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Worst Cities for Drivers in Ohio

The winter season is in full swing, meaning millions of American drivers are at increased risk of car accidents due to hazardous road conditions. Thankfully, drivers can take steps to protect themselves and their passengers. Further, federal and state-level reporting enables drivers to prepare themselves properly by indicating which cities have the highest risks for traffic accidents.

Ohio drivers should become informed on the risks they face on the roads because a recent study found two Ohio cities to be in the top 25 for the most dangerous cities for drivers in the U.S.[1]

Cities with High Traffic Accidents in Ohio

Some cities experience more dangerous driving seasons than others. Factors like weather, road conditions, and how efficient a city is at addressing these conditions play significant roles in driver safety. According to a nationwide analysis of the top 25 worst cities to drive in, the organization 24/7 Wall St. determined two Ohio cities made the top 25 list, Cleveland at #11 and Akron at #8.[2]

But what metrics did 24/7 Wall St. use to determine those rankings? And what can Cleveland and Akron drivers do to stay safe?

Traffic Delays Per Commuter

Surprisingly, one of the factors most likely to predict the overall safety for a city’s drivers is the average traffic delays per commuter. Experts believe that when a city experiences significant traffic delays, it leads to more risky driving as drivers try to make up lost time on the roads. Delays + risky driving to make up lost time = higher likelihood of accidents.

In Cleveland, the average traffic delays per commuter in 2020 amounted to 29 hours. That put Cleveland in the top 10% for traffic delays of the 376 busiest metro areas in the U.S. In Akron, the average traffic delays per commuter in 2020 amounted to 27 hours, putting Akron in the top 25% for traffic delays of the 376 busiest metro areas in the U.S.

Number of Fatalities per 100,000 Residents

Unsurprisingly, the annual number of deadly crashes per 100,000 residents in any given city indicates the relative risks drivers face. The goal of every city is to get the number of fatal crashes as close to 0 per 100,000 as possible. However, Cleveland suffers 59 fatal crashes each year for every 100,000 people living in the city, putting Cleveland in the top 10% for fatal crashes of the 376 busiest metro areas in the U.S. Akron has similar numbers, with 65 fatal crashes per 100,000 residents.

Alcohol-Related Accidents

Alcohol-related accidents are also a clear indicator of a city’s roadways’ relative safety (or lack thereof). When alcohol-related fatal accidents are on the rise, this poses risks to those who drive drunk and everyone else on the road. In Cleveland, 40% of all driving deaths involved alcohol, putting Cleveland in the top 10% for alcohol-related driving fatalities in the U.S. In Akron, 38% of all traffic fatalities involved alcohol.

Weather-Related Accidents

Weather-related accidents are another important metric, especially during the winter months. When winter storms reduce visibility and road safety due to snow, ice, and rain, even just one’s daily commute suddenly becomes far more dangerous. In Cleveland, 42% of all deadly crashes are totally or at least partially caused by poor weather or road conditions. In Akron, 46% of all deadly crashes are totally or at least partially caused by poor weather or road conditions.

Tips for Avoiding a Car Accident in Ohio

Across at least four metrics, Cleveland and Akron are in the top 10% for dangerous driving conditions when examined against 376 busy metropolitan centers in the United States. Thankfully, drivers in Cleveland and Akron can take steps to improve their safety and reduce their risk of an accident:

  • Prepare your vehicle! Ohio authorities recommend drivers equip their vehicles with snow tires, antifreeze, new wiper blades, antifreeze washer fluid, sandbags, a shovel, a first aid kit, flares, a snow brush, and a blanket.
  • Always check road conditions before going out. Sometimes, it’s better to stay home if the road conditions are especially hazardous.
  • Remove ice and snow from the vehicle before driving. Make sure to use a snow brush to remove ice and snow from your car’s hood, roof, and trunk before departure, as snow flying off these surfaces can be hazardous to other drivers.
  • Slow down. The #1 safest thing any driver can do during winter is to reduce speed. Plan ahead, allow extra time to arrive at your destination, and drive more slowly.
  • Increase following distance. Icy, wet, and snow-packed roads make for more slippery surfaces, which means vehicles won’t be able to stop as quickly. Drivers should increase their following distance to compensate for this hazard.
  • Avoid distractions. Distracted driving is always dangerous, but when roads are slick and visibility is poor, distracted driving is even more dangerous. Put the cell phone down and commit to arriving at your destination safely.
  • Avoid abrupt movements. When combined with poor road conditions, abrupt vehicular movements can cause your vehicle to react in ways you did not intend. Avoid abrupt movements like jerking the wheel or hitting the brakes too hard.

In the Event of an Accident, Seek Help from Ohio’s Leading Personal Injury Law Firm

Even when all the safety boxes are checked, accidents still happen. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact NRS Injury Law, Ohio’s leading personal injury law firm. Call our office at 855.468.4878 or fill out our online contact form.

Sources Cited:

[1] NewsBreak. “Two Ohio Cities Named Among ‘Worst Cities To Drive In’ Across America.” News Break, 2022. local.newsbreak.com

[2] 24/7WallSt. “America’s Worst Cities To Drive In” 24/7 Wall St., 2022. 247wallst.com

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