Everyone likes to think that they’re a safe enough driver to not have to worry about ever being in a motor vehicle accident, or that such incidents will be few and far between. But the truth is, it’s almost inevitable that every single one of us will be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some point in our lives. The old adage typically parroted by insurance companies says that such incidents will occur about once every ten years. However, Allstate recently released a report detailing the average timespan between a driver’s motor vehicle crashes in cities throughout the United States, and as you’ll soon see, the rates can vary wildly.
The most dangerous city in the United States looks to be Washington D.C. This is the second year in a row that our nation’s capital has been slapped with that dubious distinction. Nearby Baltimore came in second place. Drivers in D.C. average one accident per every 4.7 years. This comes despite the prevalence of a handheld cellphone ban, well funded traffic cops, and speed cameras littered throughout the city. The reason for the increased danger might have to do with Washington’s sometimes confusing street layout, which features numerous six-way intersections that exacerbate the danger of reckless or aggressive drivers.
Similarly, other cities along the Eastern seaboard also rank poorly because of their bizarre traffic layout. These cities were designed not so much on a typical grid. They were actually strewn about somewhat haphazardly as they expanded, and they were originally meant to accommodate horses and buggies that were en vogue around the time the infrastructure was being put in place. This makes for numerous traffic difficulties in the modern day.
That’s not to say that the West Coast doesn’t get its share of the high-percentage accident pie. San Francisco and Glendale are also on the list as two of the ten most dangerous cities. Some of the heaviest traffic in the country probably doesn’t help their numbers. Miami, Florida also fared poorly.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Allstate also provided information about the cities with the fewest number of accidents. Sioux Falls, South Dakota has topped the list for the fifth time, and cities like Madison, Lincoln, Boise, and Fort Collins were not far behind. Sioux Falls might become even safer should a proposed texting ban go through. And lest you think that only smaller cities were able to top the list, large metropolitan areas like Indianapolis, Tucson, and Phoenix also posted good results.
Perhaps the best way to ensure your safety in any city is just to obey the rules of the road. By driving defensively and looking out for other automobiles, you can make sure that you’re not compromising your home city’s score.