Special Report

America’s Worst Cities to Drive In

Automobiles have drastically changed our world since their conception in the late 1800s. They have expanded our range and reshaped the ways our cities and neighborhoods are designed. While they have given us considerable mobility, their speed can be dangerous.

According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents were the second-leading cause of accidental death in the United States in 2020. The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that nearly 43,000 Americans died from motor vehicle accidents in 2021, a 10.5% increase from 2020. (Here are the deadliest states to drive.)

The number of road fatalities continues to trend in the wrong direction in 2022, with estimated fatalities in the first quarter of 2022 up 7% from the same period in 2021. Motor vehicle deaths have seen a steady decrease from 1975 until the past few years. (Here are the worst car accidents in America since the 1990s.)

Certain cities can be especially dangerous for driving. Some have poorly designed roads and traffic layouts that increase the likelihoods of accidents. Others are regularly affected by inclement weather, like snow and ice, that makes driving more perilous. Others are highly congested or have roads in poor conditions, while drunk driving is more prevalent in some cities.

Dangerous driving cities are not unique to any certain part of the country. To identify the worst cities to drive in, 24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index to measure driving and road conditions in 376 metropolitan statistical areas. The index consists six measures: the shares of deadly vehicle accidents caused by weather and by poor roadway conditions; the number of deadly accidents for every 100,000 people; the share of driving deaths involving alcohol; the average annual time lost to traffic congestion; and the average price of a regular gallon of gas at the state level on Nov. 28, 2022.

Click here to see America’s worst cities to drive in.

Click here to read our detailed methodology.

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