Every single year, more than six million people in the United States find themselves in an automobile accident. These relatively common yet dangerous and worrisome situations can be costly – both in terms of property damage and medical expenses. Given that more than 40,000 people died in auto accidents in 2017 alone, they can also be quite deadly.
Obviously, there are many personal actions that drivers can take to minimize the chances of being in a wreck, but some parts of the country are naturally more accident-prone than others. Upon analyzing insurance claims, police reports and other critical data, which major cities in the US are the worst places for auto accidents?
Let’s examine 5 large cities in particular that tend to be the worst from year to year.
Los Angeles, CA
Of all the major cities in the country, Los Angeles is by far the worst major city for auto accidents in the US. For those who live in the city, this probably doesn’t come as a shock. There are many factors that contribute to the reason why so many auto accidents occur in LA.
First and foremost, LA has the worst traffic of any major metro area in the world. It shouldn’t be surprising that having an auto accident is more common when stop-and-go traffic is a constant. Combined with the relative lack of developed public transit in LA, most people have no choice but to use personal transportation to get from place to place.
These factors – coupled with major population growth – have consistently kept Los Angeles at the top of the list for most car accidents over the past decade.
Most people know a few things about Atlanta, but one of the most common tidbits of info is how difficult driving through the Atlanta metro area can be for most. With a complex history of oddly-designed roads and an over-reliance upon personal transit, Atlanta’s traffic is only second to Los Angeles.
Likewise, it’s not too perplexing why Atlanta generally ranks just below Los Angeles as the second worst major city for auto accidents each year. The use of large, multi-lane interstate connectors and narrow secondary streets also help fuel this problem, making it more likely for Atlanta drivers to have an auto accident than most.
New York, NY
The biggest city in the United States obviously has a lot of densely populated areas, crowded streets and limited space in general. This is why New York per capita tends to have one of the highest auto accident rates of any major city in the country. A busy and compact city in many ways, the millions who need to travel to and from work every day make all forms of transit – including personal transit – a challenging feat. Add to it the large number of taxi drivers in the city and it’s a recipe for auto accidents.
Another major Southern city with lots of suburban sprawl, the city and surrounding suburbs of Charlotte are a prime hot-spot for auto collisions and accidents. Here, the fast-growing population is constantly pushing the area’s infrastructure to its limits; with less than ideal public transit as well, many are required to use personal vehicles to travel throughout the city.
However, the city’s appearance at the top of the worst cities for auto accidents list has been in decline. To a certain degree, major growth coupled with the 2012 Democratic National Convention being held in Charlotte spiked the number of accidents in the city. However, be warned: the Republican National Convention is planning its 2020 festivities for Charlotte, potentially reviving a surge of accidents from out-of-town drivers.
Last but not least, the city of Boston also features a complex topography of roads, interstates and streets, which make driving more of a challenge than in most major cities. While Boston’s mass transit system is reliable, the city’s grid is so irregular that drivers in general are funneled into natural bottlenecks of traffic throughout the city.
Given auto accidents per capita have been growing over the past decade in a metro where the population is barely avoiding stagnation, Boston is a worrisome situation for those seeking to avoid auto accidents.
While every year’s data shows major cities and metro areas rising and falling in terms of auto accidents, these 5 entries find themselves consistently near or at the top of the list. If you’re driving through or living in one of these areas, then use extra caution whenever you’re commuting from one place to the next.