A recent report published by NerdWallet ranked Atlanta the seventh most dangerous city for drivers in America. In addition to the rankings, the study — understandably — found that larger cities were more dangerous than their less populated counterparts. The highest risks were mostly concentrated in the South, as well as along the East Coast. The analysis also found that people who live in these dangerous, high-risk cities pay about 47 percent more for their car insurance than people living in other cities.
How does Atlanta measure up to the rest of the nation?
The study examined large cities across the nation, and ranked them based on a number of criteria including the average number of years between accidents, the likelihood of having an accident, and the number of fatal accidents per 100,000 residents. Atlanta ranked seventh in the nation, according to the final statistics.
Atlanta drivers average seven years between accidents — more than twice as often as the national average of 17.9 years, according to insurance industry estimates — and there are 10.7 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents in the Atlanta area. The likelihood of an Atlanta driver crashing relative to the national average was 43.8 percent.
While these numbers may not mean much on their own, when you compare them to the top ranked safest city in the U.S. — Cary, North Carolina — the difference is astounding. Drivers in Cary have an average of 11.6 years between crashes, and only 1.3 fatal wrecks per 100,000 residents annually. The likelihood of having an accident in Cary is -13.8 percent relative to the national average.
Detroit, ranked the most dangerous city in the U.S. for drivers, averaged 16.2 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents.
How did NerdWallet determine their rankings?
NerdWallet used five criteria to rank the country’s largest cities based on the risk they posed to drivers. These metrics included:
- Fatal crash rate
- Likelihood of an accident relative to other cities on the list
- Number of years that drivers went between crashes
- Auto break-in rates
- Stolen vehicle rates
The rate of fatal accidents made up the single largest portion of the ranking at 30 percent. This data came from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the U.S. Census Bureau.
The likelihood of an accident and the average years that drivers had between accidents each composed 20 percent of the score. Those numbers came from the 2015 version of Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report. The information about auto break-ins and stolen vehicles composed 15 percent of the total ranking each.
What does this mean for Atlanta drivers?
Most drivers who have driven (or sat in traffic) on Atlanta highways know that our city can be a dangerous place in which to drive, but hopefully, this ranking will show Atlanta drivers that they need to take more caution while driving to prevent accidents.