It's a dubious distinction but one that anyone driving through the State of Georgia should be aware of. Two of our metropolitan areas recently made the list of America's most dangerous cities, based on national auto insurance claims statistics.
Number seven on the list, Atlanta, probably won't surprise too many people. As a southeast regional hub, millions of cars drive on the interstates, highways and roads through the area every day. The other city, though, might surprise you.
That other city
Anyone who drives regularly through southeastern Georgia won't be too surprised to learn that Augusta comes in at number 19 on the list of 20 most dangerous cities for drivers. In fact, eight of the top 20 on the list are in cities in the Southeast region of the U.S., making our region the most dangerous.
How were the statistics compiled?
The statistics were compiled across several different categores:
1. Average years local drivers go between accidents
2. Likelihood of getting into an accidents relative to the national average
3. Fatal accidents per 100,000 residents
The numbers were then compiled into a relative score and rated against other metropolitan areas.
What does it mean for drivers in Georgia?
First, the dollar costs: Auto insurance companies make a direct correlation between where cities fall on the list and auto policy rates for local residents. Unfortunately, that means that even the safest drivers in Atlanta and Augusta are likely to pay higher rates than their safest counterparts in other cities.
Every driver in Georgia has likely felt the pinch of higher car insurance rates that hit in 2016. In fact, Georgia drivers suffered one of the highest annual premium increases in the nation this year. According to the insurance report, drivers in the cities listed among the 20 most dangerous paid an average of 47% more in premiums. ($1,721 compared with $1,169 in the safest 20 cities on the list).
Costs in terms of injuries and deaths
The real costs to drivers and their families come in the form of increased chances for serious injury or death on our roads. Drivers in Atlanta are more than 43% more likely to get into an accident potentially resulting in injury or death than drivers on a national average; including more than 10 highway fatalities for every 100,000 local residents. Augusta fares even worse, at 13 highway deaths for every 100,000 residents.
Everyone faces higher risks
Of course, many of the drivers involved in the accidents in central and eastcentral Georgia are not local residents. Many are passing through on the way up or down the Atlantic coast or west toward other regions of the country.
Whether you are a local resident or just passing through the region, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident with a car, truck or motorcycle in Georgia, talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer at Dozier Law Firm LLC in Macon and Savannah.
The most dangerous city?
Oh, and the most dangerous city in the country for drivers? It's the city most people still think of first when they think of cars: Detroit, Michigan. Go figure.