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Here Are the 10 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities on the Roads in 2024

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Daniel Rufiange
American roads remain more dangerous than those in Canada.

•   Here is a list of the 10 most dangerous U.S. cities, as compiled by Forbes.

It's often said that road safety in our part of the world has improved in recent years. In Canada, that's true, but south of the border, the reality is quite different. Roads are clearly more dangerous in the United States. 

The figures speak for themselves. In Canada, in 2021, there were 1,768 fatalities as a result of road accidents. Proportionally, the total should be 10 times higher in the United States, but that's not the case. During the same period, 42,939 people died on American roads. This is the highest total since 2005, and well more than double the Canadian total, proportionally.

We're willing to believe that some places are more densely populated, but the difference is shocking. And in some cities, the data are more alarming than others. 

The Forbes Advisor group analyzed figures from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the equivalent of Transport Canada, and the U.S. Census Bureau for the country's 50 most populous cities. Focusing on fatal accidents, it crunched that data to determine which cities are the most dangerous to drive in. 

Forbes' calculation took into account five parameters, all based on the number and type of fatal accidents per 100,000 inhabitants: 

  • - the total number of fatal accidents
  • - the number involving drink-driving
  • - the number related to distracted driving
  • - the number related to speeding
  • - the number of people killed 
Albuquerque
Albuquerque | Photo: YouTube/ABQ RAW

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities, taking all five factors into account:

  • - Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • - Memphis, Tennessee
  • - Detroit, Michigan
  • - Tucson, Arizona
  • - Kansas City, Missouri
  • - Dallas, Texas
  • - Louisville, Kentucky
  • - Phoenix, Arizona
  • - Fort Worth, Texas
  • - Tampa, Florida

Albuquerque has the highest number of fatal accidents involving drivers or others focused on something other than driving. Albuquerque didn't finish lower than third in any other category, which explains the dubious honour it has of holding first spot. 

Memphis dominated three categories: most fatal accidents, most accidents involving a drunk driver and most people killed. The city avoided the top spot due to its 8th place for distracted driving and its 40th for fatal accidents involving speeding.

And Kansas City has the highest number of fatal accidents involving speeding.

California has the highest number of cities (9) in the bad driver rankings, but none higher than 22nd. 

The moral of the story? The importance of being aware at all times of the dangers that the road can represent, no matter where you are... but especially in one of the cities mentioned, if ever your travels take you through one of them.

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2023 Nissan Kicks | Photo: D.Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists