For many people, driving is expensive and stressful. On average, Americans spend 240 hours each year on the road, either driving or stuck in traffic– and few of those hours are spent in the car by choice.
Still, not all cities in the United States are miserable for drivers, and WalletHub released a report this month detailing which of the top 100 most populated cities in the nation are best for drivers, and which are the worst.
Lubbock, TX, earned the top slot, with New York City being ranked last.
In order to come up with those rankings, WalletHub looked at 21 metrics across four categories: costs, traffic and road conditions, safety, and driver and car wellness. Those metrics included average gas prices, parking prices, traffic delays, rates of car theft, average maintenance costs, and auto repair shops per capita, among others. The scores in each category were then averaged (with the first three being weighted equally and the fourth category carrying half that weight) to determine the final ranking.
Unsurprisingly, based on those metrics, many of the nation’s largest cities clustered at the bottom. New York City was ranked behind Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago, Boston, Newark, Detroit, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. (listed in order 91-99). That’s actually an improvement for Boston, which was named as the worst city for driving in a similar study conducted by NerdWallet earlier this year.
Of course, keeping up with maintenance and making smart driving choices can keep the costs of driving more affordable in every city, even the nation’s most expensive.
“The automotive industry may (over a decade) be able to reduce the stress related to driving in cities but the cost will continue to increase,” says Rick Genin, Owner, Genins AutoCare. “New technologies cost money and more expensive vehicles are more costly to insure. I would say much of the stress comes from infrastructure that is insufficient to handle an ever increasing load. Life just gets busier and busier which causes a lot of urgency on the road.”
The study also speculated that the automated technologies now being tested could drastically change driving experiences and cut costs associated with crashes, though experts expect it to be at least a decade before such technology is in widespread use.
WalletHub’s complete findings, along with expert recommendation on reducing driving costs, are available for free online.
The automotive industry may over a decade be able to reduce the stress related to driving in cities but the cost will continue to increase. New technologies cost money and more expensive vehicles are more costly to insure.
I would say much of the stress comes from infrastructure that is insufficient to handle an ever increasing load.
Life just gets busier & busier this causes a lot of urgency on the road.