A recent study by a major insurance company has found that Halifax is the most dangerous place to drive in Canada.

Allstate Insurance has released its seventh annual Safe Driving Study, ranking 81 communities in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario, in terms of driving safety.

The study uses Allstate Canada data to track collision frequency among Allstate customers in those provinces. It found that collisions are on the rise, with an increase of 7.3 per cent.

Most Maritime locations rank in the middle to upper half of the list, but Halifax is sitting at the bottom, with the highest frequency of collisions at 7.12 per cent.

The Alberta community of Spruce Grove was rated the safest, with a collision frequency of 3.43 per cent.

In terms of provinces, New Brunswick reported the lowest collision rates, followed by Alberta. Nova Scotia reported the highest increase in collisions, seeing a jump from 4.63 per cent to 5.77 per cent.

Halifax Regional Police declined to comment on the list, but they say drivers can do better.

“Sometimes you see vehicles driving that look like a snowbank with four wheels,” says Const. Dianne Woodworth. “That’s probably an indication you want to wipe off your vehicle.”

Tom Levesque of the Insurance Bureau of Canada agrees that drivers can always do more to improve road safety.

“Leave your phone alone. Distracted driving is a concern for insurers,” says Levesque. “We want people to know you’re 23 times more likely to be in an accident if you’re texting while driving than if you’re not.”

Insurance brokers say last year’s nasty winter weather was also likely a factor in Halifax’s last-place ranking.

“Last year was unprecedented. We had a winter that people can’t remember ever having and it was very unusual how Halifax in particular got hit,” says Karen Slaunwhite of the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia.

Despite the increase in accidents, brokers say drivers needn’t worry about rising insurance rates; they say companies set rates based on the driving performance of individuals, not companies.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw