SEATTLE — With the holiday travel season officially here, QuoteWizard, an online insurance comparison marketplace, Thursday released a new proprietary study on the 25 most car accident prone cities in the country.
From highest to lowest, here are the 25 cities with the highest rates of car crashes:
- Columbus, Ohio
- St. Louis
- Los Angeles
- Sacramento, California
- New Orleans
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Columbia, South Carolina
- Greenville, South Carolina
- Portland, Oregon
- Salt Lake City
- New York
- San Diego
- Richmond, Virginia
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Bakersfield, California
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Durham, North Carolina
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Riverside, California
- Birmingham, Alabama
“Car crashes are, sadly, all too common across the country. But crash rates vary quite a bit from city to city. Whether it’s distracted driving, lousy roads, bad drivers, or a combination of all three, drivers in some cities seem to crash more often than others,” says Adam Johnson, QuoteWizard content manager. “QuoteWizard analyzed over a million datapoints on drivers in America to find out where people are getting into accidents at the highest rates.”
QuoteWizard sampled incident data (with more than one million data points) from drivers who used its services. To quantify overall driver standards for comparison, QuoteWizard then weighted the accident counts for each city with frequency to determine accident rates.
The following is the commentary about each of the top five cities as printed in the study report.
More and more people are flocking to this Midwestern city, and it’s grown by 10 percent since 2010. Maybe the newcomers haven’t heard the news – Columbus is QuoteWizard’s most car accident-prone city in America.
Why? We’re not exactly sure, but the stats paint a clear picture. In 2017 there were a whopping 24,399 car crashes in Columbus. Those accidents damaged some 45,000 cars and caused nearly 9,000 injuries. Interestingly, most car crashes in Columbus were the result of a rear end. That’s not so surprising when you consider how common distracted driving is nowadays. Pro tip: stay off the cellphone and be extra careful driving on Fridays in Columbus – it had more crashes than any other day of the week at 4,168.
St. Louis rings in as the second most accident-prone city in the U.S. In 2016, car accidents killed 940 people in Missouri, with 62 deaths occurring in St. Louis. High car crash rates can and do impact the entire community. In fact, a chain reaction crash even damaged the mayor’s car in nearby East St. Louis.
Is it St. Louis’ erratic weather? We’re not entirely sure what’s got St. Louis drivers crashing into each other so often, but it seems that the infamous Midwest Nice doesn’t extend to the city’s roads.
When it comes to driving, the City of Angels isn’t so Angelic. Los Angeles comes in as the third most accident-prone city in the country. Is anyone surprised? From 2016 to 2017, traffic collisions in L.A. increased 5 percent. Considering Los Angeles is the fifth fastest growing city in the country, those collision numbers are poised to continue growing.
Along with palm trees and sandy beaches, you’ll also find some of the most heavily congested roads in the world. Maybe the high number of crashes has to do with the fact that L.A. has the worst traffic in the country. Weaving through traffic becomes a lot more dangerous when cars are creeping along at a snail’s pace.
Sacramento residents might not be too surprised to see their beloved city make the top five. After all, Sacramento got third place in QuoteWizard’s 2018 worst drivers study. But what makes this California capital such a hub for bad drivers?
One reason: several major freeways run through the heart of the city, and freeways are a pressure cooker for bad drivers. Most of Sacramento’s fatal crashes happen on 99 between Fruitridge and Florin road, at the intersection of I-80 and the Capitol City Freeway in West Sacramento, and the Capitol City Freeway near Ardin. Luckily, the city seems to be cracking down on risky motorists. Sacramento brought back a full-time traffic team in 2015.
It may come as a shock that this vibrant city known for jazz, beignets, and so much more is also one of the most accident-prone cities in the U.S.
Statewide fatalities and serious injuries caused by collisions are on the downward trend in Louisiana. But NOLA is a different story – our study ranks New Orleans as the fifth most car accident-prone in the US. Maybe the area’s crash rate is so high because of the increasing traffic congestion. NOLA residents spend an extra 26 minutes per day traveling. Even that small sliver of extra time in the car allows more room for error on the road. And if it’s not the bad traffic that’s responsible for the city’s high crash rate, it’s probably the proliferation of drive-thru daiquiri stands.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.