Atlanta drivers have a distinct reputation as fast, reckless, and aggressive. But is that reputation warranted? A recent study ranked drivers across the country, and Atlanta placed much higher than its reputation might suggest.
How Driver Ability in Each City is Ranked
A research team from QuoteWizard evaluated driver behavior in 70 of the largest US cities. They based their research on insurance quotes from drivers in each location. Data was collected from the entirety of 2020. Using a composite ranking system, researchers analyzed the rate of four specific types of driving-related incidents:
- Accidents (of all degrees of severity)
- Speeding Tickets
- DUIs, OWIs, and DWAIs
- Citations (failure to signal, failure to follow traffic signs, et cetera)
Each category is given a numbered score. Then, the four numbers are added together to create a final score used to rank each city. The scores present an overall picture of driver safety.
Ranking across categories could vary significantly within a city. For example, data shows Omaha ranks the highest for DUIs, but 14th for speeding. Even though other cities have more speeders, Omaha takes the “top” spot as the worst driving city because it averages the lowest lows across all four categories.
How Did Atlanta Rank on the Best and Worst Drivers List?
Atlanta ranks as the eighth-best driving city among the 70 analyzed. The city’s ranking by individual category breaks down as follows:
- Accident Rank – 40
- DUI Rank – 61
- Speeding Rank – 68
- Citation Rank – 67
Important note: The ranking system can seem confusing. Because the data is from 70 cities, the closer each number is to 70, the better. For example, Atlanta’s Speeding Rank of 68 means only two other cities had fewer instances of speeding.
“Nobody loves Atlanta traffic, but driving around the Big Peach is significantly safer than many people realize,” said Attorney John Dixon of Yates & Wheland. “We rank incredibly low in terms of speeding, DUIs, and auto accidents – all of which are major causes of injuries and fatalities on the road.”
Other Notable Rankings
Birmingham took first place as the city with the best drivers. They had the fewest speeding tickets and driver citations, along with taking fifth place for DUIs and 10th for accidents. Rounding out the top three are St. Louis, only just one point behind Birmingham in most categories, and Little Rock, ranking in the 60s across the board.
As mentioned earlier, Omaha is the city with the worst drivers on the list. They had the most DUIs and ranked in the bottom 15 in every other category. Close behind Omaha is Riverside, California, which also placed exclusively in the bottom 15 in every metric. They are the only two cities with this dubious distinction, as even third-place Bakersfield, California, ranks 18th in speeding.
While nobody is arguing that Atlanta is a traffic utopia, the city’s reputation as home to terrible drivers appears vastly overstated. After analyzing four key metrics, data strongly suggests Atlanta drivers are safety-conscious and responsible – something all residents can take pride in.