New Study Weighs Seven Factors To Gauge Bad Driving Conditions
No matter what kind of car you drive, some parts of the country are starting to return to work after a COVID-19-induced break, so workers should beware of where the worst commutes will be found. Teletrac Navman, a software-as-a-service provider that advises companies on managing mobility assets, released a study this week that pinpointed the best and worst of the United States’ 50 most populous cities.
East and West Coast cities shared most of the 10 worst spots. Washington, D.C. and Baltimore were number one and two, followed by three California cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose) at numbers three, five and eight. Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Providence, R.I., and Chicago rounded out the roughest commutes.
The rankings were based on seven factors, including commuter volume, commute time (hours lost in congestion and long—more than one-hour—commutes), accident rates (three measures) and road quality. The company sourced data from the U.S. Census, Intrix Traffic Scorecard, Allstate Insurance, NHTSA and TRIP, a national transportation research group.
Even though commutes during the past several months might have been lighter than normal, it’s expected that most of these cities will regain their ignoble status.
The Good Commutes (and Others)
On the other end of the spectrum are five cities that have stellar commuting records—Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Raleigh-Durham, Virginia Beach and Buffalo. By these same metrics they have the safest and swiftest commutes.
Some other surprising rankings came out of Teletrac Navman’s studies, including cities with the least traffic fatalities per capita (that also had horrible commutes)—San Francisco and New York City. In contrast, high fatality rates were found in Kansas City, Birmingham and St. Louis.
The study found those two cities with the lowest fatality rate—San Francisco and New York—also has the most commuters with longer than one hour of commute time. In New York almost a quarter of commuters spent more than one hour on the road and almost 18 percent put in that amount of time in San Francisco. Third in that slow race was Washington, D.C., followed by Riverside, California, and Atlanta.
Teletrac Navman’s head of global marketing, Carlos Caponera, said: “We are very passionate about mobility safety and developing solutions for those who rely on fleet vehicles, and while it’s great that the economy is trying to come back to normal, it’s important to remember that driving during peak times can be stressful and to take precautions that limit driving stress, which is known to negatively impact driving safety.”
Even with low or zero-emission vehicles, a bad commute will take its toll on both driver and vehicle, so those heading back to work are forewarned.