What Is the Nation’s Worst City for Drivers? Depends on How You’re Counting.

A new study analyzed everything from traffic to gas prices

Different cities are bad for drivers in different ways.
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Is Oakland the worst city in the United States to drive in? Maybe. But there’s also an argument to be made that that dubious honor belongs to New York — or even Alburquerque. A recent Forbes Advisor study ranked Oakland at the top of its list of The Worst Cities to Drive In. (San Francisco was third. It’s not a great time for Bay Area drivers, evidently.)

That said, a deeper look into the study’s metrics offers a few different candidates for the worst places to drive, which might come down to what frustrates you the most about being behind the wheel. There’s the cost of car ownership, for one thing. New York City, sixth overall, was at the top of this category, followed by Oakland, Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

New York City also placed a close second for the worst overall driving experience, with Boston (number 15 overall) walking away with the top honors there. (It’ll be very interesting to see how congestion pricing affects this in the future.) Miserable driving experiences do have one positive effect, though: New York and Boston performed best when ranked by safety. According to the study, the nation’s most unsafe city for drivers is none other than Alburquerque, New Mexico.

The Mass Delusion of Driving
Behind the wheel, we’re overconfident, inattentive and over-reliant on tech. According to those who study driver behavior, instead of solving these problems, we’re making them worse.

As Forbes Advisor‘s Meera Pal writes, the analysis of different cities included “15 metrics spanning four key categories: driving experience, safety, cost of car ownership and access to car maintenance.”

Commute length, gas prices and EV charging stations were among the data points used to compile the listings. At least residents of some of the worst cities for drivers — New York, Portland and Chicago all come to mind — can take pride in having good public transportation systems.

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