See where Charlotte ranks among US cities with the worst drivers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Are blocked lanes from fender-benders part of your daily commute? Does the thought of driving through South End induce anxiety? Are you pushing for the Interstate 277 exit onto Davidson Street to become an Olympic sport?

These terrifying thoughts are mostly warranted, according to new data published by Forbes Advisor. That’s because Charlotte ranked 15th in the country for having the worst drivers.

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The finance website said that fatal car accidents are increasing across the country, with the number climbing by nearly 10 percent from 2020 to 2022. In some cities, there is a higher percentage of dangerous drivers on the road.

To determine which cities have the worst drivers, Forbes Advisor compared the 50 most populated U.S. cities across five key metrics. The analysis identifies the cities where drivers engage in the most hazardous behavior that threatens public safety.

Coming in at No. 1 is Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a “perfect” score of 100. The city has a significantly higher number of crashes involving a distracted driver, 5.42 per 100,000, the only city in the top 10 higher than 1.5.

Memphis is the second-ranked city (98.51), with the highest number of people killed in crashes: 25.96 per 100,000 people. The city also tops the list for crashes involving a drunk driver at 7.5 per capita.

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Most cities in the top 10 are either in the South or Southwestern U.S.

As for the Queen City, the 15th ranking comes from a score of 70.72. Charlotte has 10.18 fatal accidents per capita and 3.81 fatal accidents involving a drunk driver.

Just behind Charlotte is Atlanta in 16th (70.47).

Three of the top 10 cities with the best drivers are located in California, including San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego.

Forbes Advisor compared the 50 most populated cities using 2022 Census data using the following metrics:

  • Number of fatal car accidents: 24% of score.

  • Number of fatal car accidents involving a drunk driver (blood alcohol concentration levels of 0.08+): 19% of score.

  • Number of fatal car accidents involving a distracted driver: 19% of score.

  • Number of fatal car accidents involving speeding: 19% of score.

  • Number of people killed in fatal crashes: 19% of score.

Forbes Advisor said drivers’ behavior behind the wheel directly impacts how much they pay for car insurance. Insurance companies carefully analyze data on policy-holders’ accident rates, traffic violations and claims history to calculate your premium.

Getting speeding tickets, running red lights, texting while driving and other reckless behaviors all raise the chance of accidents and damage claims. Forbes says this makes drivers a greater liability in the eyes of insurers.

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