Urban Fold

Top Cities With the Worst Drivers

Washington D.C. drivers are the most accident prone out of 200 largest U.S. cities, according to a study by Allstate Insurance Co. The greater a cities population increases the chance of drivers getting into accidents.

D.C. drivers get into collisions on average once every 4.8 years, Jim Gorzelany reports.

"This means they're 107.3 percent more likely to get into an accident every time they take the wheel than the typical driver in the U.S., who wrecks his or her car once every 10 years."

"The Northbrook, Ill.-based insurer found the safest drivers residing in smaller cities – motorists living in U.S. cities with populations of over one million are more likely than the national average to get into accidents. Allstate says the safest drivers can be found in Fort Collins, Colo., where the average motorist experiences an auto collision only once every 14 years."

A slideshow on Forbes.com lists the top 11 cities with the worst drivers.

Full Story: Cities With The Worst Drivers



Todd Litman's picture

Measuring Risk

It is inaccurate and misleading to say that large city drivers are "worst" or "accident prone." Yes, crash rates per vehicle-mile tend to increase with traffic density (vehicles per lane-mile), but that reflects the frequency of interactions between vehicles, not driver skill, and because urban crashes tend to be slower "fender benders," while suburban and rural crashes tend to involve higher speed vehicles, traffic injury and fatality rates tend to be much higher in rural areas. Overall, residents of compact, multi-modal communities such as Washington DC have much lower per capita traffic fatality rates than residents of sprawled, automobile-oriented communities such as Fort Collins.

For more information see:

Todd Litman (2011), "Integrated Planning for Community Health and Safety," Planetizen (http://www.planetizen.com/node/50571 )

Todd Litman and Steven Fitzroy (2005), "Safe Travels: Evaluating Mobility Management Traffic Safety Impacts," VTPI (www.vtpi.org); at www.vtpi.org/safetrav.pdf.

William Lucy (2002), "Danger in Exurbia: Outer Suburbs More Dangerous Than Cities," University of Virginia (www.virginia.edu); summarized in www.virginia.edu/topnews/releases2002/lucy-april-30-2002.html

Todd Alexander Litman
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"

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