Morning commutes are often frustrating for drivers and can be a huge drain on the economy. By one estimate, gridlock costs the U.S. economy upwards of $124 billion per year, and that number is only expected to increase.
Individual workers foot most of the bill, wasting gas idling in traffic jams and wasting time that they could be working. But driving to work is an unavoidable part of working life for many Americans.
Not all commutes are created equal. Some can be brief, relatively stress-free drives, while others can be aggravating and time-consuming. There are differences in the quality of commutes not just between states, but also between cities. Even cities that are close to one another can have widely different driving experiences.
24/7 Wall St. created an index composed of several driving-related measures to identify the worst metropolitan statistical areas to drive in each state. The components of the index, which include average commute time, gas prices, and accident rates, were selected to capture an area’s safety, convenience, and cost of driving.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this piece identified the worst MSA for driving in five states as those that are partially located in the state, but for which the primary city is in a different state. Those five states were Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, and New Jersey, and the MSAs have been replaced.