Life in the Slow Lane: Cities with the Most Traffic
From Insurify, September 10, 2019 (excerpts)
To determine which cities in the United States suffered from the most congestion, the research team at Insurify, a website for auto insurance quotes comparison, compiled data on commuting times and traffic congestion. Numbers on the congestion level for the top 20 cities were compiled by TomTom, a consumer electronics company that notably focuses on navigation technology. The congestion level, according to TomTom, is calculated using the measured amount of extra travel time experienced by drivers yearly. Data on average commute time was taken from 2017 data in American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, which is compiled by the American Census Bureau. Lastly, researchers pulled information on the percentage of drivers in each city with a prior accident as well as the proportion of drivers with a prior incident was found through Insurify’s database of over 1.6 million car insurance applications. To apply for insurance quotes, applicants input personal information and driving history, including whether or not they have a prior driving violation or prior accident on their record.
National averages. On average, 22.21 percent of all drivers have at least one prior driving incident, while 12.43 percent of motorists have a prior car accident specifically. The average commuting time, according to the United States Census Bureau, is 26.9 minutes.
Clogged along the coasts. In the U.S., most urban centers are concentrated along either the East or the West coast, so it makes sense that the areas with the most traffic would be coastally located. The data backs that assumption up, as 15 of the 20 metropolitan areas that suffer from the greatest congestion are located along either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. California is especially bad in that regard, with an astonishing six of the 20 entries on the list.
More congestion, more accidents? It also may be reasonable to assume that cities with greater congestion—and thus more cars on the road—might be more accident-prone. However, the data actually contradicts this hypothesis. In the 20 cities with the most congestion, there is actually a small, but not insignificant, negative correlation between the congestion level and the percentage of drivers with a prior accident. One possible reason for this? In a city with very congested roads, drivers are likely forced to slow down, and are unable to drive as recklessly as they would in normal traffic levels….
9. Honolulu, Hawaii
- Congestion level: 28%
- Average commute time: 29.1 minutes
- Percentage of drivers with a prior driving incident: 28.03%
- Percentage of drivers with a prior accident: 14.18%
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