15 Dangerous Cities for Driving

CNBC

The 14th-most dangerous driving city: Birmingham, Ala.

The 14th-most dangerous driving city: Birmingham, Ala.

There are many ways one could gauge the danger of driving in a particular city, but this list uses the cities with the greatest number of vehicular deaths as a barometer of the danger level. U.S. cities with a population of 150,000 or more were up for consideration, using the most recent motor vehicle crash data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and General Estimates System.

One particular region of the country, the South, is overrepresented, and within that region one state in particular sticks out like a panhandle: A full one-third of the cities in this list are in Florida. Why does Florida rank so badly? Some blame the high proportion of New York City expats—some driving for the first time in their lives — foreigners, tourists driving in unfamiliar territory, and senior citizens, not to mention spring breakers, who may have compromised vision or reflexes.

Los Angeles didn’t make the most dangerous list, but had the most total fatalities overall, at 293. The city that’s the most dangerous for pedestrians, according to the data, is Pittsburgh, accounting for more than 50 percent of total fatalities.

Here are the 15 cities that ranked the worst:

15. Oklahoma City, Okla.
Population: 551,789
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 13.41
Total fatalities: 74
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 13.5

14. Birmingham, Ala.
Population: 228,798
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 13.55
Total fatalities: 31
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 15.2

13. Tulsa, Okla.
Population: 385,635
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 14.00
Total fatalities: 54
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 18.5

12. St. Petersburg, Fla.
Population: 245,314
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 14.27
Total fatalities: 35
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 28.6

11. Jacksonville, Fla.
Population: 807,815
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 14.36
Total fatalities: 116
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 13.8

10. Lubbock, Texas
Population: 220,483
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 14.97
Total fatalities: 33
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 15.2

9. Memphis, Tenn.
Population: 669,651
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 15.08
Total fatalities: 101
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 11.9

8. Jackson, Miss.
Population: 173,861
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 15.53
Total fatalities: 27
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 18.5

7. Chattanooga, Tenn.
Population: 170,880
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 16.39
Total fatalities: 28
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 17.9

6. Salt Lake City, Utah
Population: 181,698
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 16.51
Total fatalities: 30
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 26.7

5. San Bernardino, Calif.
Population: 198,580
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 17.12
Total fatalities: 38
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 15.8

4. Little Rock, Ark.
Population: 189,515
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 17.94
Total fatalities: 34
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 26.5

3. Augusta-Richmond Co., Ga.
Population: 194,149
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 19.57
Total fatalities: 38
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 15.8

2. Orlando, Fla.
Population: 230,519
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 19.95
Total fatalities: 46
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 10.9

The most dangerous city to drive in: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The most dangerous city to drive in: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

1. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Population: 183,126
Total fatality rate per 100,000 population: 22.39
Total fatalities: 41
Percentage of fatalities that were pedestrians: 24.4


On the safer end of the spectrum, here are the 10 cities with the least fatalities per 100,000 population:

Arlington CDP (census designated place), Va. (0.48)
Vancouver, Wash. (1.23)
Moreno Valley, Calif. (1.57)
Rochester, N.Y. (1.93)
Spokane, Wash. (1.98)
Lincoln, Neb. (1.99)
Aurora, Ill. (2.33)
St. Paul, Minn. (2.50)
Omaha, Neb. (2.51)
Jersey City, N.J. (2.90)

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