Most Dangerous Driving Destinations in the US

Posted Oct 11th 2010 12:09 PMUpdated Feb 7th 2011 08:44 AM

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Driving a rental car in a new city can prevent challenges: Can you turn right on red? What's the deal with jug handles? But some cities present more of a challenge than others.

According to the 2010 Allstate America's Best Drivers Report, not all destinations are equal when it comes to driving safety. The sixth annual report ranks America's 193 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency and the bottom dwellers include some of the most popular cities in the U.S. for travelers. One surprising find? New York City, by far the country's most populated city, ranked 35th from the bottom of the list.

Below are five popular cities that rank on or at the bottom of Allstate's list. It's worth shopping around for the best car rental deals, since you'll be splurging on the extra accident insurance coverage.

Have you ever crashed a rental car in these cities? We want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below.

Dangerous Destinations for Drivers

Kevitivity, flickr
5. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is known for brutal traffic jams and slow crawls that add hours to the shortest drives. And Allstate found that drivers in Los Angeles are 45 percent more likely to be involved in an auto accident than the national average. We can only assume that road rage played a part in a sizable share of those incidents.

Dangerous Destinations for Drivers

Ronnie Macdonald, flickr
4. San Francisco, California
It's little wonder the City by the Bay ranked near the bottom of Allstate's list, a distinction it has held every year of the report. "A city of one-way streets, near-vertical hills and kamikaze bike messengers, San Francisco puts visiting drivers to the test. For the most part, public transportation is your best bet," cautions the San Francisco Chronicle. And when the public transportation is one of the most iconic symbols of the city, that isn't bad advice. Park the car at the hotel and hop on a cable car.

Dangerous Destinations for Drivers

Wikimedia Commons
3. Providence, Rhode Island
With an estimated population of 171,557 residents, Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the least populous cities hovering near the bottom of Allstate's list. The reason behind this distinction is the outdated infrastructure. The city's highway system, built to accommodate just 75,000 vehicles a day, has become overrun with more than 160,000 vehicles daily. But it may get better soon enough. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is undergoing a $610 million project, known as the Iway, that will improve traffic flow and safety while relocating the harried I-195 and I-95 intersections.

Dangerous Destinations for Drivers

Tony the Misfit, flickr
2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
There are lots of things to do in the City of Brotherly Love. Take a jog up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, get grossed out at the Mutter Museum, then (if you can stomach it) eat lunch at the Reading Terminal Market. One thing you may not want to do: get behind the wheel. Drivers in Philadelphia assume a roughly 53 percent greater likelihood of experiencing an auto accident than the national average.

Dangerous Destinations for Drivers

Joe Shlabotnik, flickr
1. Washington, D.C.
The nation's capital bottoms out Allstate's list as the most dangerous U.S. city for drivers. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever tried to navigate Route 50. Not helping matters is the fact that Baltimore, a short drive away, ranked second from the bottom on the list. That's a one-two punch of driving peril in our nation's Capitol.

Best in Class
Want to know which cities rank as the safest places to drive? Book a trip to Fort Collins, Colorado, where you can make a trip to the Discovery Center Science Museum without worry. Or how about a visit to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a stop at the National Knife Museum? Rounding out the top five are Boise, Idaho, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Knoxville, Tennessee.


Filed Under: Tips & Tricks