Special Report

The Worst City to Drive in Every State

Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

Millions of Americans began working from home during the pandemic, but millions others continued to commute to work every day. Now that offices are opening up again, more Americans will be joining them, with many dreading the commute. The average drive to work is 27.6 minutes, but in some parts of the country this commute can take much longer. 

Driving on major highways packed with commuters can also be dangerous, as traffic accidents can occur. While every major city is bound to have some traffic, each state has at least one major metropolitan area in which driving is especially time consuming, expensive, and dangerous.

To determine the worst cities to drive in, 24/7 Wall St. created an index assessing the safety, cost, and convenience of driving in America’s metropolitan statistical areas.

Traffic congestion is the result of too many cars on the road and not enough roadway. And certain times, such as commute time, lend themselves to more traffic congestion. Most of the worst cities to drive in each state are metro areas with populations of well over 1 million people, making them among the largest population centers in the country.

Major metro areas tend to have better public transit options. Yet the vast majority of the cities that rank as the worst to drive in their state have a relatively high share of commuters who drive their own car to work compared to the nationwide share of 84.8%.

Traffic jams can not only rob commuters of dozens of hours per year, but also cost them hundreds of dollars annually in wasted fuel and lost productivity. Longer commutes can also result in more wear and tear on a car, so car buyers must ensure they get a vehicle that can stand up to the rigors of their commute. These are the most and least dependable cars for 2021.

Click here to see the worst city to drive in every state

To determine the worst cities to drive in, 24/7 Wall St. created an index assessing the safety (number of traffic fatalities), cost (fuel cost, hours spent in traffic), and convenience (travel time) of driving in America’s metropolitan statistical areas.

Data on the number of traffic fatalities in 2019 came from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and was adjusted for population using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Data on the mean travel time to work for the population 16 years and over came from the 2019 ACS. Data on the average cost of fuel per auto commuter accrued while sitting in traffic in 2020, as well as the average number of hours of delay spent in traffic per auto commuter in 2020, came from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s 2021 Urban Mobility Report and were aggregated from the urban area level to the metropolitan statistical area level using geographic definitions from the Census Bureau.

Supplemental data included the number of car thefts per 100,000 people came from the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2019 Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report as well as data on the average annual insurance costs by state. Insurance cost data came from car review website insure.com and are based on full coverage for a single, 40 year-old male with a clean record and good credit and are for the 2021 model-year versions of the 20 best-selling vehicles in the United States as of January 2021.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Alabama: Birmingham-Hoover
> Traffic fatalities: 13.7 per 100,000
> Alabama traffic fatalities: 19.0 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 28.1 minutes
> Alabama avg. commute: 25.4 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-65

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Source: Chilkoot / Getty Images

Alaska: Anchorage
> Traffic fatalities: 9.3 per 100,000
> Alaska traffic fatalities: 9.2 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 23.1 minutes
> Alaska avg. commute: 20.2 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-3 PARKS HWY

Source: JacobH / Getty Images

Arizona: Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler
> Traffic fatalities: 10.4 per 100,000
> Arizona traffic fatalities: 13.5 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 27.9 minutes
> Arizona avg. commute: 26.6 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-10

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Arkansas: Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway
> Traffic fatalities: 12.9 per 100,000
> Arkansas traffic fatalities: 16.7 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 22.7 minutes
> Arkansas avg. commute: 21.9 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-30-22

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Source: bluejayphoto / Getty Images

California: San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley
> Traffic fatalities: 5.4 per 100,000
> California traffic fatalities: 9.1 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 35.2 minutes
> California avg. commute: 30.7 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-80

Source: photoquest7 / Getty Images

Colorado: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
> Traffic fatalities: 8.4 per 100,000
> Colorado traffic fatalities: 10.3 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 28.8 minutes
> Colorado avg. commute: 26.5 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-70

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Connecticut: Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk
> Traffic fatalities: 3.3 per 100,000
> Connecticut traffic fatalities: 7.0 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 32.2 minutes
> Connecticut avg. commute: 27.0 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-95

Source: Ataraxy22 / Wikimedia Commons

Delaware: Dover
> Traffic fatalities: 13.8 per 100,000
> Delaware traffic fatalities: 13.6 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 27.6 minutes
> Delaware avg. commute: 26.7 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-13

Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

Florida: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach
> Traffic fatalities: 11.1 per 100,000
> Florida traffic fatalities: 14.8 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 30.3 minutes
> Florida avg. commute: 28.4 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-95

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

Georgia: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta
> Traffic fatalities: 11.3 per 100,000
> Georgia traffic fatalities: 14.0 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 32.5 minutes
> Georgia avg. commute: 29.3 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-75

Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

Hawaii: Urban Honolulu
> Traffic fatalities: 5.2 per 100,000
> Hawaii traffic fatalities: 7.6 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 29.4 minutes
> Hawaii avg. commute: 28.1 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-83

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Source: christiannafzger / iStock via Getty Images

Idaho: Boise City
> Traffic fatalities: 8.0 per 100,000
> Idaho traffic fatalities: 12.5 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 23.0 minutes
> Idaho avg. commute: 21.5 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-84

Source: Ron_Thomas / Getty Images

Illinois: Chicago-Naperville-Elgin
> Traffic fatalities: 6.2 per 100,000
> Illinois traffic fatalities: 8.0 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 32.4 minutes
> Illinois avg. commute: 29.6 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-80

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

Indiana: Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson
> Traffic fatalities: 9.9 per 100,000
> Indiana traffic fatalities: 12.0 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 25.6 minutes
> Indiana avg. commute: 24.2 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-70E

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Source: beverett / Getty Images

Iowa: Cedar Rapids
> Traffic fatalities: 7.3 per 100,000
> Iowa traffic fatalities: 10.6 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 20.8 minutes
> Iowa avg. commute: 19.8 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-30

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Kansas: Wichita
> Traffic fatalities: 11.9 per 100,000
> Kansas traffic fatalities: 14.1 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 20.6 minutes
> Kansas avg. commute: 20.0 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-254

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Kentucky: Louisville/Jefferson County
> Traffic fatalities: 12.0 per 100,000
> Kentucky traffic fatalities: 16.4 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 24.2 minutes
> Kentucky avg. commute: 24.2 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-64

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

Louisiana: New Orleans-Metairie
> Traffic fatalities: 12.6 per 100,000
> Louisiana traffic fatalities: 15.6 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 26.5 minutes
> Louisiana avg. commute: 26.6 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-10

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Maine: Bangor
> Traffic fatalities: 17.1 per 100,000
> Maine traffic fatalities: 11.7 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 22.3 minutes
> Maine avg. commute: 24.6 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-95 NB

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Maryland: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson
> Traffic fatalities: 7.2 per 100,000
> Maryland traffic fatalities: 8.6 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 31.7 minutes
> Maryland avg. commute: 33.7 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-95

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Massachusetts: Boston-Cambridge-Newton
> Traffic fatalities: 3.8 per 100,000
> Massachusetts traffic fatalities: 4.8 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 32.6 minutes
> Massachusetts avg. commute: 31.0 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-95

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Source: Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images

Michigan: Detroit-Warren-Dearborn
> Traffic fatalities: 7.8 per 100,000
> Michigan traffic fatalities: 9.9 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 27.5 minutes
> Michigan avg. commute: 25.1 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-94

Source: StevenGaertner / Getty Images

Minnesota: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
> Traffic fatalities: 5.0 per 100,000
> Minnesota traffic fatalities: 6.5 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 26.1 minutes
> Minnesota avg. commute: 24.4 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-169

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

Mississippi: Jackson
> Traffic fatalities: 18.3 per 100,000
> Mississippi traffic fatalities: 21.6 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 25.2 minutes
> Mississippi avg. commute: 25.1 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-55

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Source: espiegle / Getty Images

Missouri: St. Louis
> Traffic fatalities: 11.7 per 100,000
> Missouri traffic fatalities: 14.3 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 26.0 minutes
> Missouri avg. commute: 24.3 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-70

Source: wellesenterprises / Getty Images

Montana: Billings
> Traffic fatalities: 11.6 per 100,000
> Montana traffic fatalities: 17.2 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 19.9 minutes
> Montana avg. commute: 19.5 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-310

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Source: Matt Bills / Getty Images

Nebraska: Omaha-Council Bluffs
> Traffic fatalities: 10.1 per 100,000
> Nebraska traffic fatalities: 12.8 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 21.2 minutes
> Nebraska avg. commute: 19.5 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-80

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

Nevada: Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise
> Traffic fatalities: 8.2 per 100,000
> Nevada traffic fatalities: 9.9 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 25.9 minutes
> Nevada avg. commute: 25.6 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-15

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

New Hampshire: Manchester-Nashua
> Traffic fatalities: 6.5 per 100,000
> New Hampshire traffic fatalities: 7.4 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 28.0 minutes
> New Hampshire avg. commute: 28.0 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-101

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

New Jersey: Atlantic City-Hammonton
> Traffic fatalities: 12.1 per 100,000
> New Jersey traffic fatalities: 6.3 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 26.1 minutes
> New Jersey avg. commute: 33.1 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-40

Source: Ron Reiring / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: Albuquerque
> Traffic fatalities: 15.4 per 100,000
> New Mexico traffic fatalities: 20.2 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 24.4 minutes
> New Mexico avg. commute: 22.6 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-40

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

New York: New York-Newark-Jersey City
> Traffic fatalities: 4.2 per 100,000
> New York traffic fatalities: 4.8 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 37.7 minutes
> New York avg. commute: 34.0 minutes
> Most dangerous road: GSP-444

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

North Carolina: Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia
> Traffic fatalities: 10.5 per 100,000
> North Carolina traffic fatalities: 13.1 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 27.7 minutes
> North Carolina avg. commute: 25.7 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-77

Source: powerofforever / Getty Images

North Dakota: Bismarck
> Traffic fatalities: 9.3 per 100,000
> North Dakota traffic fatalities: 13.1 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 18.3 minutes
> North Dakota avg. commute: 17.9 minutes
> Most dangerous road: 38TH AVE SW

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

Ohio: Columbus
> Traffic fatalities: 9.5 per 100,000
> Ohio traffic fatalities: 9.9 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 25.0 minutes
> Ohio avg. commute: 24.3 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-71

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
> Traffic fatalities: 11.2 per 100,000
> Oklahoma traffic fatalities: 16.2 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 23.7 minutes
> Oklahoma avg. commute: 22.7 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-40

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Oregon: Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro
> Traffic fatalities: 7.1 per 100,000
> Oregon traffic fatalities: 11.6 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 26.8 minutes
> Oregon avg. commute: 24.2 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-18 ODOT 39

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington
> Traffic fatalities: 7.2 per 100,000
> Pennsylvania traffic fatalities: 8.3 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 30.8 minutes
> Pennsylvania avg. commute: 27.8 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-95

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Rhode Island: Providence-Warwick
> Traffic fatalities: 6.6 per 100,000
> Rhode Island traffic fatalities: 5.4 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 27.2 minutes
> Rhode Island avg. commute: 25.7 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-95N EXIT 3B

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Source: felixmizioznikov / Getty Images

South Carolina: Florence
> Traffic fatalities: 29.8 per 100,000
> South Carolina traffic fatalities: 19.4 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 24.7 minutes
> South Carolina avg. commute: 26.0 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-52

Source: EunikaSopotnicka / Getty Images

South Dakota: Rapid City
> Traffic fatalities: 8.4 per 100,000
> South Dakota traffic fatalities: 11.5 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 19.6 minutes
> South Dakota avg. commute: 17.9 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-79

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Tennessee: Memphis
> Traffic fatalities: 17.3 per 100,000
> Tennessee traffic fatalities: 16.6 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 24.8 minutes
> Tennessee avg. commute: 25.9 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-55

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Texas: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land
> Traffic fatalities: 9.2 per 100,000
> Texas traffic fatalities: 12.5 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 30.7 minutes
> Texas avg. commute: 27.2 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-45

Source: 4kodiak / Getty Images

Utah: Salt Lake City
> Traffic fatalities: 5.8 per 100,000
> Utah traffic fatalities: 7.7 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 23.3 minutes
> Utah avg. commute: 22.5 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-68

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Vermont: Burlington-South Burlington
> Traffic fatalities: 4.6 per 100,000
> Vermont traffic fatalities: 7.5 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 23.7 minutes
> Vermont avg. commute: 24.0 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-7

Source: NicolasMcComber / Getty Images

Virginia: Winchester
> Traffic fatalities: 11.5 per 100,000
> Virginia traffic fatalities: 9.7 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 32.8 minutes
> Virginia avg. commute: 29.1 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-50

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Source: july7th / Getty Images

Washington: Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue
> Traffic fatalities: 5.1 per 100,000
> Washington traffic fatalities: 6.8 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 31.6 minutes
> Washington avg. commute: 28.8 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-99

Source: StanRohrer / E+ via Getty Images

West Virginia: Wheeling
> Traffic fatalities: 17.3 per 100,000
> West Virginia traffic fatalities: 14.5 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 25.6 minutes
> West Virginia avg. commute: 26.4 minutes
> Most dangerous road: SR-7

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Wisconsin: Milwaukee-Waukesha
> Traffic fatalities: 7.4 per 100,000
> Wisconsin traffic fatalities: 9.7 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 23.5 minutes
> Wisconsin avg. commute: 22.7 minutes
> Most dangerous road: I-41

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

Wyoming: Cheyenne
> Traffic fatalities: 15.1 per 100,000
> Wyoming traffic fatalities: 25.4 per 100,000
> Avg. commute: 17.5 minutes
> Wyoming avg. commute: 19.1 minutes
> Most dangerous road: US-85

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