The Most Car Accident-Prone Cities

Drive Angry

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 32,000 Americans are killed in traffic accidents every year. If you want to avoid joining them, you might want to take a look at which city you live in. For the past seven years, car insurer AllState has looked at its claims data for the 200 largest cities in America to see which cities have the fewest car accidents per capita. The latest results were released Thursday, and the safest driving city in America for the second year in a row was Fort Collins, Colo. The average driver in the city of 138,000 gets into a car accident just once every 14 years, a full 26% better than the national average (the average American driver gets into an accident about once a decade). But not every city is such a peaceful place to go for a drive. Here are the 10 cities that brought up the bottom of the list by getting into more car accidents than anyone else. Each city is accompanied by its estimated population, along with how often its average driver gets into an accident and how much more likely a driver is to get into an accident, as compared to the national average. Please note that cities in Massachusetts were not included in the rankings, which means that Boston drivers get a reprieve. Photo Credit: cygnus921

10th Most Accident Prone: Alexandria, Va.

Estimated population: 150,006 Average time between accidents: 6.4 years Increased chance of an accident: 55.9% Just south of Washington, D.C., many of Alexandria’s residents spend their commute on the area’s infamous Beltway, which we imagine contributes the lion’s share of fender-benders. Photo Credit: William F. Yurasco

9th Most Accident Prone: San Francisco

Estimated population: 815,358 Average time between accidents: 6.4 years Increased chance of an accident: 57.3% San Francisco has been the setting for some of cinema’s greatest car chases, including classic sequences in Bullitt and The Rock. But the reputation for dangerous driving apparently isn’t all Hollywood magic, as the average driver there is 57% more likely than the average American to get into an accident. Photo Credit: Peter Kaminski

8th Most Accident Prone: Jersey City, N.J.

Estimated population: 242,503 Average time between accidents: 6.4 years Increased chance of an accident: 57.5% Jersey City is one of two New Jersey cities to make the top 10. That perhaps shouldn’t come as a great surprise: Jersey was one of the states included in our worst roads list. If it’s any consolation, all those accidents aren’t necessarily causing a lot of fatalities, as the state ranks near the bottom in per capita driver deaths. Photo Credit: Doug Kerr

7th Most Accident Prone: Hartford, Conn.

Estimated population: 124,060 Average time between accidents: 6.3 years Increased chance of an accident: 59.6% Hartford is informally known as the insurance capital of the world because of all the insurance companies that once made their headquarters in the city, and the industry still employs many of the city’s residents. Hartford’s drivers have done their best to keep all those adjusters and underwriters busy, with the average driver almost 60% more likely than the average American to get into an accident. Photo Credit: Doug Kerr

6th Most Accident Prone: Philadelphia

Estimated population: 1,547,297 Average time between accidents: 6.2 years Increased chance of an accident: 60.2% Apparently there isn’t much brotherly love once people get behind the wheel. Pennsylvania also made our worst roads in America list, though it largely earned its spot on the list for the dismal state of its bridges. Photo Credit: Douglas Muth

5th Most Accident Prone: Providence, R.I.

Estimated population: 171,909 Average time between accidents: 6 years Increased chance of an accident: 66.7% Providence cracks the top five with drivers who get into accidents every six years. Photo Credit: Daniel Lobo

4th Most Accident Prone: Newark, N.J.

Estimated population: 278,154 Average time between accidents: 5.9 years Increased chance of an accident: 70.8% Hey, there’s Jersey again. Newark and Jersey City are on opposites side of the famous New Jersey Turnpike, and we imagine drivers in both cities spend their fair share of time on the highway. And while many commuters to New York City choose to take the train into Penn Station, we don’t doubt that a lot of these accidents are commuters who opt to drive into the Big Apple. Photo Credit: Bo Gordy-Stith

3rd Most Accident Prone: Glendale, Calif.

Estimated population: 196,882 Average time between accidents: 5.5 years Increased chance of an accident: 80.8% Los Angeles itself finished just outside the top 10, but Glendale, located right in Los Angeles County, checks in at number three with drivers more than 80% more likely to get into an accident than the average American. Driving is pretty much the only way to get around the LA area, to the point that when the 405 freeway had to shut down for a weekend back in July, local media dubbed the event “Carmageddon.” Glendale is also the second California city to make the top 10, so it’s no surprise that it’s the sixth-most expensive state to insure a car. Photo Credit: Will Keightley

2nd Most Accident Prone: Baltimore

Estimated population: 637,418 Average time between accidents: 5.3 years Increased chance of an accident: 88.7% We can personally attest that Baltimore is a lovely city to visit, but in some ways it’s a tough city to make home. The high crime rate landed Maryland on our list of the most crime-ridden states in America and apparently it’s a tough place to drive, too: Drivers there are almost 90% more likely than average to get into an accident. It’s no surprise, then, that Maryland is also one of the states with the highest insurance premiums. Photo Credit: MPD01605

The Most Accident Prone City in America: Washington, D.C.

Estimated population: 599,657 Average time between accidents: 4.8 years Increased chance of an accident: 107.3% Just 40 miles south of Baltimore is the undisputed champ of bad drivers: Washington, D.C., a city whose very existence is defined by the nightmarish highway surrounding it, the Beltway. The average D.C. resident pays $2,146 in insurance premiums a year, and given that they’re more than twice as likely to get in an accident as the average driver, we’d say that’s pretty well justified. Photo Credit: haddensavix

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