Detroit’s unsafe streets (to drive)

No one has ever gone on record calling Detroit a safe city, but it now has the prestige of being the most dangerous city in the country to drive in. According to nerdwallet, Detroit matches up quite poorly compared to other major cities in the US.

To start with, it has the highest probability of a car being stolen and the highest probability of a car being broken into. Such stats would be bad enough, but the city also has the second highest rate of fatal car crashes per 100,000 residents at 16.2 (only Baton Rouge scored worse in this category with a 16.6). Detroit’s insurance rates are also astronomical, a major sign of danger because insurance companies charge more for more risk (since it’s more likely they will have to pay out). The average insurance rate in Detroit is over $5,000, compared to Baton Rouge (which, remember actually had a worse accident-related death score), which charges on average about $2,600 (the difference being because of the theft and break in rates were much lower in Baton Rouge).

Finally, driving in Detroit means a driver has a 16.6 percent higher chance of getting into an accident than in the average American city. For a truly stunning comparison, there is a more than 30 percent differential between Detroit and the safest city nerdwallet studied. That means that a driver in Cary, North Carolina has a 30 percent better shot of avoiding an accident than if that same driver were driving in Detroit. The difference in insurance rates between the two cities was $4,680.

All of this means, if you live in Detroit, you are likely to be in an accident once in about every eight and a half years. And, since the rate of fatal crashes is so high, the probability of a truly dangerous crash the next time around is extremely worrisome.

While these facts may mean excellent business for Detroit-based car accident attorneys, they are bad news for everyone else. With all of Detroit’s problems, the city hardly needs the reputation of also being unsafe even to drive through.

In all likelihood, the best way to remove Detroit from this list is also the best way to fix the city as a whole, which is hardly the easiest task, as most would admit.

If Detroit’s overall poverty could be successfully addressed, that would mean fewer instances of car theft and break-ins. That alone would lower Detroit’s insurance costs, and its score would certainly go down.

However, the overall problem of such a high rate of accidents, and fatal accidents at that would require further study to search for the proper solutions. It may be, for instance, that the rate is higher in Detroit because of the wintry weather, however many other northern cities do not seem to suffer from the same trouble.

All of this, unfortunately, is all speculation. For now, Detroit’s troubles look to remain with the city, at least in the near term, which means its new reputation for an unsafe driving city is likely to stick around too.