STATEN ISLAND, NY — Despite New York City’s longstanding reputation for aggressive drivers, a recent survey of national highway data revealed the 10 most dangerous U.S. cities and states to drive — and New York didn’t even make the list.
But will that change?
The recently published study of The Clunker Junker found that of the 10 most dangerous cities to drive to between 2016-2020, six were in the South, three in the Midwest and one in the West. Most cities were medium-sized metropolitan areas with a mix of urban and suburban development.
However, studies show that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to more speeding violations and an increase in the number of road deaths. Recent city data shows that Staten Island speed cameras generated more than $3.8 million in fines in the first four months of 2022.
Ask any Staten Islander and they’ll tell you the roads here are now more dangerous than ever. Recent fatalities, including the death of three teens on Staten Island linked to high-speed travel could prove their point. And, according to recent NYPD data, there were 16 motor vehicle collisions in May 2022 along Amboy Road, six injured and three within a five-minute drive of Monsignor Farrell High School, where students reportedly shoot across the road and dodge speeding traffic on a daily basis.
Nationally, the number of motor vehicle deaths per capita has fallen by more than half over the past 50 years, from 26.8 per 100,000 Americans in 1970 to 12.9 per 100,000 in 2020, the National Safety Council reported.
On a global scale, car accident injuries are the eighth leading cause of death worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the leading cause of death for people 29 and younger.
Still, other states have had it worse than New York in recent years, according to Clunker Junker’s study, based on data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Researchers for the Clunker Junker study then ranked states and cities based on their number of annual car accidents per 100,000 registered vehicles.
Baton Rouge, La., was found to be the most dangerous city, with 24.9 accidents per 100,000 vehicles, the study found.
After Baton Rouge, the following cities complete the top 10: Memphis, Tenn.; Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Mo.; Albuquerque, NM; Dallas, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City, Mo.; Tucson, Arizona, and Tampa, Florida.
Statewide, New York residents were involved in 16.1 accidents per 100,000 vehicles, landing in 10th place, the Clunker Junker study found.
Neighboring New Jersey had 9.2 accidents per 100,000 according to that 2016-2020 data, and Connecticut had 9.4 per 100,000, the study found. Mississippi is the most dangerous state to drive, with 30.1 accidents per 100,000 vehicles per year, it reported. And it found Minnesota the safest state, with only 6.1 accidents per 100,000 vehicles per year.