The 50 Worst Cities to Drive In

For urban Americans today, gridlock is unavoidable.

The 50 Worst Cities to Drive In
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According to international data company Inrix, in 2017 traffic cost Americans an outrageous $305 billion. And even if you don’t drive your own vehicle, you’ve likely found yourself trapped in the backseat of a taxi, Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, Gett, Go, Via, or whatever ride-share service you use. Gridlock, for urban Americans today, is unavoidable.

Still, one wonders: In which cities are unequivocally the nation’s most atrocious when it comes to traveling via vehicle? There are the obvious culprits, of course—like the notoriously taxi-ridden New York City or the outrageously narrow roads of Austin, which just aren’t equipped to handle so many cars—but which cities truly deserve to be dubbed the worst of the worst?

To find out, we ranked each of the nation’s most populous cities on several metrics: the annual number of hours spent in congestion (courtesy of Inrix), the peak period congestion rate, or the percentage of time spent in congestion during peak hours (also courtesy of Inrix), the number of automobile-related fatalities for the year 2015 (the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the automobile-related fatality rate per capita (also thanks to NHTSA), and the average gasoline price over the past month, using data from FuelEconomy.gov. From there, we averaged each city’s rank on each of these five metrics to determine an overall average ranking: its city driving score. (Note: Some cities did not have congestion or gasoline price data available, so when applicable, we simply calculated the averages of the remaining available metrics.)

The closer a city driving score is to zero, the more likely that city’s drivers’ are this close to laying on the horn come 5:00 p.m. Think of it like a highly congested game of golf, except instead of bragging rights, the winner gets to stay in one place for hours (and hours, and hours, and…). Herein, we’ve rounded up the 50 cities that are absolute nightmares to drive in. If you’ve ever wanted to do the La La Land dance, head to these locals. And for more in-depth insights on America’s congestion crisis, don’t miss The Busiest Road in Every State.

Tucson, worst cities to drive in

50
Tucson, AZ

Annual # of hours of congestion: 10 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 5 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 59
Fatality rate per capita: 3.01
Average gasoline price: $2.735
City Driving Score: 32

And for some tips on how to handle traffic jams, check out how you can Rule the Road with These Smart Driving Strategies.

49
Fort Worth, TX

Annual # of hours of congestion: N/A
Peak period congestion rate: N/A
# of automobile-related fatalities: 84
fatality rate per capita: 3.4
Average gasoline price: $2.689
City Driving Score: 32

And for more on how America’s cities match up, don’t miss The 50 Most Caffeinated Cities in America.

corpus christi tx worst cities to drive in

48
Corpus Christi, TX

Annual # of hours of congestion: 6 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 3 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 30
Fatality rate per capita: 3.68
Average gasoline price: N/A
City Driving Score: 31.5

And for some roads you should definitely cruise, check out 40 Roads Everyone Should Drive By Age 40.

washington dc worst cities to drive in

47
Washington, D.C.

Annual # of hours of congestion: 63 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 20 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 27
Fatality rate per capita: 1.17
Average gasoline price: $3.014
City Driving Score: 31.2

cleveland ohio worst cities to drive in

46
Cleveland, OH

Annual # of hours of congestion: 18 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 8 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 49
Fatality rate per capita: 2.85
Average gasoline price: $2.789
City Driving Score: 31

pittsburgh pa worst cities to drive in

45
Pittsburgh, PA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 32 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 19 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 22
Fatality rate per capita: 1.98
Average gasoline price: $3.128
City Driving Score: 30.8

new orleans worst cities to drive in

44
New Orleans, LA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 24 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 11 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 55
Fatality rate per capita: 3.58
Average gasoline price: 2.538
City Driving Score: 30.6

And to learn about the bizarre tradition New Orleans hosts every July, check out The Weirdest Summer Tradition in Every State.

seattle wa worst cities to drive in

43
Seattle, WA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 55 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 22 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 27
Fatality rate per capita: 0.85
Average gasoline price: $3.509
City Driving Score: 30.2

baltimore md worst cities to drive in

42
Baltimore, MD

Annual # of hours of congestion: 27 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 11 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 41
Fatality rate per capita: 2.44
Average gasoline price: $2.807
City Driving Score: 30

milwaukee wi worst cities to drive in

41
Milwaukee, WI

Annual # of hours of congestion: 21 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 8 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 59
Fatality rate per capita: 2.18
Average gasoline price: $2.891
City Driving Score: 29.8

stockton ca worst driving cities

40
Stockton, CA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 12 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 7 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 38
Fatality rate per capita: 2.28
Average gasoline price: $3.586
City Driving Score: 29.6

charlotte nc worst cities to drive in

39
Charlotte, NC

Annual # of hours of congestion: 23 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 13 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 93
Fatality rate per capita: 2.61
Average gasoline price: $2.668
City Driving Score: 29.4

And to find out why it might be worth braving the traffic to make a visit to Charlotte, don’t miss The Craziest Amusement Park Ride in Every State.

oklahoma city ok worst cities to drive in

38
Oklahoma City, OK

Annual # of hours of congestion: 14 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 7 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 87
Fatality rate per capita: 4.39
Average gasoline price: $2.536
City Driving Score: 29.4

boston ma worst cities to drive in

37
Boston, MA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 60 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 23 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 27
Fatality rate per capita: 1.93
Average gasoline price: $2.928
City Driving Score: 29

nashville tn worst cities to drive in

36
Nashville, TN

Annual # of hours of congestion: 33 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 19 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 65
Fatality rate per capita: 2.42
Average gasoline price: $2.690
City Driving Score: 28.4

honolulu hi worst cities to drive in

35
Honolulu, HI

Annual # of hours of congestion: 37 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 17 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 22
Fatality rate per capita: 1.99
Average gasoline price: $3.594
City Driving Score: 28.2

lexington ky worst driving cities

34
Lexington, KY

Annual # of hours of congestion: 17 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 10 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 50
Fatality rate per capita: 3.14
Average gasoline price: $2.849
City Driving Score: 27.6

san jose ca worst cities to drive in

33
San Jose, CA

Annual # of hours of congestion: N/A
Peak period congestion rate: N/A
# of automobile-related fatalities: 60
Fatality rate per capita: 2.05
Average gasoline price: $3.728
City Driving Score: 27.3

denver co worst cities to drive in

32
Denver, CO

Annual # of hours of congestion: 36 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 13 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 54
Fatality rate per capita: 2.75
Average gasoline price: $2.767
City Driving Score: 27

And to learn about some magical secrets tucked away in the mountains near Denver, check out 23 Castles So Jaw-Dropping You Won’t Believe They’re in the U.S.

las vegas nv worst cities to drive in

31
Las Vegas, NV

Annual # of hours of congestion: 24 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 11 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 58
Fatality rate per capita: 2.05
Average gasoline price: $3.218
City Driving Score: 26.6

And if you’re heading to town, you may want to learn The Easiest Way to Double Your Money in Vegas.

memphis tn worst cities to drive in

30
Memphis, TN

Annual # of hours of congestion: 17 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 8 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 120
Fatality rate per capita: 4.29
Average gasoline price: $2.657
City Driving Score: 26.4

newark nj worst cities to drive in

29
Newark, NJ

Annual # of hours of congestion: N/A
Peak period congestion rate: N/A
# of automobile-related fatalities: 28
Fatality rate per capita: 5.68
Average gasoline price: $2.914
City Driving Score: 26.3

El Paso, worst cities to drive in

28
El Paso, TX

Annual # of hours of congestion: 14 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 7 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 67
Fatality rate per capita: 3.37
Average gasoline price: $2.820
City Driving Score: 26.2

Indianapolis, worst cities to drive in

27
Indianapolis, IN

Annual # of hours of congestion: 17 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 8 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 96
Fatality rate per capita: 2.34
Average gasoline price: $2.956
City Driving Score: 26

St. Petersburg Florida worst cities to drive in

26
St. Petersburg, FL

Annual # of hours of congestion: N/A
Peak period congestion rate: N/A
# of automobile-related fatalities: 33
Fatality rate per capita: 4.6
Average gasoline price: N/A
City Driving Score: 25.5

orlando fl worst cities to drive in

25
Orlando, FL

Annual # of hours of congestion: 34 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 11 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 35
Fatality rate per capita: 5.41
Average gasoline price: $2.706
City Driving Score: 25

austin tx worst cities to drive in

24
Austin, TX

Annual # of hours of congestion: 43 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 20 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 86
Fatality rate per capita: 3.16
Average gasoline price: $2.635
City Driving Score: 25

san antonio tx worst cities to drive in

23
San Antonio, TX

Annual # of hours of congestion: 25 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 10 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 194
Fatality rate per capita: 4.29
Average gasoline price: $2.552
City Driving Score: 24.8

louisville ky worst cities to drive in

22
Louisville, KY

Annual # of hours of congestion: 19 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 10 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 87
Fatality rate per capita: 2.76
Average gasoline price: $2.933
City Driving Score: 24.2

And for some of Louisville’s redeeming qualities, find out where it falls on The 50 Best Cities to Spend Your Golden Years—Ranked.

sacramento ca worst cities to drive in

21
Sacramento, CA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 25 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 11 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 49
Fatality rate per capita: 3.03
Average gasoline price: N/A
City Driving Score: 24

san francisco ca worst cities to drive in

20
San Francisco, CA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 79 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 21 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 28
Fatality rate per capita: 1.61
Average gasoline price: $3.811
City Driving Score: 23.6

tampa florida worst cities to drive in

19
Tampa, FL

Annual # of hours of congestion: 28 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 13 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 52
Fatality rate per capita: 4.77
Average gasoline price: $2.708
City Driving Score: 23.6

jacksonville fl worst cities to drive in

18
Jacksonville, FL

Annual # of hours of congestion: 21 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 9 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 149
Fatality rate per capita: 3.97
Average gasoline price: $2.715
City Driving Score: 23.2

17
Reno, NV

Annual # of hours of Congestion: 13 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 7 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 29
Fatality rate per capita: 4.89
Average gasoline price: $3.308
City Driving Score: 23.2

st. louis mo worst cities to drive in

16
St. Louis, MO

Annual # of hours of congestion: 20 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 8 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 62
Fatality rate per capita: 3.01
Average gasoline price: $2.743
City Driving Score: 22.6

portland or worst cities to drive in

15
Portland, OR

Annual # of hours of congestion: 50 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 21 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 43
Fatality rate per capita: 2.19
Average gasoline price: $3.356
City Driving Score: 22.4

Albuquerque, worst cities to drive in

14
Albuquerque, NM

Annual # of hours of congestion: 14 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 8 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 94
Fatality rate per capita: 5.54
Average gasoline price: $2.767
City Driving Score: 22.4

bakerfield ca worst driving cities

13
Bakersfield, CA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 11 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 6 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 44
Fatality rate per capita: 3.99
Average gasoline price: $3.644
City Driving Score: 22.2

chicago il worst cities to drive in

12
Chicago, IL

Annual # of hours of congestion: 57 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 17 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 123
Fatality rate per capita: 1.52
Average gasoline price: $3.189
City Driving Score: 21.6

And for more on what the Windy City has up its sleeve, don’t miss these 40 Crazy Facts about the World’s Tallest Buildings.

houston tx worst driving cities

11
Houston, TX

Annual # of hours of congestion: 50 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 13 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 248
Fatality rate per capita: 3.43
Average gasoline price: $2.659
City Driving Score: 21

miami fl worst cities to drive in

10
Miami, FL

Annual # of hours of congestion: 64 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 13 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 46
Fatality rate per capita: 4.19
Average gasoline price: $2.828
City Driving Score: 19.8

philadelphia pa worst cities to drive in

9
Philadelphia, PA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 37 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 12 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 101
Fatality rate per capita: 2.74
Average gasoline price: $3.07
City Driving Score: 18.8

New York, NYC, worst cities to drive in

8
New York City, NY

Annual # of hours of congestion: 91 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 19 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 230
Fatality rate per capita: 1.6
Average gasoline price: $3.129
City Driving Score: 18.6

And to find out about the latest craze to hit New York, don’t miss This Is What It’s Like to Use a New “Nap Hotel.”

dallas tx worst cities to drive in

7
Dallas, TX

Annual # of hours of congestion: 54 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 11 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 190
Fatality rate per capita: 4.32
Average gasoline price: $2.706
City Driving Score: 18.4

atlanta ga worst cities to drive in

6
Atlanta, GA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 70 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 17 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 66
Fatality rate per capita: 4.44
Average gasoline price: $2.792
City Driving Score: 16.8

baton rouge la worst cities to drive in

5
Baton Rouge, LA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 32 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 18 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 44
Fatality rate per capita: 5.27
Average gasoline price: N/A
City Driving Score: 16.5

detroit mi worst driving cities

4
Detroit, MI

Annual # of hours of congestion: 35 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 10 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 118
Fatality rate per capita: 4.31
Average gasoline price: $3.004
City Driving Score: 15.4

san diego ca worst driving cities

3
San Diego, CA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 48 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 19 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 96
Fatality rate per capita: 2.99
Average gasoline price: $3.675
City Driving Score: 13.2

phoenix az worst driving cities

2
Phoenix, AZ

Annual # of hours of congestion: 34 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 9 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 225
Fatality rate per capita: 5.57
Average gasoline price: $3.062
City Driving Score: 12

los angeles ca worst cities to drive in

1
Los Angeles, CA

Annual # of hours of congestion: 102 hours
Peak period congestion rate: 21 percent
# of automobile-related fatalities: 315
Fatality rate per capita: 3.27
Average gasoline price: $3.698
City Driving Score: 7.2

And to make up for its extreme traffic congestion, see what Los Angeles has to offer with The 25 Most Exclusive Clubs On The Planet.

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