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Consider this your warning if you’re driving the highways and byways of America. There is one city that is the most dangerous to drive through, according to a recent survey. From National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, the City of Detroit tops all other metropolitan cities as the most dangerous to drive in and through. 

SellMax, a retail buyer and seller of vehicles in the San Diego area, says, “From distracted drivers and treacherous road conditions to drunk drivers, anytime you get behind the wheel of a car, there’s a very real possibility of a fatal car accident occurring.” It looked for three criteria: the total number of driving fatalities, fatalities from driving under the influence, and fatalities from speeding. Then, all three figures were put together to determine a final score. 

Why is Detroit the most dangerous city to drive in?

Parked Detroit Police car in city
Detroit Metro Police | Raymond Boyd via Getty

Detroit didn’t score the absolute worst in each category, but it is the combined number that puts the city into the overall worst category for dangerous driving. Here’s how it came out: 0.15%-third worst for driving fatalities, 0.017%-fourth worst for fatalities from driving under the influence, and 0.034%-third worst for fatalities involving speeding. 

Statistically, Detroit was the worst city overall, according to the Detroit Freep. No. 2 is Dallas, with No. 3 being Tucson, Arizona. And the three safest cities to drive in? They are New York, Boston, and Jersey City, New Jersey. 

Which states are the most dangerous to drive in?

White car at Packard plant
Driving past Packard plant in Detroit | Spencer Platt via Getty

When it comes to states with the statistically highest driving fatalities, it is also taken from NHTSA data. The numbers reflect deaths from car accidents per 100,000. For this stat, the five worst are: 

Mississippi at 25.4 per 100,000 people. It has the lowest seatbelt use, and it is also the worst state for distracted driving.

Wyoming at 22. It is the top state for DUIs. 

Arkansas at 21.2. The state attributes the high number to rises in both speeding and DUIs. 

South Carolina at 20.7. Consumer Affairs cites South Carolina as having some of the worst roads in the U.S.

Montana at 19.6. The stats say 66% of driving fatalities involve drunk driving.

Which states have the fewest highway fatalities?

"Greetings from Massachusetts" vintage post card
“Greetings from Massachusetts” | Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty

In the least fatalities per 100,000 category:

Massachusetts with 4.9. It has harsher jail times and penalties for DUIs.

Washington D.C. tying with New York at 5.2

Hawaii at 5.9. It has the lowest speed limits in the U.S.

Rhode Island with 6.9 

Also related is the effects these stats have on insurance premiums. For that, Michigan tops the list for the highest premiums, partially due to population density. The lowest insurance premiums are in Iowa. With its low population density and rural setting, it keeps rates lowest in the U.S.


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