Report compared 100 largest cities based on “indicators of driver-friendliness”
OAKLAND, Calif. — The hassles and costs of driving can quickly add up, especially as Americans increasingly pay more for gas, spend long hours stuck in traffic, and suffer damage from pothole-ridden roads.
According to an annual report by WalletHub, which compared 30 “indicators of driver-friendliness” across the 100 largest cities in the United States, Oakland and San Francisco are the top two worst places to get behind the wheel.
The report was divided into four sections: cost of ownership and maintenance, traffic and infrastructure, safety, and vehicle access and maintenance.
Each city was graded on a 100-point scale based on a ranked list of concerns such as the cost of a new car, the quality of local roads, the likelihood of an accident, insurance premiums, and the rate of vehicle thefts in any given city. Access to repair shops and a city’s proportion of uninsured drivers were ranked lower.
Smaller suburban cities performed significantly better than denser, car-clogged metropolitan areas.
San Francisco and Oakland were ranked 99th and 100th in the Top 100 list, respectively. The second and third largest cities in the Bay Area received total scores of 38.14 and 38.15, respectively, and were closely followed by Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
According to Bureau of Transportation statistics, Americans relied on personal vehicles for 87% of daily trips in 2017. While the pandemic has dramatically altered travel habits, and alternatives such as public transportation, cycling, ride-sharing, and walking remain abundant in California, the plethora of problems drivers face remains daunting.
All but two of the 17 California cities included in the survey ranked in the bottom third, with Irvine and Riverside ranking 45th and 65th, respectively.
WalletHub, on the other hand, gave the top three spots on its list to Corpus Christi, Texas, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Boise, Idaho.
However, despite having some of the lowest average gas prices, accident rates, parking expenses, and hours spent in traffic during daily commutes, none of those cities received a better than a D+ grade — with Corpus Christi receiving the highest ranking of 66.5 percent — potentially illustrating the dire state of driving across the country.