These are the 10 worst U.S. cities for driving in 2024, ranked

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How’s the commute where you live? Chances are, it’s not as bad as the daily drives experienced by people living in Oakland, Calif., or Miami, Fla. A new study from Forbes Advisor outlines the worst cities in the country for driving, and some of the names on the list likely won’t come as much of a shock.

The 10 worst U.S. cities for driving:

  1. Oakland
  2. Miami
  3. San Francisco
  4. Houston
  5. Philadelphia
  6. New York City
  7. Chicago
  8. Atlanta
  9. Dallas
  10. Portland, Ore.

Forbes ranked 47 metro areas by comparing data for 15 metrics that were grouped into four basic categories: driving experience, safety, cost of car ownership and access to car maintenance.  The study assigned points for gas prices, insurance rates, commute times and even weather to rank U.S. cities. While Oakland took the “top” spot overall, Boston was the worst for driver experience specifically, and Albuquerque was the worst for driver safety. New York City is the most expensive place to own a car, and drivers in Memphis have the worst access to car maintenance.

Looking through the lens of gas prices, it’s not surprising to see that two other California cities landed in the 20 worst for driving, including Los Angeles and Long Beach. According to AAA, the state’s average gas price today is $5.42, significantly higher than the $3.667 national average.

Drivers in the worst cities spent long periods lost in traffic congestion and had low average speeds during rush hour traffic. They also had longer drive times to travel six miles, and their downtowns had the lowest average speeds. Forbes included weather in its study, looking at the average number of days with precipitation, which can bring out the worst in even the most experienced drivers.

These cities also had poor showings for insurance rates. Drivers living in congested urban areas where accidents are common pay more for car insurance because of the greater risk associated with where they drive most often. These areas may also have higher rates of uninsured drivers and more injuries associated with crashes, driving up the costs for insurers, who always pass those costs onto customers.

For a deep dive into the rankings, the methodology behind them, and to see the full list of cities and an interactive map, check out the full report.


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