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Strap in: Cities with the Most Car Accidents (2019)

Click here to see the Cities With the Most Accidents report for 2021.

These cities are on a collision course for the most accident-prone communities in America.

Imagine it’s a bright spring day, and you’re driving down the road with your windows down and music playing. The song isn’t quite living up to your mood, so you glance down to find a better one. That’s when it happens. You rear-end the car in front of you. Distracted by your floating moment as an auto-DJ, you didn’t notice the driver ahead of you tap their brakes.

Unfortunately, not all traffic incidents end as minor fender benders—some can carry serious consequences. From property damage to total vehicles to fatalities, car crashes can have serious and long-lasting effects beyond the spike an offending driver can expect to see in their auto insurance premium. Over 37,000 people died from car crashes in 2017 alone, according to the annual report of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, while grim in subject matter, the report’s findings were not all bad news. The US Department of Transportation has been tracking annual car crash deaths for 40 years, and in that time, the mortality rate has dropped by half.

That said, while death rates have been falling across the US, some cities still remain hotspots for these car crashes. Accidents are costly, dangerous, and can significantly increase your auto insurance quotes; so it’s worth knowing which areas see them more often than others. With this in mind, the data scientists at Insurify, an auto insurance quotes comparison website, crunched the numbers to determine which communities had the highest per capita share of drivers with an at-fault accident on their record. Is your town on the list?

Insights

National averages. Across all 50 states, an average of 12.02 percent of motorists have an at-fault accident on their record since the past seven years. Beyond that, 2.15 percent of car owners have a DUI charge on their history. In addition to suspended licenses or more expensive car insurance policies, each of these offenses carries serious, potentially fatal risks. Every time a driver or passenger leaves their driveway, they are exposed to the risk of a car crash, whether caused by themselves or another motorist. The most time that an average person spends in a vehicle is during their daily commute to work. Across the US, the average length of this commute is 26.1 minutes, according to the US Census Bureau. Top of the class. This ranking identifies the city with the highest accident rate in each state. However, seven states ( Nevada, West Virginia, New Mexico, Montana, Illinois, Mississippi, and Michigan ) do not have a single city with a share of accident-prone drivers larger than the national average. Less safety in South Carolina. Though this ranking focuses on the highest-offending cities by state, some of those states have many more high-accident communities than others. No state demonstrates this better than South Carolina, which is home to 60 percent of the top 25 cities for accidents nationwide.

Top US Cities with the Most Car Accidents

1. Johns Island, South Carolina – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 20.42%

2. Silver Spring, Maryland – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 17.50%

3. Frisco, Texas – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 17.25%

4. Woodbridge, Virginia – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 17.24%

5. Roseville, California – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.44%

6. Buffalo, New York – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.42%

7. Gresham, Oregon – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.35%

8. Woodstock, Georgia – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.32%

9. Everett, Washington – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.28%

10. West Jordan, Utah – Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.88%

Methodology

The data science team at Insurify, an auto insurance comparison website, ran the numbers from their database of over 1.6 million car insurance applications to identify the community in each state with the most accident-prone drivers. Applicants provide driver history, vehicle, and personal information including whether or not they have any at-fault accident on their record from the past seven years. This share of car owners was then analyzed against the city’s drivers as a whole to determine the percentage of past offenders by city. The city with the highest percentage in each state was selected, and the top 20 are reported here. Data on average DUI rate per city also originated from the Insurify database, and statistics on the average amount of time Americans spend commuting to work in each city are from City-Data.

20. Charlotte, North Carolina

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 14.36%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.67%Commute time: 23.7 minutes

19. Washington, D.C.

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 14.59%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 0.74%Commute time: 29 minutes

18. Fayetteville, Arkansas

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 14.68%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 4.17%Commute time: 17.9 minutes

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17. Lincoln, Nebraska

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.12%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 4.49%Commute time: 18.3 minutes

16. Cincinnati, Ohio

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.29%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.61%Commute time: 21.6 minutes

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15. Pensacola, Fla.

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.58%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 0.68%Commute time: 19.8 minutes

14. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.59%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 3.29%Commute time: 20.2 minutes

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13. Littleton, Colo.

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.74%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 3.60%Commute time: 23.3 minutes

12. Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.76%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.85%Commute time: 25.3 minutes

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11. Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.82%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 0.82%Commute time: 24.8 minutes

10. West Jordan, Utah

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 15.88%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.69%Commute time: 22.0 minutes

9. Everett, Washington

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.28%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.86%Commute time: 28.9 minutes

8. Woodstock, Ga.

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.32%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 2.41%Commute time: 35.0 minutes

7. Gresham, Oregon

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.35%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 2.69%Commute time: 27.3 minutes

6. Buffalo, New York

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.42%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.30%Commute time: 20.9 minutes

5. Roseville, Calif.

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 16.44%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 4.30%Commute time: 22.7 minutes

4. Woodbridge, Va.

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 17.24%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.90%Commute time: 37.5 minutes

3. Frisco, Texas

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 17.25%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 2.25%Commute time: 27.9 minutes

2.Silver Spring, Maryland

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 17.50%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.27%Commute time: 34.3 minutes

1. Johns Island, South Carolina

Percentage of drivers with prior at-fault accident: 20.42%Percentage of drivers with prior DUI: 1.30%Commute time: 26.8 minutes

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If you have questions or comments about this article, please contact insights@insurify.com

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