(NEXSTAR) – For many Americans, regardless of their family situation or what they do for work, the worst part of their day is the same: commute.
What exactly makes it so miserable – especially for those with driving commutes – is a concoction of bumper-to-bumper traffic, hours wasted on the road, and the high cost of gas. Plus, driving is one of the most dangerous things we do regularly.
Personal finance site MoneyGeek took a look at all these maddening aspects of the daily commute and ranked cities by where things are worst.
The first metric they measured was “commute agony,” which combines two especially frustrating things about commuting: long distances and slow speeds.
On this list of spots for infuriating commutes, there are four metro areas each in Texas and Florida.
|Rank||Metro area||Avg. length of one-way commute (minutes)||Avg. rush hour speed (mph)|
|1.||New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||37||29|
|2.||Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||32||25|
|3.||Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||29||25|
|4.||Austin-Round Rock, TX||28||25|
|5.||Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||31||27|
|7.||San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||28||25|
|8.||Port St. Lucie, FL||31||27|
|9.||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||31||27|
|10.||Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||31||27|
Another part of the commute people complain about is the cost of gas. Sure, gas prices aren’t as high as they were this time last year, but they still aren’t cheap. AAA puts the average price of a gallon at around $3.50 nationwide at the start of June 2023.
But in some cities, $3.50 gas is nowhere to be found. In San Francisco, for example, gas is running about $4.96 per gallon in early June.
With that in mind, MoneyGeek also ranked cities by how much commuters spend on gas every year. On this list, California cities dominate the top 10 (or maybe we should say bottom 10):
|Rank||Metro area||Cost of gas annually|
|3.||San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||$1,843|
|5.||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||$1,789|
|6.||Santa Rosa, CA||$1,628|
|8.||New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$1,616|
And in case those two factors weren’t bad enough, there’s also the fact that your commute could kill you. Crashes are one of the leading causes of death for Americans under 54, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To determine where commutes are most dangerous, MoneyGeek looked at the cities with the most fatal crashes during morning rush hour, between 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
Many of the cities with especially dangerous commutes are in the South, according to MoneyGeek’s analysis:
|Rank||Metro area||Morning fatal crashes per 100K residents|
|3.||Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||2.2|
|5.||Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC||2.1|
|8.||Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL||2.0|
Who has it best? The analysis found residents of mid-sized cities around the country have the most reasonable commutes.
In Des Moines, Iowa – which took the No. 1 spot for best commutes – gas is relatively cheap and people only spend about 20 minutes each way to get to work. Anchorage, Alaska, which ranked second, has a practically nonexistent fatal crash rate during the peak morning rush hour.
Santa Barbara, California; Buffalo, New York; and Omaha, Nebraska round out the top five.
Curious where your city stands in terms of commute nightmares? MoneyGeek rated 127 metro areas, and the data can be found on their website.