Avoid Driving Through This Southwestern City During Your Holiday Travels

When you're preparing to travel, you always have options for getting where you're going. Those who choose to fly are in good company, as the Federal Aviation Administration reports handling around 45,000 daily flights. On the other hand, a 2023 Forbes car ownership statistics report points to more than 278 million registered personal and commercial vehicles in the U.S. that could be on the road at any given time.

The number of drivers on the roads over the holidays typically increases as travelers make their way to family gatherings and festive get-togethers with friends. A holiday travel forecast by AAA anticipates nearly 104 million people driving to their holiday destinations in 2023. While traveling for the holidays by vehicle can be convenient, it also comes with risks. The National Safety Council points to car travel as the mode of motorized transportation with the highest overall fatality rate. Accidents typically increase during the holiday season, with more travelers on the road, increased alcohol consumption at celebrations, and stressed motorists driving more aggressively.

Anything you can do to make your holiday travels safer is worth considering. If you have the flexibility to adjust your route, avoiding certain destinations might be enough to keep you out of harm's way. The annual naughty-versus-nice drivers list at GasBuddy for 2023 highlights Tucson, Arizona, as the U.S. destination currently hosting the most aggressive holiday drivers.

A beautiful city with a dangerous driving reputation

Tucson earned its top-ranking spot as part of a massive review of holiday driving habits across the U.S. The study included millions of documented drives over the 2023 Thanksgiving weekend. The results were measured after analyzing factors like how hard drivers were breaking, to how quickly they accelerated. The study also reviewed the number of speeding-related incidents that occurred. Rounding out the top five cities in the aggressive holiday drivers category this year, just behind Tucson, were Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Located in Pima County, Tucson sits in a scenic Sonoran Desert valley within reach of five stunning mountain ranges. The city enjoys 350 sunny days annually, and the warm and dry climate makes it an ideal destination for outdoor recreationists visiting Arizona and looking to leave holiday snow behind. According to Visit Tucson, this appealing city welcomes almost 7 million visitors a year.

Unfortunately, the Arizona Department of Transportation also highlights Tucson as the city contributing the highest number of vehicle-related injuries and fatalities across Pima County, as of 2022. When compared with the results of the GasBuddy study, it's fair to say aggressive drivers may be a part of this unsettling trend. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration directly links aggressive driving with dangerous speeding on the road. It's estimated that approximately one-third of motor vehicle fatalities over the past 20 years in the U.S. were the result of aggressive speeding.

Staying safe on the roads in Tucson

Inevitably, some holiday travelers won't be able to avoid driving through this Southwestern city on their way to seasonal gatherings. If your route does take you right through Tucson, or it's your final destination, it's good to take note of some local streets that are currently causing issues for drivers. A recent report by Tucson 9 KGUN reviewed 2023 Tucson police data to pinpoint the most dangerous destinations you can try to avoid.

Of all the auto collisions in Tucson so far this year, over 70% have happened at intersections. The intersection at Valencia Road and Nogales Highway has seen the highest number of accidents, followed by the intersection at Golf Links Road and Craycroft Road. The intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Wilmot Road follows closely behind, as well as the intersection at Irvington Road and Campbell Avenue. The intersection at 22nd Street and Wilmot Road currently sits in fifth place.

In the event you do encounter aggressive drivers during your holiday travels through Tucson, or anywhere else for that matter, there are strategies you can use to stay as safe as possible. Above all, it's important to remain calm no matter what the scenario. Letting the situation escalate to the level of road rage is extremely dangerous for everyone involved. Be willing to let the aggressive or speeding driver pass you whenever possible. Avoid making eye contact as they pass to reduce the chances of instigating further frustration on the road.