According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the typical American drives 11,498 miles per year. U.S. roadways are filled with drivers that are driving an average of 220 miles per week. That’s a lot of time behind the wheel. But the best driving cities in the U.S. make that time less miserable.
Improving Driver’s Comfort
City drivers spend close to an hour in their car each day. Automakers have found ways to improve performance and handling to make the driving experience more enjoyable. Luxury upgrades help to make the ride more comfortable. These innovative improvements, combined with advanced technology features, have helped to create a less stressful environment for drivers. But, drivers in some cities have it easier than others.
Wallet Hub Ranks Best Cities for Driving
Every year, Wallet Hub conducts a study to determine the best roads and driving conditions of major cities in the U.S. Using 30 key indicators, they are able to compile a list of driver-friendly cities across the nation. The top 10 best cities for driving in 2019 include:
#1 – Raleigh, North Carolina
The Interstate 440 beltline circles most of the city, making it easy for drivers to get to popular points of interest. With a total score of 69.09 out of 100, Raleigh is awarded the #1 spot for being the best city to drive in.
#2 – Orlando, Florida
Despite the endless construction and traffic jams on Interstate 4, Orlando still managed to secure the #2 spot for best cities to drive in. This is mostly in part due to the fact that most of the roads and bridges are in good condition. The sunshine state has great weather that enhances driving conditions. The price of gas, auto insurance premiums, parking rates, and maintenance costs are below average for the national standard. These cost-saving items combined with the availability of car dealerships and auto repair shops make for a perfect situation for Orlando drivers.
# 3 – Lincoln, Nebraska
On the top 10 list of happiest places in America, it’s no wonder Lincoln is considered a good place to drive. With all those happy Huskers, driving in Nebraska is about as pleasurable as city driving gets. The low rate of traffic fatalities combined with a low incidence of car theft, make this city one of the highest-ranked places in the safety category. The low cost of vehicle ownership also helped to get Lincoln to the #3 spot for best cities to drive in.
#4 – Tampa, Florida
Major cities in Florida, like Tampa, need to have their roadways ready for the steady influx of visitors they receive on a daily basis. With an overall score of 65.38, Tampa earned the #4 spot on Wallet Hub’s list for 2019. Tampa drivers also have one of the shortest commute times in the nation. The access to vehicle maintenance and cost of ownership make Tampa one of the best cities to drive in.
#5 – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
With better than average schools and downtown revitalization projects happening, Winston-Salem is not only one of the best cities to drive in but also to live in. This city ranked high for having low auto insurance premiums and maintenance costs. The average cost of a new car is comparable to other cities in the nation and the quality of roads and bridges is better than most. Commuters claim to be satisfied with their driving experience, helping Winston-Salem earn the #5 spot on the Wallet Hub list.
#6 – Birmingham, Alabama
Drivers in the Magic City aren’t surprised to learn they are among the best cities to drive in the nation. Wallet Hub gave Birmingham the highest score for traffic, infrastructure, and cost of vehicle ownership.
#7 – Corpus Christi, Texas
Located on the South Texas coast, Corpus Christi is a beach lover’s paradise. With 255 days of sunshine and an average temperature of 70 degrees, what’s not to love. Whether it is taking a scenic drive around the Bay on the Beach Loop or driving the shorelines of Padre Island National Seashore, this city has a lot of beautiful spots to roll down the window and enjoy the view. Corpus Christi received an overall score of 64.78, with traffic and infrastructure being the biggest benefit to driving in this city.
#8 – Boise, Idaho
Most people think of Idaho as the potato growing capital of the world but there is a lot more to this city than meets the eye, making it #8 on the list for best cities to drive. Interstate 84 is considered the major thoroughfare through Boise, with over 120,000 drivers utilizing the highway each day. The high score in traffic and infrastructure, along with safety, make this one of the best cities to drive in.
#9 – Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina, offers good road quality and a low incidence of DUI driving incidents. There is a low rate of driver-related fatalities and the cost of ownership is considered to be one of the best in the nation.
#10 – Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro rounds off the list at #10 for best cities to drive in the U.S. The lower-than-average cost of a new car, low gas prices, and low auto insurance premiums contributed to the ranking. The Greensboro Urban Loop is the primary highway that traverses through the city limits. It is a heavily traveled 43-mile beltway that is currently under construction, expected to be completed in 2020.