Having a car inspires feelings of freedom and conjures images of the open road. But the reality of being an auto owner can be an entirely different experience. High gas prices, long commutes, and sometimes deadly accidents are daily concerns for drivers.
The drawbacks to car ownership and driving are far more pronounced in some parts of the country than in others. Just as gas prices vary by region, so does the likelihood of congestion, stolen vehicles, and accidents.
> Traffic fatalities: 14.3 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 23.9 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.1
> Avg. gas price: $2.29 per gallon
There were over 5,000 motor vehicle thefts in the Louisville metro area in 2016, or about 411 for every 100,000 area residents. Nationwide, there were only 103 car thefts per 100,000 people. In addition to car theft, deadly accidents are more common in Louisville/Jefferson County than nationwide. There were 14.3 roadway fatalities per 100,000 residents in the metro area, more than in the majority of U.S. metro areas.
24/7 Wall St. created an index from half a dozen driving-related measures to identify the worst cities to drive in. The index components were selected to capture an area’s safety, convenience, and cost of driving. While the metro areas on this list span the United States, a disproportionate share of the worst cities for drivers are in western states — California in particular.