Auto Insurer Creates Traffic Mayhem With Gasoline Give-Away

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Sean Roche of Newton Streets and Sidewalks sends along a good one: 

Allstate found that that drivers in Flint and Warren, Michigan were some of the "most improved" when it came to reducing the number of car crashes. The insurance company rewarded motorists in those towns with ten free gallons of gas. What was the result of the Allstate promotion?

Total traffic chaos.

The gasoline give-away generated a line of traffic stretching two miles. Traffic was "a madhouse," according to a Detroit Free Press report. Several vehicles ran out of gas or overheated waiting in line for their ten gallons. Most ironic, police reported one "fender-bender" thanks to Allstate but "no reports of altercations beyond anger over people who tried to cut in line." Allstate gave away 6,575 gallons of gas to about 850 vehicles.

Of course, the town's improved motor vehicle safety ranking had absolutely nothing to do with the drivers themselves. The local police chief credited the safety improvement to new street designs including "dedicated left-turn lanes with green arrows and right-turn lanes that help make intersections safer. He also credited the police department’s 14-member patrol support division with strong traffic enforcement."

Photo: Mikey_Kerans/Flickr