California Drivers Most Stressed in Nation

405 Traffic (Kevork Djansezian / Getty)
Kevork Djansezian / Getty

A newly-released report suggests that California drivers are the most stressed out commuters in America–second only to Washington, D.C. in terms of the numbers of hours lost driving in the car.

According to the Contra Costa Times, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and a West Coast traffic organization named Inrix found that San Francisco-Oakland drivers are the most stressed, with Los Angeles second and the South Bay falling into seventh place.

The group reportedly surveyed traffic on 471 urban streets and highways across the country to arrive at the results.

An Oakland resident told the Times how difficult it is for her to plan her life while commuting using the Bay Bridge considering the inconsistencies when it takes 45 minutes to commute one day and two hours another day.

“getting there is the fun part” #SanFrancisco #traffic #photography #bayarea #onehourandahalf #smh

— Robin DuPont (@_Notorious_ROB_) August 24, 2015

In terms of lost time, Washington, D.C., takes the cake at 82 hours a year. Los Angeles is in second place with 80 hours of delays, followed by San Francisco-Oakland with 78 hours, New York at 74, and San Jose at 67 hours. The national average is reportedly 42 hours.

In addition to the stress and time factor, the study reveals the economic impact of these dragging commutes. The report suggests that Los Angeles motorists lost $1,711 per person annually for 15-mph commutes while San Francisco and Oakland lost $1,675, compared with $1,422 a year lost in Silicon Valley.

Meanwhile, several solutions are reportedly in the works to ease the gridlock commuters are facing. BART, for example is slated to open a new line at the Santa Clara County border that will span from Richmond to the Bay Bridge. The Times also notes that double carpool lanes are planned for Highways 85 and 101.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) states that 20-30% of all traffic congestion in Downtown San Francisco is caused by people hunting for a parking spot.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, is planning to increase congestion as part of a plan to make roadways “greener”–i.e. with fewer cars.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


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