Detroit synonymous with auto industry but commute horrible

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The automotive industry is deeply rooted in Detroit. But the city would rather not have one of its honors. It has the most stressful commute in the country.

Here are the stats. In Detroit, the average one-way commute time, 25.4 minutes; average annual days with precipitation, 135 days; relative collision likelihood, 22.9 percent above average; percentage of workers who drive: 83.0 percent; diversity of times people leave for work, worse than average.

Detroit has the worst driving commute in the country.
Detroit has the worst driving commute in the country.

As a result, Detroit doesn’t fare well in the associated issues with long commutes. Many in the workforce leave jobs because of excessive commute stress. Likewise, lack of long commute times not only increases stress, it decreases job satisfaction and leisure time satisfaction.

The combined effects lead to poor mental health and decrease leisure time satisfaction, according to The Commuting and Wellbeing Study, the University of the West of England

The study found the trends are worse for those who drive or take the bus to work than for those who commute by foot or bike.

While some commuters in the U.S. rely on public or alternative modes of transportation, the vast majority (85.3 percent) of workers commute by car. As of 2017, this translates to approximately 153 million commuters on the road—a number that has been on the rise.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017 the average commute time was 26.9 minutes each way (53.8 minutes total). In 2006, that number was only 25 minutes (50 minutes total), meaning travel times have increased by 7.6 percent in that period.

One contributing factor is that the cost of living has outpaced wage growth in many metropolitan areas, leading to large groups of workers being priced out of neighborhoods close to their office.

As people move further away from city centers, there is a corresponding increase in the number of “super commuters,” defined as workers who work within the central part of a city but must commute a long distance from outside the boundaries of the metro area.

In 2017, 8.9 percent of workers dedicated more than an hour to their one-way commute, an increase from 8.0 percent in 2009.

In addition to commute times and traffic congestion, driver safety is another important factor to consider when assessing the quality of a person’s daily commute.

According to Allstate’s America’s Best Drivers Report, the average American experiences a collision once every 10.57 years. However, this number varies significantly across locations, with residents in California cities like Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco more likely to be involved in a crash.

With these trends in mind, researchers at Sleep Help wanted to find which cities in the U.S. have the most and least stressful commutes. Sleep Help created a composite score based on the following factors: Average one-way commute time, Average annual days with precipitation, Relative collision likelihood, Percentage of workers who drive; and Diversity of times that people leave for work

In general, the research found that cities in the Southwest — known for drier weather and shorter commute times— tend to have less stressful commutes. On the other hand, long travel times, congested roads, and/or frequent precipitation give cities on the East and West Coasts a more stressful commute.

Here are the most stressful cities for commuting.

1. Detroit, MI
• Population: 673,103
• Average one-way commute time: 25.4 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 135 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 22.9% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 83.0%
Diversity of times that people leave for work: Worse than average

2. Miramar, FL
• Population: 140,323
• Average one-way commute time: 31.0 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 145 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 18.8% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 83.9%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Average

3. Paterson, NJ
• Population: 148,678
• Average one-way commute time: 24.3 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 123 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 33.8% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 84.7%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Worse than average

4. Fremont, CA
• Population: 234,954
• Average one-way commute time: 34.9 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 65 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 40.9% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 83.0%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Worse than average

5. Bellevue, WA
• Population: 144,459
• Average one-way commute time: 23.8 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 157 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 27.3% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 75.0%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Average

6. Pembroke Pines, FL
• Population: 170,703
• Average one-way commute time: 31.8 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 122 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 16.2% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 94.9%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Average

7. Glendale, CA
• Population: 203,066
• Average one-way commute time: 27.9 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 43 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 99.4% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 85.3%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Worse than average

8. Baltimore, MD
• Population: 611,648
• Average one-way commute time: 31.6 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 116 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 151.7% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 67.3%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Average

9. San Jose, CA
• Population: 1,035,353
• Average one-way commute time: 31.3 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 108 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 44.8% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 87.3%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Average

10. Tacoma, WA
• Population: 213,426
• Average one-way commute time: 30.6 minutes
• Average annual days with precipitation: 149 days
• Relative collision likelihood: 33.8% above average
• Percentage of workers who drive: 84.0%
• Diversity of times that people leave for work: Average

To view country’s best commutes, visit: Mesa Tops Five Arizona Cities With Least Stressful Commutes

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