Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years Laura Walker

UPDATED: Jun 22, 2022

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The Concise Case

  • Speeding deaths account for an average 47% of all traffic deaths in our worst cities
  • Speeding deaths have decreased significantly over the past 12 years
  • The percentage of speeding traffic deaths involving teenagers has dropped over 50%
  • Males account for the vast majority of speeding traffic deaths

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that despite the risks, approximately 70 percent of American drivers report speeding at least some of the time. Each year, speeding kills about 10,000 people and is responsible for nearly 30 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. This article delves deep into the worst cities for speeding in the United States.

Fortunately, since 2005, the speeding-related fatal accident rate has decreased nationwide by about 34 percent, from 4.2 to 2.7 per 100,000 people in 2017. While speeding-related deaths among adult drivers declined slightly during that time, those among teenagers fell dramatically.

Between 2005 and 2017, the number of speeding-related fatalities per 100,000 teenagers dropped from 13.2 to 5.8—results that experts partially attribute to increased seatbelt use and decreased drinking and driving.

The CDC reports that since 2005, the proportion of teens who reported not wearing a seatbelt was cut in half. Similarly, the share of teens who reported riding with a drunk driver fell by 42 percent.

Speeding-related fatalities by teenage drivers decline age over time.

Despite improvements to the speeding fatality rate at the national level, there is significant regional variation. To determine which cities suffer the most from speeding-related fatalities, our researchers at Compare Auto Insurance analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the period 2013-2017.

They found that speeding tends to account for a higher percentage of traffic fatalities in the Southeast and Midwest. Additionally, four of the worst 15 cities for speeding are located in California. These are the cities where speeding problems are the worst.

If you’re on this page, you’re likely looking for auto insurance as well. But we know that auto insurance can be confusing. There’s all that industry terminology and jargon as well as the opaque reasons why auto insurance companies give you your specific rate. For that reason, we created an Auto Insurance 101 page that goes over the basics of auto insurance and links to more specific topics.

If you’re looking to jump right in and get a quote, just enter your ZIP code into our FREE online quote comparison tool. It’ll give you the best rates for your area based on your demographic information and driving history. Now, to the 15 cities with the worst speeding problem.

15 Cities with the Worst Speeding Problem

#15 – Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 40.6%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 3.8 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 159
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 392

#14 – Stockton, California

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 40.7%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 3.6 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 55
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 135

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#13 – Chula Vista, California

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 41.7%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 1.9 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 25
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 60

#12 – Yonkers, New York

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 42.1%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 1.6 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 16
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 38

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#11 – Fresno, California

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 42.6%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 2.8 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 72
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 169

#10 – Aurora, Colorado

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 42.9%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 2.9 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 51
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 119

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#9 – Chicago, Illinois

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 43.4%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 2.0 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 278
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 640

#8 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 47.3%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 4.4 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 131
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 277

#7 – Saint Louis, Missouri

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 48.6%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 7.7 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 121
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 249

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#6 – Washington, District Of Columbia

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 49.2%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 1.8 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 61
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 124

#5 – Plano, Texas

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 49.2%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 2.2 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 31
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 63

#4 – Fontana, California

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 50.7%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 3.5 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 36
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 71

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#3 – Cleveland, Ohio

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 51.9%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 4.8 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 94
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 181

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#2 – Irving, Texas

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 52.2%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 4.1 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 48
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 92

#1 – North Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Share of all traffic fatalities involving speeding (2013-2017): 53.9%
  • Annual speeding-related fatality rate (2013-2017): 3.5 per 100k
  • Total speeding-related fatalities (2013-2017): 41
  • Total traffic fatalities (2013-2017): 76

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All Cities Ranked by Percentage of Speeding Deaths

CityTraffic FatalitiesAnnual Fatality Rate Total Speeding FatalitiesTotal Traffic FatalitiesPopulationRank
North Las Vegas, NV53.9%3.54176234,3891
Irving, TX52.2%4.14892235,6482
Cleveland, OH51.9%4.894181388,8123
Fontana, CA50.7%3.53671207,0864
Plano, TX49.2%2.23163281,5665
Washington D.C.49.2%1.861124672,3916
Saint Louis, MO48.6%7.7121249314,8677
Milwaukee, WI47.3%4.4131277599,0868
Chicago, IL43.4%22786402,722,5869
Aurora, CO42.9%2.951119357,32310
Fresno, CA42.6%2.872169519,03711
Yonkers, NY42.1%1.61638200,99912
Chula Vista, CA41.7%1.92560264,10113
Stockton, CA40.7%3.655135304,35814
Charlotte, NC40.6%3.8159392826,06015
Las Vegas, NV40.3%393231621,66216
Long Beach, CA39.9%2.559148470,48917
Durham, NC39.8%2.73588257,23218
Arlington, TX39.7%2.854136388,22519
Des Moines, IA39.7%2.52768214,77820
Honolulu, HI39.4%2.341104350,78821
Albuquerque, NM39.2%4.7130332556,71822
Madison, WI39.0%1.31641248,85623
Riverside, CA38.8%3.557147321,57024
Wichita, KS38.7%3.467173389,05425
Garland, TX38.5%3.13796235,96526
Dallas, TX38.4%5.13298561,300,12227
Denver, CO38.0%2.790237678,46728
Santa Clarita, CA37.5%1.71848209,48929
Aurora, IL37.1%1.31335200,94630
Greensboro, NC36.9%3.752141284,81631
Oakland, CA36.7%2.654147417,44232
Rochester, NY36.4%2.32466209,46333
Portland, OR36.3%2.166182630,33134
Baltimore, MD36.2%2.267185619,79635
Tulsa, OK35.7%4.386241401,35236
Moreno Valley, CA35.6%2.12159203,69137
Oklahoma City, OK35.5%4.7147414629,19138
Detroit, MI35.4%6.1209591679,86539
Los Angeles, CA35.0%2.34591,3123,949,77640
Colorado Springs, CO34.6%2.454156450,00041
Fayetteville, NC34.5%3.840116210,32442
Fort Worth, TX34.0%3.5145427835,12943
San Antonio, TX33.7%3.82758151,461,62344
Seattle, WA33.3%1.344132688,24545
Anaheim, CA33.1%2.442127349,00746
Henderson, NV32.7%1.31855284,81747
Scottsdale, AZ32.0%22475239,28348
Raleigh, NC31.6%2.454171449,47749
Lubbock, TX31.5%3.341130247,32350
Fremont, CA31.5%1.51754230,96451
Modesto, CA31.3%2.42580210,16652
Tacoma, WA31.3%2.42580207,28053
Minneapolis, MN31.1%1.12374411,45254
Fort Wayne, IN30.9%3.242136262,45055
Chandler, AZ30.9%1.72168245,16056
San Bernardino, CA30.2%4.245149215,25257
Lincoln, NE30.0%1.11550277,31558
Sacramento, CA29.8%3.176255489,65059
Omaha, NE29.7%247158463,08160
Buffalo, NY29.7%1.51964259,57461
Saint Paul, MN29.2%0.91448300,82062
Santa Ana, CA29.1%234117334,49363
San Diego, CA29.0%1.81244281,390,96664
San Jose, CA29.0%1.6842901,023,03165
Mesa, AZ28.9%2.252180479,31766
Philadelphia, PA28.9%1.71374741,569,65767
Corpus Christi, TX28.4%2.540141322,72668
Pittsburgh, PA28.3%1.72692305,01269
Huntington Beach, CA27.7%1.81865200,41570
San Francisco, CA27.7%1.146166864,26371
Bakersfield, CA26.7%2.751191372,68072
Indianapolis, IN26.5%2.8119449853,43173
Tucson, AZ26.4%2.875284530,90574
Winston Salem, NC26.4%2.429110240,19375
Toledo, OH26.3%2.231118279,45576
Reno, NV26.2%1.82284239,73277
Phoenix, AZ26.0%3.32631,0131,574,42178
El Paso, TX25.8%2.170271678,26679
New York, NY25.4%0.73111,2238,560,07280
Atlanta, GA25.2%3.171282465,23081
Virginia Beach, VA25.0%1.329116450,05782
Houston, TX24.7%2.52781,1242,267,33683
Gilbert, AZ24.4%0.91145232,17684
Austin, TX23.7%2.195401916,90685
Anchorage, AK22.6%1.42193298,22586
Laredo, TX22.5%1.41880255,30587
Louisville, KY22.4%391406615,47888
Newark, NJ22.0%1.826118282,80389
Memphis, TN21.8%3.3109500654,72390
Tampa, FL21.6%2.954250368,08791
Nashville, TN21.5%2.168317654,18792
Cincinnati, OH21.0%1.726124298,95793
Jersey City, NJ20.9%0.7943265,93294
Boston, MA20.8%0.725120669,15895
Glendale, AZ20.7%2.125121241,54396
Chesapeake, VA20.3%1.31574235,41097
Boise, ID19.0%1.11263220,85998
Birmingham, AL18.6%3.436194212,26599
Saint Petersburg, FL18.6%226140256,031100
Norfolk, VA17.3%1.41798245,752101
New Orleans, LA16.7%2.242252388,182102
Columbus, OH16.4%141250852,144103
Miami, FL15.7%1.738242443,007104
Spokane, WA14.3%0.8856212,982105
Richmond, VA14.1%0.91071220,892106
Oxnard, CA13.0%0.3323206,732107
Baton Rouge, LA12.4%2.225202227,549108
Orlando, FL7.9%113165269,414109
Jacksonville, FL6.3%0.941651867,313110
Montgomery, AL5.6%0.66108200,761111
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Frequently Asked Questions: Traffic and Rude Drivers

Now that we’ve covered the 15 worst cities for speeding, let’s get to your frequently asked questions. They include a common talked-about subject: traffic. Speeding and traffic often combine for devastating results, including multi-car wrecks, rollovers, and numerous fatalities.

Here, we’ll touch on the city with the worst traffic in the U.S. as ranked by a major traffic monitoring company, the city with the worst traffic in the world, cit a source that has the 50 worst traffic cities (in the U.S. and the world) as well as the top 20 worst traffic cities in the U.S. Other questions include:

  • What is the most dangerous state to drive in?
  • What city has the most aggressive drivers?
  • What is the busiest highway in America?

Scroll down for the answers to those questions and many more.

#1 – Which lane do most accidents happen?

The merging lane (the one where drivers merge into when entering the highway) is considered the lane in which most accidents happen, as drivers are forced to do numerous things at once. These include accelerating, decelerating, looking over their shoulder, and more. And missteps here can cause a serious accident.

#2 – What is the most dangerous state to drive in?

The most dangerous state to drive in varies year by year but often the same states appear in the “states with the worst drivers” lists. The most dangerous is often South Carolina. It has high rates of speeding and drunk driving traffic deaths as well as poor infrastructure.

#3 – What state has the meanest drivers?

New York, probably due to the City, has the reputation of having some of the meanest drivers. The congestion, plus the aggressiveness and impatience, can contribute to a difficult and stressful driving experience.

#4 – What city has the most aggressive drivers?

Los Angeles has some of the most aggressive drivers, no doubt exacerbated by the sheer amount of traffic congestion in the city, which can cause commutes that last longer than 30 or even 40 minutes one-way.

#5 – What state has most car accidents?

Florida is the state with the most car accidents, which makes sense as it is in the top 3 of all states in terms of population and the drivers in Florida rank very low in the category of careless driving.

#6 – What is the busiest highway in America?

The busiest highway in America is I-5, which runs through the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santan Ana metropolitan area. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, that highway sees 504,000 vehicles passing through daily.

#7 – Which US city has the most traffic?

The city with the most traffic, also not a surprise, is Los Angeles. LA is the only U.S. city in TomTom’s, a worldwide traffic congestion monitoring company, list of the top 100 most congested cities in the world. For a look at all things traffic (worldwide and in the U.S.) TomTom is a great resource.

#8 – What are the four state capitals not served by an interstate?

It is certainly rare for a state capital to not have an interstate running through it. But in America, there are four. They are Juneau, Alaska, Dover, Delaware, Jefferson City, Missouri, and Pierre, South Dakota.

Methodology: Determining the Worst Cities for Speeding

Fatality statistics were obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the period 2013-2017. City and state population statistics were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

The following definitions were used in categorizing accidents by location in order to simplify interpretations:

  • Freeway = Interstate + Non-Interstate Freeway + Expressway
  • Major highway = Non-Interstate Other Principal Arterial
  • Minor highway = Non-Interstate Minor Arterial
  • Primary street = Collector + Local

Fatalities per 100k residents were calculated as the sum of fatalities for 2013-2017 divided by the sum of the populations for the same years, multiplied by 100,000. Only cities with at least 200,000 residents and more than one speeding-related fatality were included in the analysis.

Cities were ranked according to the percentage of all motor vehicle fatalities that had at least one vehicle speeding prior to the accident. In the event of a tie, cities with higher speeding-related fatality rates were ranked higher.

Location is not the only factor that influences the likelihood of fatal crashes due to speeding.

The rate of speeding-related fatalities also differs by demographics. About 75 percent of drivers involved in speeding-related fatal accidents are male, regardless of age. According to the IIHS, men usually drive more miles than women and are also more likely to engage in other risky driving behaviors such as not using seatbelts and driving under the influence of alcohol, which all contribute to higher fatality rates.

Speeding-related fatalities by gender and age.

While speeding-related fatality rates vary across cities, rural roads, in general, have significantly higher rates of fatalities caused by speeding when compared to urban roads. Even though rural roads only account for about 30 percent of miles traveled in the U.S., they represent about 50 percent of speeding-related fatalities.

Historically, rural roads have had higher posted speed limits, which correlate to higher rates of speeding and higher fatality rates. Compared to urban roads, rural roads also have a higher incidence of rollover crashes, which can be caused by speeding. Furthermore, rural drivers might have less access to prompt medical attention after an accident, which increases the likelihood of death after injury.

Graph of speeding-related fatalities by road type.

Speed kills, but the recent decreases in speeding-related fatalities are promising. To equip law enforcement with the tools they need to reduce speeding on the road, the NHTSA works with local jurisdictions around the country to provide training in enforcing traffic laws.

Some of the methods that law enforcement officers use to detect speeding include radar, laser devices, VASCAR, and speed cameras. Although there are lists for the worst cities for speed traps (people dislike them), they might also reduce death rates.

Additionally, certain cities like Boston have experimented with lowering speed limits to reduce speed-related accidents.

Furthermore, some automakers have installed intelligent speed assistance (ISA) systems within cars to help drivers better monitor their own speed, and some auto insurance companies offer discounts for drivers who slow down. Tackling the speeding problem will require continued efforts from individuals, industry, law enforcement, and legislators.

Speeding traffic deaths can affect auto insurance rates, even if you’re not involved in the accident. Fortunately, there are ways to save on auto insurance. Plug in your ZIP code into our FREE online quote generator to get the best rates for your area.