Most Dangerous Cities for Driving (2020)

Infographic of the most dangerous cities to drive in, based on rates of DUIs, at-fault accidents, and speeding tickets.

Despite warnings from the nation’s experts against traveling to see loved ones during the pandemic, millions of Americans are still projected to hit the roads between Christmas and the New Year.

Some of the busiest days of the year for driving occur around Christmas and New Year’s. According to Statista, 50.6 million Americans traveled this year for Thanksgiving, down only 4.7 million from 2019. Based on data from past years, this number will likely more than double for Christmas and New Year’s. 

Although many Americans are avoiding Christmas and New Year’s travel this year in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, many others will still hit the roads despite the warnings against it. And given that many are avoiding air travel and other forms of public transportation due to the pandemic, the proportion of Americans opting to drive rather than fly for the holidays should be higher than last year.

It goes without saying that it’s in drivers’ best interest to be aware of the risks along their journey. Bad drivers can be found all over the United States, but some cities have a much greater share than others. To find the cities with the most dangerous drivers, the data science team at Insurify turned to their database and identified the cities with the highest proportion of drivers reporting one or more of the following on their record: an at-fault accident, a DUI, or a speeding ticket. Whether traveling in, out of, or through America’s most dangerous driving cities, drivers should keep their eyes peeled for some particularly risky drivers this holiday season.

Insights

  • National averages. Across all metropolitan areas in the United States, the average share of drivers with one or more at-fault accidents on their record is 11.24 percent. The average share of drivers with one or more DUIs on their record is 1.69 percent, while the average share of drivers with one or more speeding tickets on their record is 9.47 percent. For drivers with one, two, or all three of these violations on their record, the national average across all cities is 23.22 percent.
  • No significant regional differences. The cities with the most dangerous drivers do not tend to be clustered in a particular region of the country. Insurify’s data science team divided cities based on the five Census Bureau designated regions. For each region, they calculated the average proportion of drivers with either an at-fault accident, a DUI, or a speeding ticket on their record. The Northeast has the lowest share of drivers reporting one or more of these infractions, whereas the Midwest has the highest. Namely, 21.72, 22.49, 23.14, and 24.04 percent of drivers in the Northeast, West, South, and Midwest have an at-fault accident, a DUI, or a speeding ticket on their record, respectively. 
  • Cities with the least dangerous drivers. Only half as many drivers in the safest driving cities have reported an at-fault accident, a DUI, or a speeding ticket on their record, compared to the national average. The three safest driving cities are Laredo, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; and Taylor, Michigan with only 11.96, 13.04, and 13.35 percent of drivers reporting an at-fault accident, a DUI, or a speeding ticket on their record, respectively. 

Methodology

The data science and research team at Insurify, a car insurance comparison website, referred to their database of over 2.9 million car insurance applications to determine the most dangerous cities for holiday driving this year. When applying for car insurance, car owners must disclose their driving record, which includes any moving violations. They also disclose their state and city of residence. For each city, Insurify’s data scientists calculated the proportion of drivers with one or more of the following moving violations on their record: at-fault accidents, DUIs, and speeding tickets. The cities with the highest share of drivers reporting these violations were identified as the cities with the most dangerous drivers.

In this study, cities were designated using the United States Census Bureau’s classification of an “urbanized area,” defined as an urban area with a population over 50,000. 

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Most Dangerous Cities to Drive In

1. South Jordan, UT – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.92%

2. Hampton, VA – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.69%

3. Lincoln, NE – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.66%

4. Greenwood, IN – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.56%

5. Charleston, SC- Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.50%

6. Auburn, AL – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.50%

7. Virginia Beach, VA – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.41%

8. Kenosha, WI – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.41%

9. Chesapeake, VA – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.34%

10. Cincinnati, OH – Drivers with an at-fault accident, DUI citation, or speeding ticket: 32.19%

20 Cities with the Most Dangerous Drivers

20. Des Moines, Iowa

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents (speeding ticket, at-fault accident, or DUI violation): 31.51% 
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 17.33% 
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 13.76% 
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.47% 

19. Bellevue, Nebraska

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 31.51% 
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 12.95%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 15.60%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.74%

18. Loveland, Colorado

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 31.52%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.04%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.47%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 6.18% 

17. Hamilton, Ohio

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 31.57%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.17%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 16.07%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.26% 

16. Broomfield, Colorado

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 31.77%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.61%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 15.34%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.61%

15. Columbia, South Carolina

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 31.78%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.15%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 15.37%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 0.89%

14. Murfreesboro, Tennessee

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 31.88%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 14.78%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 15.97% 
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.98%

13. Portsmouth, Virginia

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 31.92%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 17.74%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 12.71%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.66%

12. Suffolk, Virginia

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.00%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 17.75%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 12.68%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.93%

11. Canton, Ohio

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.09%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.71%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 13.41%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 4.12%

10. Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.19%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.08%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 15.98%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 2.12%

9. Chesapeake, Virginia

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.34%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 17.61%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 13.54%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 2.01%

8. Kenosha, Wisconsin

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.41%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.20%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.25%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.77%

7. Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.41%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.20%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.25%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.39%

6. Auburn, Alabama

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.50%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.53%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.50%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 0.90%

5. Charleston, South Carolina

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.50%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.53% 
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 16.71%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.03% 

4. Greenwood, Indiana

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.56%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.51%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 18.67%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.39%

3. Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.66%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 14.35%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 16.41%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 4.22%

2. Hampton, Virginia

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.69%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 18.00%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 12.98% 
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.76%

1. South Jordan, Utah

  • Drivers with at least one of three incidents: 32.92%
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.69% 
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 17.31%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.55%

 

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

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