According to a report by the National Safety Council, there were 4.4 million car accident fatalities in the United States between 2005 and 2021. That’s about 16 deaths per 100,000 people every year.
While this may seem like a lot, it’s actually down from the 17.1 per 100,000 recorded in 2022. Over the past decade, traffic fatality rates have fallen by 29 percent!
But while traffic deaths are dropping overall, they’re still high in some cities — particularly among pedestrians and cyclists. To find out which ones are the most dangerous for drivers, we used data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Allstate Insurance to rank America’s most dangerous cities to drive in based on three factors:
- Traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents (measured as number of deaths per 100,000 residents from 2005 through 2021)
- Pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents (measured as number of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents from 2005 through 2021)
- Bicycle fatalities per 100,000 residents (measured as number of bicycle deaths per 100,000 residents from 2005 through 2021)
Here are the top five deadliest cities to drive in.
1. Fort Worth – Arlington, Texas
Fort Worth – Arlington, Texas is the deadliest place to drive in America and has the top recorded car accident deaths in texas. The city has a population of over 1 million people and the roads are not as safe as they should be. The average number of deaths per 100,000 residents was 2.8, which is higher than any other city on this list. This is due to the fact that high-speed highways run through the city and there are not enough police officers to enforce traffic laws.
Fort Worth – Arlington is also one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians who are hit by cars that fail to yield the right of way at crosswalks or intersections. Drivers may be distracted by cell phones, food, and other activities while driving through these streets. The city has started a program called “Stop on Red” which encourages drivers to stop at red lights instead of running them so that pedestrians can cross safely without getting hit by an oncoming vehicle.
2. Houston, Texas
Driving in Houston, Texas can be a nerve-wracking experience. The city has the second highest rate of car accidents in the U.S., according to Allstate Insurance.
The city’s drivers are also ranked as the worst drivers in the nation by Allstate, with an average of 2,800 collisions per day. In fact, Houston has been named one of America’s most dangerous cities for drivers by Allstate for four years running (2014-2018).
In addition to its poor driving culture, Houston has some serious infrastructure issues that make it a dangerous place to drive. For example:
Highways and Interstates: Houston has an extensive highway system, but many portions are in poor condition due to heavy traffic and lack of funding for maintenance projects. In fact, five highways in Houston were rated among the 10 most dangerous roadways in America by CarMD; they include:
- Interstate 45 North at Loop 610 East/West (No. 3),
- Interstate 45 South at Beltway 8 South/North (No. 4),
- Interstate 10 East at Uvalde Road/Almeda Road (No. 5)
- and Interstate 610 East at Uvalde Road/Almeda Road (No. 6).
3. Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels has had a reputation for many years as being one of the most dangerous places to drive, and this reputation is well deserved. In 2016 there were 1,276 fatal car accidents in LA County alone, with an average of 2.8 deaths per 100,000 residents. This is more than twice as many deaths compared to Orange County and San Diego County combined.
In fact, Los Angeles has been ranked as one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians several times by various organizations over the years. In 2018 alone, there were at least 18 pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles County according to data from California Highway Patrol.
4. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is a big city with a population of about 4.5 million people. It’s also one of the deadliest cities for drivers. According to Allstate’s America’s Best Drivers Report, Atlanta ranks as the 9th most dangerous city in the U.S. Why is that?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were more than 8,000 car accidents in Atlanta in 2017. That’s an average of over 13 per day! Of those accidents, 465 were fatal, which means that 1 out of every 28 accidents resulted in death. There are several reasons for this high rate of fatalities, including:
- Poorly lit streets and roads
- Large numbers of pedestrians walking along downtown streets at night without proper lighting or sidewalks
- A large number of drunk drivers on the road at any given time
- The high number of distracted drivers (texting and driving)
The number of accidents has been increasing annually since 2009, and it seems that we can expect this trend to continue if nothing is done about it soon.
5. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, and it’s also one of the deadliest cities to drive in the state. According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), there were 5,861 car accidents in Baton Rouge in 2016. Of these, 70 resulted in fatalities and 856 resulted in injuries.
The DOTD notes that most accidents occur because of speeding, drunk driving or distracted driving. These factors are particularly problematic because they are often linked together — people often speed when they’re drunk or distracted by their cell phones.
When you combine all three factors into one accident, you get a deadly combination that can lead to serious injury or death.
In addition to speeding and drunk driving, other factors that contribute to Baton Rouge car crashes include:
Distraction from cell phones — Texting while driving is illegal in Louisiana; however, many drivers still do it anyway. In fact, according to Distraction.gov, over 800 people were killed by distracted drivers in 2015 alone. Texting is especially dangerous because it takes your eyes off the road for several seconds at a time; this leaves you vulnerable to other potential hazards on the road such as other vehicles or pedestrians crossing without looking first.
About the Author
Since establishing Moore Law Firm, Mr. Moore has recruited some of the top legal minds in the state to represent plaintiffs for personal injury and property damage insurance claims. Over his notable legal career, Mr. Moore was named a Multi-Million Dollar Advocate, one of the Best Attorneys of America, received the second largest products liability verdict in Texas, and currently Lead Liaison Counsel In Re: Fraudulent Hospital Lien Litigation, MDL-15-0360. Moore Law Firm seeks to practice law and represent clients aggressively as Mr. Moore has established himself as a distinguished litigator in South Texas.