The data scientists at Insurify, an online insurance comparison tool, referred to both publicly accessible and proprietary data to identify the city with the worst commute in each state. They ranked cities’ commute difficulty based on a composite score of factors, including commute time, driver safety, and traffic congestion levels.
City-level data for average commute time and the share of residents whose commutes are 60 minutes or longer is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent American Community Survey, which considered full-time workers over the age of 16 who do not work from home. Longer commute times and greater percentages of residents with 60+ minute commutes contributed to higher Commute Difficulty Scores for cities.
Insurify’s data science team derived driving infraction rates from its database of over 4.6 million car insurance applications. When applying for car insurance, drivers disclose their city and state of residence, in addition to any prior violations on their driving record. For each city, Insurify’s researchers calculated the numbers of drivers with at least one violation on their record and compared it against the overall driving population. Cities with higher rates of drivers with infractions on record received higher Commute Difficulty Scores.
To determine each city’s traffic congestion level, Insurify’s data scientists referred to data from INRIX’s most recent Global Traffic Scorecard. INRIX calculated city-level data on the total number of hours drivers lose in traffic congestion during peak commute periods compared to free-flow conditions. Greater delays due to congestion contributed to cities’ higher Commute Difficulty Scores.
The following states were excluded from this analysis due to insufficient municipal data: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The findings in this article represent statistical trends found in Insurify’s analysis of over 4.6 million car insurance applications. The findings of this study are not meant to imply the direction nor necessarily the existence of a causal relationship. Rather, this is a presentation of statistical correlations of public interest.
Which city has the worst commute in America?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, New York, New York, is the worst city for commuters in 2022. Residents of the city spend an average of 41.4 minutes commuting each way to work, and a whopping 26.9% of residents spend over 60 minutes traveling to or from the office.