10 U.S. Cities with the Worst Traffic (and No Room to Park)
Is there anything worse than being stuck in traffic when you’re running late? Traffic congestion is not only annoying, but it can even impact our mental health, leaving us feeling stressed, fatigued, and angry.
Have you ever wondered which are the US cities with the worst traffic? This can be helpful to know if you’re relocating for work or planning a vacation and want to avoid the crowds.
To learn more, keep reading to find the 10 US cities with the worst traffic—and what you can do to minimize the stress if you need to drive through them.
- Los Angeles
Traffic in Los Angeles is some of the worst in the country. The sprawling nature of the city, combined with lacking public transportation, means that almost everyone drives here, all the time.
If you’re going to drive in LA, try to avoid rush hour and stay calm—while drivers can be pretty crazy here, a bit of patience will help you get to where you need to go.
- New York
It’s the city that never sleeps, so it’s no surprise that traffic congestion in NYC can be bad, especially Monday-Friday.
You’re better off taking the subway, as this underground method of transport is efficient and helps you avoid the traffic. However, if you’re going to drive, plan ahead as much as you can, since parking can be expensive and hard to come by.
To save time, look for pay by phone locations, which can make it much faster to pay for your spot.
You might not think of Honolulu, a tropical paradise, as being a traffic nightmare—but it is. Being a small island, there are only so many places to drive to, and everyone is heading to the same places—beaches, Waikiki, or the business district of Honolulu.
Tourists, locals, and military families stationed there all depend on cars to get around, so be prepared for heavy traffic, especially at rush hour.
With a population of just under 3 million, Chicago is not a great city when it comes to driving. Traffic is heavy and drivers lose hours each year to congestion, accidents, and delays.
If you’re going to drive in Chicago in the winter months, know that the city can get heavy snow. Snow driving can be complicated, so don’t attempt to navigate Chicago if you’re nervous driving in snow or ice.
Boston is known for its amazing sporting team and rich history, but it’s also known for its heavy traffic. Like Chicago, Boston also gets heavy snow—which can cause chaos on the roads.
If you’re going to drive in Boston, know that Boston drivers have a bit of a reputation for being fast and aggressive. When you feel nervous, just pull into the slow lane, let other drivers pass you, and stay calm—that way, you’ll get to your destination safely.
- San Francisco
San Francisco is a beautiful city—with ugly traffic. With such a dense population and so many people commuting to and from the region for work, it means that traffic can be a nightmare sometimes.
San Fran is also known for being one of the most expensive cities to live in, so prepare for expensive parking too. Before driving into the city, try to plan out exactly where you’ll park and book ahead, if you can, so you don’t miss out.
- Washington, DC
The nation’s capital deals with a lot of traffic—not just in the city itself, but also in the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia.
The highway system, referred to as the inner and outer loop, can become completely gridlocked during rush hour, especially if there’s been an accident.
To make things easier on yourself, try to drive during off-peak times.
Seattle has expanded massively in recent years, attracting people from all over who are drawn to the beauty and personality of the city. However, this means the city’s traffic gets worse each year.
The city is also known for its poor road conditions, with potholes and bumps not uncommon. This slows down the flow of traffic, causing more delays.
The Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas has an immense population and most people depend on cars, rather than public transportation.
The roads almost always seem to be congested here, so always plan ahead and leave well in advance to ensure you’re not late for wherever you’re going.
If the beach is calling your name, you might be heading to Miami—but don’t expect it to be free of traffic. Miami is a huge city which attracts plenty of tourists, so traffic is bad not only during the week, but also on weekends and holidays.
It’s also a rich city, with plenty of residents able to pay high parking prices. When visiting from out of town, be prepared for hefty parking costs.
Watch Out for These US Cities With the Worst Traffic
The hustle and bustle of our cities can be thrilling, but traffic is definitely one of the downsides. If you’re heading to one of these US cities with the worst traffic, you’ll want to plan ahead as much as possible.
Leave early in case of traffic, have a plan B in case of delays, and book your parking space in advance. This will help take away some of the stress so you can enjoy your big day in the city, without wasting precious time looking for a parking space!
Did you find this article helpful? If so, please keep reading for more informative tips.