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Columbia ranked 18th-most dangerous city for drivers in new study

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Columbia is the 18th-most dangerous city in the nation for drivers, a new study by online financial resource website Nerdwallet found.

The study ranked 200 of the nation’s most populous cities based on five factors: Rate of fatal car crashes; the likelihood of an accident relative to other cities; the number of years between accidents; the risk of an auto break-in; and the risk a vehicle will be stolen. The study then compared those scores with auto insurance rates in each city.

Thirteen of the 20 most dangerous cities in the study are located in the South or on the East Coast. Twelve of the 20 safest are in the Midwest or West. Auto insurance rates are 47% more expensive in the most dangerous cities.

Larger cities tended to be more dangerous, with the 20 most dangerous having an average population of 488,710 compared with 208,944 for the safest.

Detroit ranked as the most dangerous city, with 16.2 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents and an average annual insurance rate of $5,409. Detroit also had a 16.6% accident likelihood relative to the national average, with drivers going an average of 8.6 years between accidents.

Columbia ranked 18th, with 9.8 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents and a $1,135 average annual insurance rate. Columbia drivers had a 28.8% accident likelihood relative to the national average and went 7.8 years on average between accidents.

Cary, N.C., ranked as the nation’s safest city for drivers, with 1.3 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents and an average insurance premium of $729. Drivers in Cary are minus 13.8% as likely to have an accident as the national average and go 11.6 years between accidents.

No other S.C. cities ranked in the top 20 most dangerous or safest cities.

City population was determined based on 2014 U.S. Census Bureau information. The final list of 196 cities excludes four because of missing motor vehicle theft and auto larceny information: Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Miramar, Fla.; Lakewood, Colo.; and Pomona, Calif.

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