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Buckle up: How Valley cities rank among nation's most dangerous, safest places for drivers

Friday, November 8, 2019   /   by Juan Grimaldo

Buckle up: How Valley cities rank among nation's most dangerous, safest places for drivers

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By Phoenix Business Journal staff

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, tops a new study on the most dangerous cities in the United States for drivers — but two cities in Louisiana and Georgia cracked the top 10.

The Car Insurance Companies study, based on 2017 data, created a composite score based on factors including traffic-related deaths, the likelihood of getting in a wreck and vehicle theft rate. Car Insurance Companies curates driving data for consumers.

Phoenix came in at No. 35 in the study of 183 U.S. cities, and the main reason it was in the top 35 was the fact that it had the second-highest number of traffic-related deaths that year (249). Los Angeles led the nation that year in traffic deaths with 257, while Houston was at No. 3 (245) and New York City was at No. 4 (207).

Phoenix scored better than the very worst cities on the list for relative collision likelihood, only 13.4% above the national average. The fact that the Valley has few days with precipitation, when traffic accidents typically increase, also helped the overall score for Phoenix.

Phoenix had 7,653 auto thefts that year but scores far better than, for example, Albuquerque, New Mexico, which had 7,684 auto thefts, but has a rate of 1,376 per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the country. The large population in Phoenix means the auto theft rate is only 471 per 100,000 people.

The safest place to drive in the Valley according to the study is Gilbert, with the lowest fatality rate in the area per 100,000 drivers.

There were 37,133 deaths from crashes nationwide in 2017. This study shows an average driver experiences a crash once every 10.6 years.

These are the study's top 5 most dangerous cities:


  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  2. Savannah, Georgia

  3. Dallas

  4. Detroit

  5. St. Louis, Missouri.

Here's how other cities in the Valley fared:

      • Tempe (No. 66): Oonly 25 traffic fatalities, collision likelihood only 6.9% above national averageTucson (No. 76): 64 traffic fatalities but a low fatality rate per 100,000 drivers of 11.9; collision likelihood actually 1.7% lower than the national average

      • Glendale (No. 79): An even lower fatality rate of 9.7 per 100,000 drivers; 24 total fatalities; likelihood of collision 14.7% above the national average

      • Mesa (No. 151): Fatality rate of only 7.9 per 100,000 drivers but had 39 fatalities in total; much lower likelihood of a collision at 8.9% below national average

      • Scottsdale (No. 171): Fatality rate only 6 per 100,000 drivers with 15 total fatalities; also low likelihood of collision at 9.1% below national average

      • Peoria (No. 178): Fatality rate of 4.2 per 100,000 drivers and 7 total fatalities; likelihood of collision 2.5% below national average

      • Chandler (No. 180): Fatality rate of 3.9 per 100,000 drivers and 10 total fatalities; likelihood of collision 5.7% below national average

      • Gilbert (No. 181): Fatality rate of 3.3 per 100,000 drivers and 8 total fatalities; likelihood of collision 1.6% below national average

When looking at the top 25 most dangerous cities, Texas is tied with California and Florida for the states with the most.

When looking at the top 25 most dangerous cities, Texas is tied with California and Florida for the states with the most.

Keller Williams Realty Professional Partners - The Grimaldo Group
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Glendale, AZ 85308
480-365-8346

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