In what will surely become a contentious debate for drivers around the country, Men’s Health Magazine has released a list of what it considers the most dangerous U.S. cities for drivers.

Surprisingly, New York City, often considered one of the most dangerous places to drive, but actually finished as the seventh safest city for driving.

St. Louis was at the top of the list for most dangerous driving areas. Texas had two cities just behind St. Louis: Dallas and Houston. Rounding out the top five were Charleston, West Virginia and Billings, Montana.

In compiling their list Men’s Health used a variety of accident statistics, including fatal accident rates and how many involved speeding, alcohol or hit-and-run and the rate of seatbelt use from cities across the nation and also looked at laws on cell phone use and the number of years between accidents.

The 10 safest cities to drive in, according to Men’s Health magazine are Boston, Buffalo, Reno, Fort Wayne, (NYC), Chesapeake, Virginia, Madison, Wisconsin and Aurora, Colorado.

States which require traffic school or offer insurance discounts for those who complete traffic school avoided being listed in top 10 most dangerous places to drive for obvious reasons.

It is not too far of a stretch to think traffic congestion might at least play some role in the findings, as Houston and Dallas are known for having heavily congest roadways, but then again so does New York City and it is listed as the 7th safest.

No matter where you drive, and perhaps most especially when you are driving some place you never been before, it pays to be a safe driver, take precautions and drive defensively. Regardless of whether a city is considered most dangerous or least dangerous, accidents happen.

That is, after all, why we call them accidents and not “intentionals.”

Image: porbital /