The Most Dangerous Commutes in Southern States

In the United States, the daily commute can be a significant part of an individual’s day. On average, the American worker spent about 52.6 minutes commuting round-trip in 2021, according to the U.S. Census data. This amounts to nearly 225 hours per year.

However, this is just the average, and in many cities, the commute times are considerably longer. Research conducted using the 2021 Census data revealed the top ten U.S. cities with the most challenging commutes​​.

Top Cities with the Worst Commutes

  1. New York City, New York: With a Commute Hardship Score of 95.7, drivers in the New York City metropolitan area face the country’s longest average commute at 33.7 minutes each way​​.
  2. San Francisco, California: Ranking second, with a score of 87.9, Bay Area drivers spend an average of 35.2 minutes commuting due to geographical constraints and limited bridge crossings​​.
  3. Washington, D.C.: With a score of 87.7, commuters spend 35.6 minutes each way, facing congestion that extends beyond the city limits​​.
  4. Riverside, California: Notable for its heavy car usage, Riverside has a score of 84.4, with drivers commuting 33.9 minutes in each direction​​.
  5. Boston, Massachusetts: Bostonians spend an average of 32.6 minutes each way, with congestion often exacerbated by sporting events and a score of 79.4​​.
  6. Atlanta, Georgia: With a score of 78.0, Atlanta’s commuters face an average of 32.5 minutes each way​​.
  7. Chicago, Illinois: A score of 77.9, with an average commute of 32.4 minutes, is indicative of the traffic congestion in Chicago​​.
  8. Los Angeles, California: Known for its traffic, Los Angeles ranks eighth with a score of 76.5 and an average commute of 31.7 minutes​​.
  9. Baltimore, Maryland: This city has a score of 75.6, with an average commute time of 31.7 minutes​​.
  10. Seattle, Washington: Completing the top ten with a score of 74.7, Seattle’s average commute time is 31.6 minutes​​.

Traffic Fatalities: A Growing Concern

Traffic fatalities remain a critical issue in the United States. In the first three months of 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 9,330 people died in traffic crashes. This number, though a decrease of about 3.3% compared to the same period in 2022, reflects the ongoing challenge of ensuring road safety​​. Despite a 2.6% increase in vehicle miles traveled, the fatality rate for the first three months of 2023 decreased to 1.24 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled​​.

Fatalities decreased in 32 states during this period, while 18 states and Puerto Rico saw an increase compared to 2022. The District of Columbia remained unchanged in this regard​​.

Cities with the Highest Motor Vehicle Fatality Rates

A review of the cities with the highest motor vehicle crash fatality rates in 2020, as reported by Stacker using Department of Transportation data, indicates a concerning trend. American roads hadn’t been this deadly since 2007, with approximately 39,000 people dying in traffic crashes in 2020, resulting in about 11.78 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Notably, two in three deaths were vehicle occupants, while nearly one in five were pedestrians or cyclists. This data highlights the urgent need for measures to improve road safety and reduce traffic fatalities​​.


The data on commuting and traffic fatalities in the U.S. paint a picture of a nation grappling with the challenges of urban congestion and road safety. The cities with the worst commutes experience significant delays, impacting the quality of life of their residents. Concurrently, the high rate of traffic fatalities underscores the importance of continued efforts in road safety, traffic management, and public transportation improvements. Addressing these issues is crucial for enhancing the overall well-being and safety of American commuters and road users.