In a ranking of the 100 most populated cities in the U.S., Chicago finished 93 in terms of the best cities to be a driver. The rankings were based on 21 metrics including things like road conditions, safety, costs of vehicle ownership, traffic and more. Chicago’s ranking as the 8th worst city in which to be a driver will come as no surprise to the many people who rely on their cars to get around.
According to the study, the average household loses $1,700 per year in wasted time and fuel because of traffic congestion. Chicago households likely exceed this number as traffic congestion is a major problem. Forbes ranks Chicago as the 10th most traffic-congested city in North America. The study placed Chicago 6th worst for road and traffic conditions. The traffic takes its toll as Chicago drivers suffered from the 4th highest average commute time.
Not all of the news was bad. Chicago ranked 32nd best for safety. More impressively, Chicago finished first for driving laws based on a number of factors, including primary enforcement of seat belt laws, graduated driver’s licenses and motorcycle helmet laws. The traffic fatality rate was the 12th lowest in the country.
The rankings represent some factors that are merely irritations for drivers. Chicago was penalized for being an expensive place to park. It also suffered for relatively expensive gas and a high cost of maintenance for cars. Those factors make public transit more appealing, but are potentially less troubling to city officials than high rates of injury or death in car accidents. In any case, driving in Chicago is certainly a challenge according to this study.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Chicago is the 8th-worst city for drivers: study,” by Robert Duffer, 16 July 2015