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Drivers spend an average of more than 310 hours on the road annually. That’s about 13 days a year wasted behind a steering wheel due to daily commutes, personal plans, or even traffic congestions. Adding all the numbers together, American households spend an average of $1,700 due to driving annually.
That burden is felt the most in cities like Detroit, according to a new survey.
Personal finance website WalletHub found that Detroit, MI is the worst city to drive in, based on an aggregate score that tallied factors like cost of ownership and maintenance, traffic and infrastructure, safety, and access to vehicle and maintenance rankings. For all but one of category, Detroit ranked no higher than 81 out of the 100 most populated US cities, according to the survey.
Detroit narrowly beat out Oakland, CA for the worst ranking, followed by Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA, Newark, NJ, and Washington, DC.
Five cities in California, including both Oakland and San Francisco, had the highest average gas prices, according to the survey, while New York City and Philadelphia tied for having the highest parking rates.
There are alternatives to finding the right balance commuting, especially if money is a concern.
“One of the best ways to save money on transportation expenses is to investigate alternate options for travel,” said Nicholas E. Lowenes, Ph.D., PE, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut. “Public transportation in many metro areas is an affordable alternative to driving and has additional benefits to the environment by reducing emissions and fuel consumption caused by traffic congestion. Owning and operating a personal vehicle costs between $5,000 and $8,000 per year when you consider all of the costs associated with owning, maintaining and fueling the vehicle. Owning fewer vehicles is a great way to save money.”
But while it might be a struggle to drive on the Golden Coast, taking a drive in Raleigh, NC sure pays off. Raleigh ranked No. 1 as the best city to drive in due to owning the best cost of ownership and maintenance ranking, while ranking in the top 10 in safety and top 20 in traffic and infrastructure.
Orlando, FL, Lincoln, NE, Tampa, FL, and Winston-Salem, NC also ranked highly. Drivers in Winston-Salem spend the least amount of annual hours in congestion per auto commuter, according to the survey.