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Study names D.C. drivers worst in America

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If you feel like you're laying on the horn, passing fender benders and even finding yourself involved in an accident or near-miss on D.C. roads more often than usual, you're not the only one.

(Photo: Jay Westcott)

An annual safest driving report has named drivers in the D.C. region the absolute worst in the country. But if you’ve ever driven in D.C. traffic, the findings of the study will not shock you.

According to Allstate's seventh annual America's Safest Drivers Report, Washington, D.C. came in last place for the third year in a row. Other cities joining D.C. at the bottom were: Baltimore, Maryland, Los Angeles, California and Newark, New Jersey.

"I'm from England, right, and I tell you the driving around here is ...it's terrible,” Mark Goffee said. Drivers “drive too close,” and “have no idea what a fast lane and a slow lane is."

“It’s defensive driving,” Susan Goffee said. “People from all over live here. Everyone brings their own way of driving, it doesn't mix."

For the second year in a row, Fort Collins, Colorado was named the safest place to drive a car in America, the report says. The average driver there will have a car accident every 14 years, which is about 28 percent less likely than the national average.

The report says Boise, Idaho and Lincoln, Nebraska ranked among the top three safest cities, while Chattanooga, Tennessee fell from 2nd to 10th.

The findings show D.C. drivers are the worst when it comes to avoiding accidents, but Allstate recommends the following tips to stay safe behind the wheel: 

Minimize distractions - Engaging in any other activity while driving - talking on your cell phone, text messaging, changing a radio station, putting on makeup - is a distraction.

Be aware of road conditions - Ice, snow, fog, rain all require extra caution and slower speeds.

Leave a safe distance between your car and others around you - Maintain at least one car length space between your car and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 miles per hour of speed.

Steer clear of road rage - Reduce stress on the road by allowing plenty of time for travel, planning your route in advance, and altering your schedule or route to avoid congested roads.

Maintenance matters - Make sure brakes, tires, lights, battery, and hoses are in good working order.

One driver interviewed Thursday had some hope to offer. "We're nice and we're rude because I'm both, too,” said Deetria Whatley. “Depending on where we're going I can be rude or I can be nice."

To view the complete report, click here.

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