America’s Safest City for Young Drivers Award 2021

America’s Safest City for Young Drivers Award 2021

Our goal at is to help young drivers, and all drivers for that matter, to drive safer.

If you are a parent of a teen driver, or if you are a young driver yourself, we hope that our list will help you to make informed decisions about where you live, where you want to live, and about the safety of your communities.

Why we’re doing this:

According to the IIHS (Insurance Institution for Highway Safety), teen drivers are almost three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than any other demographic. The fatality rate for 16-year-old drivers is four times higher than the rate for drivers aged 20-24. Young drivers and the people they drive with often make poor choices and take unnecessary risks. They drive at night and drive with more passengers than is safe. They drive when they are tired. They drive while distracted. They drive without wearing seatbelts. As a result, young people are over-represented in crash statistics, and they are dying much younger than they should. We want to change that: by providing information on safe driving, encouraging safer driving behavior, and highlighting safer communities.

How we’re doing this:

We’ve used statistical data to determine the safest cities for young drivers. We took city-level fatality data from the IIHS and other government sources, and we combined that data with city-level data on all of the drivers in each age group. We then compiled this data into a single, easy-to-read ranking of America’s safest cities for young drivers. See Rating Methodology for more details.

And the “Safest City for Young Drivers” award goes to…

  1. 50. Clarksville, Tennessee download badge


    Known as a modern, booming city with a charming small-town feel, Clarksville is famous for its annual River Fest and is the third safest city in Tennessee for young drivers.

  2. 49. Chesapeake, Virginia download badge


    Created as a merger of Norfolk County and the City of South Norfolk in 1963, Chesapeake was the site of the battle of Great Bridge and is the safest city in Virginia for young drivers.

  3. 48. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma download badge


    Ranked #1 for highest wages and lowest cost of living, Oklahoma City has ranked as one of the best cities for Millennials.

  4. 47. Akron, Ohio download badge


    Known as the “Rubber Capital of the World,” Akron is home to manufacturers including Firestone, General Tire, Goodrich, and Goodyear. At No. 47 on our list, Akron is one of the safest cities in Ohio for young drivers.

  5. 46. Fayetteville, North Carolina download badge


    Fayetteville ranked No. 8 on’s list of the top 25 safest cities in North Carolina, and ranked 4th overall by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Places to Live.

  6. 45. Tallahassee, Florida download badge


    As the largest city in Florida’s Panhandle region, Tallahassee boasts a vibrant college community that includes Florida State University, Florida A&M and several smaller schools.

  7. 44. Tucson, Arizona download badge


    With low independent living costs, a variety of outdoor activities for older adults, and no tax on Social Security benefits, Tucson is a popular place to retire and one of the safest cities in Arizona for young drivers.

  8. 43. Lakewood, Colorado download badge


    With more than 80 maintained parks, Lakewood is also one of Denver’s top places for outside activities, and ranks as the fourth safest city in Colorado for young drivers.

  9. 42. Des Moines, Iowa download badge


    Full of safe roads for young drivers, Des Moines was credited as the “number one spot for U.S. insurance companies” in a Business Wire article and named the third-largest “insurance capital” of the world.

  10. 41. Kansas City, Missouri download badge


    Known for its barbecue, jazz heritage and fountains, Kansas City, Missouri shares many of the same features as its Kansas counterpart (#8), including safe roads for teen drivers.

  11. 40. Fort Wayne, Indiana download badge


    Ranked as the fifth-safest city in Indiana, Fort Wayne is also home to The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory and above-average schools.

  12. 39. El Paso, Texas download badge


    El Paso is ranked among the Best Places to Live in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report rankings for 2017, and is best known for year-round sunny weather and Tex-Med cuisine.

  13. 38. Peoria, Arizona download badge


    Home to Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Peoria is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and water skiing. Peoria is also recognized as a Heart Safe City by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

  14. 37. Eugene, Oregon download badge


    Known as TrackTown USA, Eugene has produced many great Olympic runners, and is home to many landmark sports venues and sporting events. Eugene ranks as one of the safest cities in Oregon for young drivers.

  15. 36. Omaha, Nebraska download badge


    Located on the Missouri River close to the Iowa border, Omaha has some of the safest roads in Nebraska, ranking at No. 36 on our list.

  16. 35. Rockford, Illinois download badge


    Nicknamed the Forest City, Rockford is presently known for various venues of cultural or historical significance, including Anderson Japanese Gardens, Klehm Arboretum, and Tinker Swiss Cottage.

  17. 34. Chattanooga, Tennessee download badge


    Named one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2019 by, Chattanooga has low housing costs and is one of the safest cities in Tennessee to live in.

  18. 33. Thornton, Colorado download badge


    Located 25 minutes outside of Denver, Thornton has a relatively low cost of living and is the third safest city in Colorado for young drivers.

  19. 32. Lexington, Kentucky download badge


    Ranked 21st in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best places to live in the United States, Lexington is home to the University of Kentucky and is the safest city in Kentucky for young drivers.

  20. 31. Winston-Salem, North Carolina download badge


    Called the “Twin City” for its dual heritage and “City of the Arts and Innovation”, Winston-Salem is ranked one of the best places to live in North Carolina.

  21. 30. Anchorage, Alaska download badge


    Best known for its trails, wildlife, and glaciers, Anchorage is the capital of Alaska and the safest city in the state for young drivers.

  22. 29. Amarillo, Texas download badge


    Amarillo is a popular stop along Route 66 in Texas and is home to many well-known theatres and art shows. At No. 29 on our list, Amarillo is one of the safest cities in Texas for drivers.

  23. 28. Knoxville, Tennessee download badge


    Known for its college sports and southern food, Knoxville is also home to The Museum of East Tennessee History, and is one of the safest cities in America for young drivers.

  24. 27. Corpus Christi, Texas download badge


    Due to high wind speeds, Corpus Christi is one of the best cities in North America for kiteboarding, windsurfing, kite flying and sailing.

  25. 26. Mobile, Alabama download badge


    Known for having the oldest organized Carnival or Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States, Mobile ranks at No. 26 for its safe roads and low DUI rates.

  26. 25. Mesa, Arizona download badge


    Located twenty miles east of the bustling metropolis of Phoenix, Mesa is the third-largest city in Arizona, and is ranked as one of the best cities to retire.

  27. 24. Scottsdale, Arizona download badge


    Known for its spa resorts and golf courses, Scottsdale is has an abundance of safe suburban areas, low crime, and some of the best schools in the state.

  28. 23. Port St. Lucie, Florida download badge


    Ranked as the ninth safest city in the Sunshine state, Port St. Lucie enjoys high safety ratings nationwide, and is known for its botanical gardens and riverwalk boardwalk.

  29. 22. Springfield, Missouri download badge


    Known for its big-city attractions and small-town charm, the “Queen City” comes at No. 22 on our list. Springfield was also ranked in the top 150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021-2022.

  30. 21. Colorado Springs, Colorado download badge


    Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is a popular destination for tourists and is also ranked as one of the best places to live in Colorado.

  31. 20. Chandler, Arizona download badge


    A suburb of Phoenix with a population of 252,692, Chandler is in Maricopa County and is ranked as one of the best places to live in Arizona.

  32. 19. Sioux Falls, South Dakota download badge


    A friendly tax climate and affordable housing provides a cost of living 6% below the national average, and at No. 19 on our list, Sioux enjoys safe roads for young drivers.

  33. 18. Reno, Nevada download badge


    Known as “The Biggest Little City in the World”, Reno is one of the safest cities in the country.

  34. 17. Montgomery, Alabama download badge


    Nationally known for its many historic landmarks such as the Alabama State Capitol and Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church, Montgomery ranks as one of the safest cities in America to drive in.

  35. 16. Naperville, Illinois download badge


    Ranked as one of the best cities to raise a family by, Naperville is known for its family friendly atmosphere and exciting nightlife. Naperville is the safest city in Illinois for teen drivers.

  36. 15. Madison, Wisconsin download badge


    Said to be one of the most quintessentially American cities, Madison is also home to a vibrant cultural scene, and is featured in the top 20 U.S. News’ Best Places to Live.

  37. 14. Gilbert, Arizona download badge


    Once known as the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World”, it is the fifth-largest municipality in Arizona, and is ranked the second-safest city in America by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting 2019 report.

  38. 13. Wichita, Kansas download badge


    Known as the “Air Capital of the World” for its history as an aircraft production hub, Wichita is also the birthplace of Pizza Hut and White Castle. At No. 13 on our list, Wichita is also one of the safest cities in the U.S.

  39. 12. Cape Coral, Florida download badge


    Located in Southwest Florida and known for its many canals, Cape Coral is ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States. Cape Coral also ranks near the top of the best places to retire in America.

  40. 11. Lincoln, Nebraska download badge


    As the capital of Nebraska, Lincoln is home to many museums and cultural attractions, as well as several colleges. Lincoln also enjoys a low cost of living while still offering the amenities of a large city.

  41. 10. McAllen, Texas download badge


    Known for mild winter weather, tropical breezes, and low cost of living, McAllen is one of the fastest growing cities in America. McAllen is also ranked as one of the best places to live by U.S. News & World Report.

  42. 9. Fort Collins, Colorado download badge


    Despite producing over 70% of Colorado’s craft beer, Fort Collins is consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the country for drivers. Fort Collins is also ranked No. 4 on Livability’s “10 Best Places to Raise a Family.”

  43. 8. Kansas City, Kansas download badge


    Home to the Kansas Speedway, Kansas City is known as the “Barbecue Capital” for its steaks and barbecue. At No. 8 on our list, it’s one of the safest cities in Kansas for young drivers.

  44. 7. Olathe, Kansas download badge


    The fourth-most populous city in Kansas, Olathe has been recognized as one of the safest cities in America by SmartAsset, ranking No. 15 overall.

  45. 6. Laredo, Texas download badge


    Located on the Mexican border, Laredo is the nation’s largest inland point of entry and the second safest city in Texas for young drivers.

  46. 5. Overland Park, Kansas download badge


    The second-most populous city in the state of Kansas, Overland Park is home to highly-competitive schools, and is the safest city in Kansas for teen drivers.

  47. 4. Cary, North Carolina download badge


    Coming in fourth on our list of safest cities for young drivers, Cary is also consistently ranked as one of the safest places to live in the country.

  48. 3

    Huntsville, Alabama download badge


    Founded in 1805, Huntsville is known as the site of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Huntsville has also ranked third overall in the U.S. News and World Report’s top 25 cities to live in.

  49. 2

    Boise, Idaho download badge


    As the capital of Idaho, Boise is lauded as a good place to raise a family and an abundance of outdoor activities. Along with coming in second on our list, Boise also enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

  50. 1

    Brownsville, Texas download badge


    Coming in at No. 1 on our list, Brownsville has consistently low rates of auto collisions, drunk driving incidents, and distracted driving incidents. Located on the western Gulf Coast in South Texas, Brownsville was also ranked as one of the top 25 safest cities in the United States.

Rating Methodology

This list was aggregated from the data sources below and ranked based on several key factors, including each city’s collision likelihood relative to the U.S. average, impaired driving rates, distracted driving rates, the total motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 people, and the percentage of fatal collisions involving a drunk driver. Our team primarily drew upon Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report, an industry-leading data source for driver safety. Other lists and data points, referenced below, were used to make adjustments and ensure all qualifying cities were mentioned. All cities referenced are based upon driver-safety studies by independent organizations (found below), and may not reflect other key safety metrics of the city mentioned.


Images copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Fair Use Statement

Please feel free to share the results of our study with anyone who may find this information useful as long as you include a link back to this page. If you have any questions about our award, have suggestions for ways to improve our methodology, or would like to partner with us on future projects, please contact us at [email protected].

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