By Chris Michaud
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Planning a road trip in the United States? You might want to avoid St. Louis, Dallas and Houston.
They are cities with the most dangerous drivers, according to a new survey by Men's Health magazine, while St. Paul in Minnesota and Lincoln, Nebraska, scored the highest marks for the safest motorists.
"Unfortunately, the driving has only gotten more dangerous in St. Louis," Matt Marion, Men's Health's deputy editor, said about the city in comparison to the previous poll.
Charleston in West Virginia and Billings, Montana were not far behind. The rest of the top 10 cities with the worst drivers were in the South except for Providence, Rhode Island.
At the other, or safer, end of the spectrum, Boston, Buffalo and Reno scored top marks and Ft. Wayne in Indiana, New York City, Chesapeake in Virginia, Madison in Wisconsin and Aurora, Colorado rounded out the top 10.
"There's this perception that the streets of New York City are overrun with dare devil cabbies, but it actually finished as the seventh-safest," Marion said.
The magazine compiled the list by studying accident statistics, including fatal accident rates, the percentage involving speeding, alcohol or hit-and-run and the rate of seatbelt use from cities across the nation.
It also looked at laws on cell phone use and the number of years between accidents.
In addition to three cities among the 10 most-dangerous, Texas had three more in the next-worst group of 10: Ft. Worth, Lubbock and San Antonio.
By contrast, California, the nation's most populous state and one known for its car culture, only had three cities among the 50 worst-ranking.
The magazine uses statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Allstate insurance company and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and government data.
The magazine's full list of safest and most dangerous drivers can be found online at: http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/you-can-crash-here
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Patricia Reaney)
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