released recently by Allstate Insurance Co.

Officer Craig Murray, the Tulsa Police Department’s traffic safety coordinator, added: “I really can’t say for sure why. With Oklahoma City having a higher metropolitan population, I thought it would have been the other way around.”

Usually, the two largest Oklahoma cities spar for tops in everything. But the driver’s report brought feelings of downright kinship.

“I figured we would be pretty equal,” Bratcher said, adding that Tulsa has a higher seat-belt compliance rate than Oklahoma City does.

Although drivers in both cities ranked high on the safe-driver list, Tulsa ranked 74th in the list of the top 200 safest cities – well below Oklahoma City’s 54th place ranking.

Oklahoma Highway Safety Office spokeswoman Sabrina Mackey couldn’t understand why, either.

“Both cities have the same funds available from us for traffic,” she said.

The rankings were calculated by taking the number of Allstate insurance claims filed for crashes that happened within city limits over a two-year period versus the overall number of drivers, said Shelley Beeler, a company spokeswoman.

Beeler said the numbers of Allstate insurance customers in both cities are relatively equal and that the differences were too minute to skew the results. Overall, about 12 percent of the nations drivers are insured by the company.

In the end, Tulsa shouldn’t feel bad, she said.

“Seventy-fourth place is still pretty good,” Beeler said. “It’s better than the national average.”

The report is released each summer to raise awareness about safe driving. Traditionally, the summer months can be dangerous for car accidents, so just be mindful, Beeler said.

Information from: Tulsa World, www.tulsaworld.com

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