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Confirming what many motorists likely long suspected, drivers in Salt Lake City and West Valley City are worse than average — and they just plummeted in updated national rankings.

Still, they managed to finish in the top half of the nation's 200 largest cities for safe driving.

That's according to annual rankings released Tuesday by Allstate Insurance, based on claims filed with that company.

Allstate said drivers in Salt Lake City rank 74th out of the nation's 200 largest cities for safe driving, and West Valley City ranked 95th.

But Salt Lake City fell seven spots in the rankings this year, and West Valley City dropped 15.

The study reported that Salt Lake City drivers are in accidents once every 9.1 years, about 10 percent more often than the national average. West Valley City drivers crash once every 8.7 years, 14.3 percent more often than average.

The nation's safest driving city was Kansas City, where a typical motorist crashes once every 13.3 years — or 24.8 percent better than average of about once every 10 years.

Others among the safest large cities were Brownsville, Texas, once every 13.3 years (but slightly below Kansas City statistically); Boise, once every 13.1 years; and Fort Collins, Colo., and Cape Coral, Fla., both at once every 12.7 years.

Boston fared the worst. Its drivers crash once every 3.9 years, or 157.7 percent higher than average.

Others at the bottom of rankings included Worcester, Mass., once every 4.5 years; Baltimore, once every 4.7 years; Washington, D.C., once every 4.8 years; and Springfield, Mass., once every 5.2 years.

Allstate also released separate rankings that suggest Salt Lake City area drivers actually may be even worse than initially indicated, once ratings are adjusted for rain and snow (most areas receive more precipitation than in the desert here) and for population density (many big cities are more crowded).

When rankings were adjusted to take precipitation into account, Salt Lake City finished 89th and West Valley City was 105th.

When adjusted for population density, Salt Lake City came in 122nd and West Valley City was 94th.

"It's important for drivers to remember to slow down, leave room between you and other drivers and minimize distractions while on the road," said Ryan Larson, an Allstate agency owner in Salt Lake City.

Allstate also released data about how often drivers must hit the brakes hard — with figures collected by people who allow the company to monitor their driving habits to gain rewards on insurance rates.

The company said drivers in Salt Lake City have to slam the brakes about 15.2 times for every 1,000 miles driven, and those in West Valley City do so 17.3 times. The national average is 16 times per 1,000 miles driven.

Allstate notes that the National Safety Council recently estimated that the U.S. is on track for the deadliest driving year since 2007. It said traffic deaths were up by 14 percent during the first six months of the year, compared with the same period in 2014.

The Utah Department of Transportation reported last month that this year's road deaths are also significantly higher in the Beehive State.

Through July, the state had 146 fatalities, compared with 128 in the same period last year. The average for the previous five years through July was 114 deaths.

UDOT has not blamed that on higher freeway speed limits, which took effect this year, noting most deaths occur outside those zones.