Southern US city ranked as worst for deadly car accidents in the country, study says

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If you want to avoid getting into a car accident, you might want to stick to walking in Memphis instead of driving.

The Tennessee city was ranked as the place with the highest rate of deadly car accidents in the U.S., according to a study by the ConsumerAffairs research team.

Car crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2022 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the NHTSA’s Crash Report Sampling System helped determine the rankings. 

The ConsumerAffairs report contains deadly and non-deadly accident data for cars, light trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans. Each city and state were ranked by the number of car crashes per 100,000 people in the defined area. 

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Memphis topped the list of 195 U.S. cities analyzed, with 207 deadly car crashes in 2022 – marking 33.33 per 100,000 – nearly triple the nationwide rate of 11.77 per 100,000 people.

“This finding may not surprise ConsumerAffairs readers, as Memphis was the top-ranked city in our worst drivers in America study last year,” the consumer news platform said.

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Rounding out the top 10 are Daytona Beach, Florida; Ocala, Florida; Macon, Georgia; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Albany, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; Tucson, Ariz. and St. Louis, Missouri. 

While Memphis had the highest rate of fatal crashes per 100,000, it was sixth for total number of deadly crashes for 2022. Los Angeles topped that list with 341, followed by Houston, Phoenix, New York City, and Dallas.

On the other end of the spectrum, Reading, Pennsylvania, was determined to be the city with the lowest rate of car crashes in 2022, with 1.05 accidents per 100,000 people. 

“Reading was one of four with only one fatal car accident the whole year. The others were Passaic, New Jersey; Ames, Iowa; and Iowa City, Iowa,” ConsumerAffairs said. 

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New York City ranked low for crashes per 100,000. While its 228 deadly accidents were fourth highest in the nation, this was relativesly low given a population of more than 8 million people, many of whom use public transportation.

ConsumerAffairs recommends drivers “get good car insurance and an auto warranty,” stating that most car insurance packages cover car damage or anyone who gets hurt during a crash.