Allstate Insurance, an insurance company from Northbrook, Illinois, annually conducts the America’s Best Drivers Report where 200 large American cities are ranked according to how often their residents get involved in a car accident. This statistics may be good to know because road safety is a very precarious thing. It doesn’t matter how prudent and careful of a driver you are, you can always have an accident caused by another reckless motorist. So if you’re looking into increasing your chances at avoiding some type of car accident, consider not driving in these 25 large American cities too dangerous for drivers.
An average driver living in Arlington, Texas gets involved in a car crash every 7.3 years, making this city the 25th most dangerous city to drive in. One of the reasons for this car crash statistic might be the fact that Arlington is currently the largest city in the United States not served by a comprehensive public transportation system, forcing its residents to drive more often.
Portland, the largest city in the state of Oregon, is another city where drivers don’t feel safe. The average period between accidents in this city is the same as in Arlington – just 7.3 years, which make its residents 37% more likely to be involved in a car wreck than the national average. At least, Portland has an efficient public transport and supports urban cycling.
Buffalo, New York
On average, people in Buffalo, New York get into a car accident every 7.2 years. If you don’t want to take a risk driving a car in the city, you can travel by the Buffalo Metro Rail operated by the NFTA.
People in Atlanta, the largest and capital city of Georgia, also average about 7.2 years before they experience a car crash. The city boasts of one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, however, road safety is not one of Atlanta’s strong qualities.
Newark, New Jersey
In Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, the average period people go without a car crash is 7.2 years, same as Buffalo and Atlanta. Newark is a significant gateway into the New York metropolitan area and the northeastern United States so it’s not surprising that traffic in the city is heavy with the likeliness of a car accident being pretty high.
New Orleans, Louisiana
On average, drivers in New Orleans can expect a car crash every 7.1 years, which means the probability of getting involved in a road accident, is 40% higher than the national average. Therefore, traveling by public transport such as buses, rails (served by Amtrak) or even ferries might be preferable, especially during rush hours.
Part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Garland is another Texas destination where driving through the city might evoke an adrenaline rush. With a 7.1 score (same as New Orleans), Garland is served by several major highways such as Interstate 30, Interstate 635 and the President George Bush Turnpike, where traffic can get very dense and dangerous.
With an average crash score of 7 years, Oakland is one of several Californian cities that included in our list and is currently at #18.
Paterson, New Jersey
Nicknamed the Silky City, Paterson is the most dangerous city for automobile drivers in New Jersey. On average, local drivers experience a car crash every 6.9 years which is 45% higher than the national average. If you don’t want to put your car (or your life for that matter) at risk on the city´s 195.28 miles (314.27 km) of roadways, we recommend you use Paterson´ s public transport served by trains and buses.
Bridgeport, the most populous city in Connecticut, averages 6.7 years before a commuter experiences a car crash, which means its residents have an accident occurrence 50% higher than the national average. Dense network of major roadways such as Interstate 95, Route 8 and Route 25 can be one of the factors contributing to the low road safety statistic.
Miami, the Magic City, is a major center and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, arts, and international trade. But when it comes to responsible driving, this city has a lot to work on. Similar to Bridgeport, Miami is burdened by a 6.7 year score. Good thing Miami has Florida’s highest transit ridership with about 17% of Miamians using public transit on a daily basis.
Known as the Steel City or the City of Bridges, Pittsburgh could also be dubbed the City of Bad Drivers. An average Pittsburgh car owner has to deal with a car crash every 6.6 years. The city also has a particular problem with pedestrian, bicyclist injuries and deaths which have been consistently increasing since 2009.
Los Angeles, California
As the second largest city in the U.S., it comes as no surprise that Los Angeles has a very dense, congested traffic with road accidents occurring frequently (an average L.A. drivers experiences one every 6.5 years). In 2005, L.A.’s local traffic was even ranked as the most congested in the entire United States with an average city traveler experiencing 72 hours of traffic delay per year.
Located in Miami-Dade County, Florida; Hialeah is the most dangerous city for drivers in the state. Allstate is not the only company that gave the city the bad reputation though. In 2013, Hialeah was named among the top five cities with the worst drivers by the Slate magazine. According to this year America’s Best Driver’s Report, Hialeah reached the same score as Los Angeles, 6.5. Keep in mind that Hialeah is significantly smaller than L.A.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is famous for many things including great architecture, museums, liberal activism etc. but when it comes to driving, this city has a reputation for the wrong reason. San Francisco´s drivers experience a car accident every 6.4 years, which is 56% higher than the national average.
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second largest city in Connecticut after Bridgeport, however it’s first in a very sad statistic. Although New Haven has quite an extensive network of buses and rails and the city also supports bicyclists by creating special bicycle lanes, local drivers can expect an accident in about 6.3 years.
This city with an outstanding historical importance and many popular landmarks and tourist sites was ranked as the most dangerous city in the state of Pennsylvania and the 9th most dangerous in the U.S. Although a 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Philadelphia the fifth most walkable major city in the United States, tens of pedestrians and about 150 vehicles are involved in fatal accidents every year.
Located just about 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of downtown Washington, D.C., Alexandria is another city where extra attention is recommended when driving since the likelihood of having a car accident is 68% higher than the national average. State Route 7, commonly known as King Street, is one of the major city roads where many of the accidents happen.
With a population of about 200,000 people, Glendale is much smaller than Los Angeles or San Francisco but regarding its road safety, it’s even worse than these two metropolises. With an average of 5.8 years before experiencing a car accident, Glendale is the most dangerous Californian city for drivers.
Baltimore is the largest but unfortunately also the least safe city for drivers in the state of Maryland. Dense traffic marked by several major interstate highways is one the main contributors to the extremely high occurrence of car crashes. If you venture to drive on the city streets, your risk of getting involved in a road accident is 85% higher than the national average.
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city in Rhode Island and one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Sadly, it’s also the state’s most dangerous city to drive in with an average years between accidents rating of 5.4.
Three out of the “top” four cities with the worst road safety can be found in Massachusetts and Springfield is one of them. Called the Crossroads of New England, Springfield is the major shipping nexus from New York City, Boston, Montreal and the Great Lakes. Springfield drivers on average experience a car crash every 5.4 years.
It’s sad but the U.S. capital comes in third as the most dangerous city to drive in with an average year between accidents at an alarming high rate of 5.1. Although 37% of Washington-area commuters take public transportation to work (the second-highest rate in the country), and the city supports walking and bicycle sharing systems, the traffic is still atrocious.
Nicknamed the “Walking City”, Boston might be suitable for walkers (13% of the population commutes by foot which is the highest rate among all the U.S. major cities), but driving through the city is a real nightmare. An average Bostonian driver gets involved in a car crash every 4.4 years, which means the likelihood of having a road accident is 130% higher than the national average!
I bet you were expecting to find New York City on this spot, but in a nice turn of events, New York City is safer to drive-in than any of the cities mentioned in this post. Worcester on the other hand is not so driver friendly. Located 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston, this city is the most dangerous city to drive in among all American major cities. According to this year’s America’s Best Drivers Report, local drivers have to deal with a car crash every 4.3 years. From the looks of it, driving in this city is a huge gamble, and the odds are not in the driver’s favor.