Let’s face it, there are good lists and then there are bad lists. Being voted one of the Top 10 Worst Congested Cities in America isn’t good. It goes without saying that drivers hate traffic…and, the strain of sitting in it each and every day can be terrible. Not only that, but auto insurance companies can use that against you when it comes to setting your premiums. Your commute to and from work and the length of time you spend behind the wheel can cost you more than you might think.
That’s why, if your city happens to be Austin and you’re ranked at Number 4 on the country’s most congested cities, you might be getting squeezed just as those drivers in the other cities making the list. Not only by how much you pay for your auto insurance, but in fuel costs as well. The added expense on both fronts can easily affect you financially, although, according to some economists, gridlock can mean that cities with the worst traffic conditions are the ones with the fastest growing ZIP codes in the U.S. They’re often also above average in population and employment growth, which they consider a good thing.
Still, spending so much time in our cars doesn’t only affect our finances, it can equally affect our health in a number of ways – with excessive stress being one of them.
Below are the Top 10 Worst Congested Cities in America:
10. Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital is famous for its traffic jams and uncaring drivers. The highway system is a nightmare, as is parking. The city’s intersections are all peppered with red light cameras and the street patterns are confusing at best, with endless one-ways and no-left turns. Washingtonians are ranked on the worst drivers in America list, crashing an average of every 4.8 years. They spend approximately 40.5 hours sitting in traffic per year.
9. Boston, Massachusetts
Because of a healthy employment growth rate, Boston has experienced the largest increase in traffic, according to researchers, contributing to mass traffic jams. A two percent employment growth has added 22 percent more wait time over that of 2013, translating into a total of 38.8 hours of overall going nowhere in traffic.
8. Seattle, Washington
As the fastest growing city in the U.S., Seattle drivers are spending 2 hours more in traffic in 2014 than they did last year. A single eight-mile stretch of the I-5, which should take 9 minutes, often requires 47 minutes or more to get to the other end. With massive growth comes congestion.
7. San Jose, California
The third largest city in the state, it also ranks as the fifth largest in the country. Because the interstate system was constructed prior to the city’s boom, traffic in 2014 is a mess. San Jose drivers are getting used to sitting 34.9 hours in traffic per year.
6. Bridgeport, Connecticut
Remarkably, with only 150,000 people, Bridgeport is the smallest city to make the list. However, being part of the larger New York City area, it has a rather substantial suburban population, compounding the traffic problem.
5. New York City
New York City drivers spend an irritating 54.2 hours a year sitting in gridlock. Luckily, car ownership is low and more than half of the city’s workforce commutes to work using some form of public transportation or the problem would be much worse. New York lays claim to the most congested stretch of road in America according to the Federal Highway Administration.
4. Austin, Texas
Again, both an employment and population boom has increased traffic in the greater Austin area greatly over the past few years. Drivers now waste 42.1 hours annually trying to get around the city – a three hour increase over last year’s average waiting time.
3. San Francisco, California
The city by the bay is known for its clean air, but its commuters are choking in daily traffic. Major arteries are regularly clogged with cars as travelers and residents alike waste 56.5 hours a year sitting in traffic.
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
With a minimal amount of land and a growing population, comes gridlock. Honolulu is no different. According to a recent report, there is only a mile and a half of road per 1,000 people in the city. Commuting time has gone up dramatically over the past few years, reaching 61 hours of being stuck in traffic every year.
1. Los Angeles, California
This one comes as no surprise. It’s typically the perennial winner. At least half of the top ten most congested corridors in America are found within the Los Angeles area. On average, drivers can expect to waste 64.1 hours per year sitting in traffic. A normal 15-minute drive turns into an hour or more crawl along at virtually any time of day.
While you might hate sitting in traffic, you probably like the idea of saving money. So, take a few minutes and make sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Does your city have a major traffic congestion problem? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.