Having a car inspires feelings of freedom and conjures images of the open road. But the reality of being an auto owner can be an entirely different experience. High gas prices, long commutes, and sometimes deadly accidents are daily concerns for drivers.
The drawbacks to car ownership and driving are far more pronounced in some parts of the country than in others. Just as gas prices vary by region, so does the likelihood of congestion, stolen vehicles, and accidents.
> Traffic fatalities: 11.9 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 29.6 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.1
> Avg. gas price: $2.33 per gallon
Miami has some of the worst traffic in the country. Area commuters lose an average of about 52 hours per year to traffic delays, more time than in all but half a dozen other U.S. metro areas. Likely due in no small part to congestion and delays, commute times for many in the area are long. Only about 6.3% of workers spend less than 10 minutes getting to work — about half corresponding share of workers nationwide. Similarly, 10.7% of workers in the Miami metro area spend more than an hour commuting to work each day compared to only 9.1% of workers nationwide.
24/7 Wall St. created an index from half a dozen driving-related measures to identify the worst cities to drive in. The index components were selected to capture an area’s safety, convenience, and cost of driving. While the metro areas on this list span the United States, a disproportionate share of the worst cities for drivers are in western states — California in particular.