Which cities have the most helpful drivers?

Cities with the most congested traffic in the U.S. also tended to have the highest number of Good Samaritan calls to OnStar.

Liane Yvkoff
Liane Yvkoff is a freelance writer who blogs about cars for CNET Car Tech. E-mail Liane.
Liane Yvkoff
2 min read

OnStar took a look at its call logs to find out which cities had the highest number of Good Samaritans. It turns out the cities with the worst traffic also had the most helpful drivers.

Los Angeles, Chicago, and the New York metro area had the highest number of Good Samaritan calls to the emergency response service in the U.S. last year. OnStar counts a Good Samaritan call when a subscriber contacts the telematics operator to report another motorist's situation requiring emergency assistance, including collisions, flat tires, or responds to an Amber Alert. Drivers in these areas may be motivated out of self interest to get a stranded vehicle out of the way, or perhaps they have nothing better to do while they crawl through traffic. After all, these are also the top three cities in the country with the worst traffic, according to Inrix.

In fact, nine out of the 10 most congested commutes are also on OnStar's top 10 list for most helpful drivers. It seems to make sense that the communities with the most cars would have the most number of incidents to report, and more drivers to do the reporting. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this logic. San Francisco and Seattle, which rank sixth and 10th respectively on Inrix's list of cities with the worst commutes, aren't prone to reaching for the blue button when they spot a motorist in distress.

It's possible that there are fewer incidents to report in these two West Coast cities, but it's also reasonable to guess that in the age of smartphones and GPS devices, OnStar may not be as popular there. Interestingly, Miami, which according to Forbes is the nation's most miserable city, is also one of its most helpful when it comes to assisting other motorists.

Cities with the most Good Samaritan calls to OnStar

  1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif: 3,111
  2. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.: 1,969
  3. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.: 1,696
  4. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas: 1,651
  5. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W. Va.: 1,528
  6. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.: 1,508
  7. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.: 1,108
  8. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas: 1,078
  9. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H.: 644
  10. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.: 482