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Cities With The Most Frustrated Motorists

This text was adapted from the  link below and posted on this blog by Risoleta Bernardes for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.  


Ever feel like tearing your hair out while stuck in traffic? Do you scream expletives that would make a dockworker blush in reaction to other drivers’ ineptitude? Are you aggravated by sky-high gas prices or costly repairs necessitated by poorly kept roads and pot-holded pavement? Join the club.



The personal finance website recently aggregated the results of assorted statistics and surveys to compile a list of the ten worst big cities in the U.S. for drivers.

Though only 28 percent of its residents drive to work, New York City tops the list of cities with the most frustrated drivers, thanks to an average 59 hours stuck in traffic per commuter, gas prices that run around 7.67 percent higher than the national average and a tightly packed population of 27,012 people per square mile (with many of them darting out randomly in traffic between parked cars like the targets in some demented video game).

Chicago came in second, due largely to its dense urban population, crippling traffic and the fact that motorists in the Windy City are subjected to fuel costs that are 30 percent higher than the U.S. average. San Francisco was deemed the third most frustrating city in which to drive, with commuters spending a traffic-delayed 61 hours behind the wheel each year.

The site’s editors examined the 50 largest urban areas by population and rated them according to the annual average hours delayed in traffic per commuter according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the percent difference between local gas prices and the national average and population density statistics from the 2010 U.S. Census. We’re featuring the top 10 civic offenders and full stats for each – including the overall driver frustration score (lower numbers mean commuters fare worse) in the accompanying slide show.

Of course this is all a combination for road rage, with the most flummoxed drivers being especially prone to venting their anger on their fellow commuters. While a road rage survey conducted by Reuters determined that New York City (perhaps not surprisingly) had the largest number of angry drivers, the other cities with the most recorded road range incidents are otherwise not included in’s list of worst cities for motorists, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Atlanta, and Minneapolis/Saint Paul. And while Portland was included among the most frustrating cities in which to drive, Reuters cited its residents as being among the most road rage-free in the nation, followed by the (at least statistically) courteous drivers in Cleveland, Baltimore, Sacramento and Pittsburgh.

 The Zen masters at the Washington State Patrol advise drivers to avoid a costly trip to the therapist and follow these tips to help assuage highway aggravation and avoid mixing it up with other equally perturbed motorists:
  • Allow plenty of time for the trip, listen to soothing music, improve the comfort in your vehicle, and understand that you cannot
    control the traffic, only your reaction to it. In the end, we may very well discover that personal frustration, anger, and impatience may be the most dangerous “drugs” on the highway.
  • Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver is not. Avoid all conflict if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and move out of the way. Never underestimate the other driver’s capacity for mayhem.
  • Don’t make aggressive hand gestures to the other drivers when they offend you with their driving.
  • Control your anger; remember it takes two to start a fight.
  • Avoid prolonged eye contact with the bad or angry driver.

Fortunately, some of the urban areas on the list of cities that are worst for drivers are also among those having the best public transportation systems in the nation, including NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Washington D.C.. Eschewing the roads altogether makes it easy for astute commuters to avoid behind-the-wheel frustration and preserve more than a full work week’s worth of time that might otherwise be spent stuck in traffic.

Of course there’s the misfits, malcontents and misfortunate characters commuters are forced to contend with while riding the trains and big-city buses to work, but that’s another story for another survey.


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