The Most Dangerous Cities for Driving in 2021

Infographic showing the 20 cities with the most incident-prone drivers in the nation in 2021.

With alarmingly high rates of speeding, traffic collisions, and intoxicated driving, these twenty cities have the most dangerous drivers in the nation in 2021.

Wintertime driving can stress out even the most seasoned drivers. With fewer hours of sunlight, inclement weather conditions, and increased congestion due to holiday traffic, winter is not always the most fun time to be out on the roads. Dangerous driving behavior, such as speeding, collisions, and impaired driving (including drunk, drugged, and distracted driving), is also more prevalent towards the end of the calendar year.

The outcomes of dangerous driving during the holidays are staggering: from 2014 to 2018, there were more than 4,000 drunk-driving-related fatalities during the month of December alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Not only are drivers more likely to get behind the wheel inebriated during the holidays, but the overall influx of traffic can lead to frustrated drivers who are more likely to disregard driving laws, unfortunately resulting in a higher likelihood of speeding and accidents. To identify where drivers could exercise extra caution while traveling this holiday season, the research team at Insurify turned to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications.

Methodology

The research team at Insurify, a site to compare auto insurance rates, referred to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to determine the twenty most dangerous cities for drivers in 2021. When applying for car insurance, users disclose their city and state of residence and any prior moving violations on their driving record within the past seven years. Across 555 U.S. cities, Insurify’s research team calculated the proportion of drivers with one or more of the following violations: speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and DUIs. The twenty cities with the greatest shares of drivers with these violations on record were identified as the most dangerous cities for drivers. 

In this study, cities were designated using the United States Census Bureau’s classification of an “urbanized area,” defined as an urban area with a population over 50,000. 

The findings in this article represent statistical trends found in Insurify’s database of over 4 million car insurance applications. The findings of this study are not meant to imply the direction nor necessarily the existence of a causal relationship. Rather, this is a presentation of statistical correlations of public interest.


20 Cities with the Most Dangerous Drivers

20. Kennewick, WA

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 29.14% (31% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 19.4%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 9.7%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.5%

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19. Youngstown, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 29.16% (31% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 13.8%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 12.8%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.5%

18. North Charleston, SC

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 29.25% (32% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 13.2%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 15.2%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.3%

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17. Columbia, SC

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 29.38% (32% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 14.8%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.7%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 0.9%

16. Flagstaff, AZ

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 29.39% (32% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 13.3%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.1%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.8%

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15. Toledo, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 29.40% (32% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 14.4%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 13.3%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.1%

14. Racine, WI

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 29.82% (34% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.1%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 11.5%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 2.9%

13. Milwaukee, WI

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 29.90% (35% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 17.8%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 12.5%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 2.4%

12. Dayton, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 30.49% (37% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 17.5%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 13.2%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 2.6%

11. Arvada, CO

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 30.51% (37% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.1%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.0%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.0%

10. Auburn, AL

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 30.69% (38% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.6%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 16.0%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.6%

9. Columbus, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 30.75% (38% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.6%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 13.1%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.4%

8. Des Moines, IA

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 30.82% (39% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 18.0%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 11.9%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.7%

7. Charleston, SC

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 30.92% (39% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 14.9%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 15.7%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 1.8%

6. Canton, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 31.01% (40% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.3%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 12.8%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 5.3%

5. Cincinnati, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 31.15% (40% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.4%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.5%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 2.9%

4. Akron, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 31.64% (42% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 16.1%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 14.5%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 3.8%

3. Lorain, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 31.90% (44% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 17.8%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 12.5%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 2.4%

2. Springfield, OH

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 32.62% (47% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 17.1%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 13.4%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 4.6%

1. Lincoln, NE

  • Drivers with at least one dangerous infraction on record: 33.59% (51% greater than the national average)
  • Drivers with a speeding ticket: 15.0%
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident: 16.1%
  • Drivers with a DUI violation: 4.7%

Data Attribution

The information, statistics, and data visualizations on this page are free to use, we just ask that you attribute any full or partial use to Insurify with a link to this page. Thank you!

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

Updated November 15, 2021

Insurify Insights

Insurify’s team of data scientists and content specialists presents Insurify Insights, a series of automotive, home, and health studies focusing on the topics that impact us all. Through expert analysis of over 4 million car insurance applications and an array of top data sources, the Insurify Insights team produces new data-driven articles, trend analyses, regional superlatives, and national rankings every week. See Insurify Insights as featured in Forbes, Fox News, USA Today, NPR, and more.