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Is It True That the South Has More Dangerous Drivers?

To say that driving a vehicle today can be dangerous is an understatement.

As we noted during distracted driving awareness month in April, drivers everywhere are bombarded by distractions inside the vehicle like cell phones, children and the radio, as well as outside the vehicle. Pedestrians, other vehicles, road work crews and traffic signals are just a few of the many outside distractions a driver may encounter on any given trip. But add to this list dangerous drivers and the chance of an accident increases exponentially.

Some say that drivers in Southern states are more dangerous than their Northern neighbors, but should such talk simply to be chalked up to urban legend?

According to a recent study in Men's Health Magazine, there may be a little truth to the myth. The magazine's article sent out a warning to drivers in certain cities which are home to some of the country's most dangerous drivers, including St. Louis, Dallas and Charleston, West Virginia.

According to the study, eight of the top 10 cities for dangerous drivers were found in the South; three in Texas: Dallas, Houston and Austin.

To determine what makes a driver dangerous versus safe, the study took into account the rate of fatal crashes - including those involving drunk drivers, high speeds, and hit and runs - and the rate of seatbelt use. Those stats, coupled with the average number of years between accidents and laws on cellphone and texting use resulted in report card-like grades for each state.

On the flipside, where can America's safest drivers be found? While St. Paul, Minnesota, Lincoln, Nebraska and Boston, Massachusetts topped the list, one southern city made the top 10 least dangerous drivers list: Chesapeake, Virginia.

Source: Reuters.com, "Fear of driving? Avoid St. Louis and Dallas," 3/13/12.

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