You may be thinking – “Sid, why would pose such a silly question? Of course car accidents are more common in bigger cities like Nashville and Memphis.”
Newly released data from Allstate though sheds some light on this assumption, showing that a city’s population has little to no bearing on the frequency of car accidents. It’s true – some larger cities like New York do see a higher number of collisions, but so do cities a fraction of their size. In Allstate’s report, they define a car accident as any incident where a claim is filed.
Some background – Allstate’s study looked at crash/claim data from 195 cities where populations ranged between 125,000 to around 8 million.
From Allstate’s data, cities with the lowest frequency of car accidents include:
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Boise Idaho
- Ft. Collins, Colorado
Cities with the highest frequency of car accidents include:
- Washington, DC
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Providence, Rhode Island
Populations for these 3 cities vary from 146,000 to over 619,000.
Some charts put together by Nate Berg at the Atlantic shed some other interesting insights we can gather from Allstate’s study. For example, cities a fraction of the size of the largest city (New York) experience nearly the same frequency of collisions. Only 9 of the 195 cities looked at have populations over 1 million, so it can be hard to and actually misleading to suggest a larger city sees more car accidents.
To address this dilemma, a separate chart that only included cities with populations ranging from 125,000 to 250,000 was plotted. This chart included 121 of the 195 cities.
From this chart, it’s easy to see there is no discernible pattern or correlation between a city’s population and the frequency of car accidents…simply speaking, some cities experience a higher frequency of car accidents, regardless of their size.
Where did cities in Tennessee fall on the list in terms of frequency of car accidents?
Knoxville came in at #9 on the list where the frequency of car accidents is 18.1% less likely than the national average. On average, drivers go 12.2 years between collisions.
To illustrate the lack of a correlation between population and car accidents, Providence, RI, which was number 3 on the list has roughly the same population as Knoxville but has a much higher frequency of car accidents. The average time between collisions is only 5.6 years.
We’re pleased to see our hometown of Knoxville is a relatively safe place to drive!!