Special Report

Worst Cities to Drive

 
Source: Fietsbel / Wikimedia Commons

15. Modesto, CA
> Traffic fatalities: 14.6 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 28.8 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.1
> Avg. gas price: $2.73 per gallon

Modesto, California residents are more likely than residents in many other places to have some of the longest and earliest commutes in the country. Some 11.4% of workers in the metro area leave for work before 5 a.m., one of the highest shares of workers leaving this early in the country. Additionally, some 11.7% of Modesto workers commute for over an hour, compared to 9.1% of commuters nationwide.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

14. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
> Traffic fatalities: 11.4 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 32.1 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.1
> Avg. gas price: $2.24 per gallon

Commuters in the Atlanta metro area lose about 50 hours per year to traffic, making Atlanta one of only 14 metro areas nationwide where traffic delays add up to more than two days per driver annually.

The traffic delays likely contribute to the long the long commute times in the Atlanta metro area. Nearly 15% of commuters in Atlanta spend at least an hour traveling to work, more than in all but 11 other U.S. metro areas. Indeed, the average commuter in Atlanta spends about 32 minutes getting to work, the ninth highest average commute time among U.S. metro areas.

Source: Thinkstock

13. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
> Traffic fatalities: 10.1 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 24.7 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.1
> Avg. gas price: $2.41 per gallon

The typical commuter in the Las Vegas metro area loses about 46 hours and 21 gallons of gas per year idling in traffic — more than in most other U.S. metro areas. Relatively high gas prices in the area make congestion and traffic delays especially costly. In the last year, the average cost of a gallon of gas in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise was $2.41, more than in the majority of metro areas.

Source: Thinkstock

12. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
> Traffic fatalities: 10.4 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 30.0 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.2
> Avg. gas price: $2.02 per gallon

The Houston metro area is one of the most populous in the country, which means there are more cars on the road as well. Houston has the fifth most cars used to get to work of any metro area in the country, and that can lead to traffic congestion. The average area commuter loses 26.2 gallons of gas per year and 55.4 hours per year due to slow-moving traffic. Both of those figures are in the top 10 in the country.

Fortunately for drivers, commuting does not cost them too much. Houston’s gas prices are on the cheaper side, averaging just $2.02 per gallon.

Source: Thinkstock

11. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
> Traffic fatalities: 11.4 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 32.9 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.2
> Avg. gas price: N/A

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California area has some of the lengthiest commutes in the country. The average driver in the area takes nearly 33 minutes to get to work, and 17.7% of drivers take more than an hour — both the seventh highest figures in the country.

The area also had a car theft rate well above the national rate in 2016. Some 679 cars per 100,000 residents were stolen that year, more than six times the national car theft rate.