We’re not saying it’s a good thing, nor are we saying everyone likes doing it, but you can’t change the fact driving everywhere has become a normal part of everyday life for 99.8% of Americans. That’s not us speculating either because, research says, the average US citizen sits behind the wheel of an automotive vehicle for 300 hours a year. That includes everything from their commute to work, their weekly trip to the grocery store and being stuck on the highway come holiday season. To give you a better idea of what 300 hours equates to, more or less, two weeks. Two full weeks. Of being sat in your car.
For some, that’s perfectly fine. In fact, they love nothing more than driving on open stretches of road, the tarmac in front getting chewed up by the hood. But not all roads were born equal, meaning some roads are a much uglier beast to tackle. Not just in terms of commute times, but congestion, maintenance costs, quality of infrastructure and, the big one, safety.
So, without further ado, here are the worst cities to go for a spin:
- New York City
Manhattan, as far as islands go, is pretty small. And yet 8 million people head there on a daily basis. 8 million. That alone warrants having a taxi accident lawyer on speed dial, not to mention the myriad of bridges and tunnels that make up every commute. Trust us: there’s nowhere we’d rather be less come the Friday evening rush hour.
The thing about Philadelphia is, it borders New Jersey via the Delaware River. Now, to most, that probably means nothing, but for commuters driving into the city, well, they have to wrestle their way across it every single day. Oh, and there’s a reason we said wrestle: there are only a few lanes heading into the city, so you’re going to get slowed down no matter which way you go.
Just across the bay from the impossibly hectic (spoiler alert: San Francisco) is the city of Oakland, a place that has more or less been taken over by people travelling from the east because they have to go through Oakland to get to SF. But that’s not the only headache. It’s also built on mountainous terrain, which is exactly ideal for a driver.
- San Francisco
Just across the bay from Oakland… Oh, you know that side of it. What you might not realise, however, is that San Francisco was built on a Peninsula, meaning land access is pretty limited to the south of the city; a problem because there is only a handful of bridges. Oh, and then there are all the impossibly steep hills you have to engage with too. Basically, it’s a much better idea to take the tram.
Trust us: there is nowhere worse to drive in America than Detroit. Everyone has cars, the traffic is dreadful, congestion is a guarantee and you aren’t that safe. Does that cover it? It should do.