For many people, Detroit is synonymous with the automobile. The city’s claim to fame and American icon status was through its impressive automobile factories that helped mobilize the country.
However, despite Detroit’s heritage as the auto capital of the world, it’s not a great place for drivers. Actually, it came in second to last in WalletHub’s rankings of America’s best and worst cities for driving.
WalletHub looked at 100 American cities in its report, and Detroit came in 99 overall. If you’ve been mumbling to yourself that driving in Detroit is the absolute worst, you weren’t far wrong.
The top five cities overall for drivers were:
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Tuscon, AZ
- Corpus Christi, TX
- Gilbert, AZ
- Mesa, AZ
The five worst cities for drivers were:
- 96. Philadelphia, PA
- 97. Chicago, IL
- 98. San Fransisco, CA
- 99. Detroit, MI
- 100. Washington, DC
The cities ranked are the 100 most populous cities in the United States. To calculate its rankings, WalletHub looked at a variety of factors, including ownership and maintenance costs, traffic conditions and infrastructure quality, auto safety, and auto availability and accessibility.
Since Detroit had an overall ranking of 99 out of 100, it’s not surprising that it ranked poorly in these four key metrics.
Ownership and maintenance costs – 98
Traffic conditions and infrastructure quality – 95
Auto safety – 77
Auto availability and maintenance accessibility – 89
It’s likely that Detroit ranks so low in the ownership and maintenance costs category because Michigan is the most expensive state to own a car. (Seriously. The insurance penalties are through the roof).
Another concerning statistic is the road quality. Detroit ranks 95 in the nation where road quality is concerned. While winter is hard on roads here, that’s no excuse to let them get so bad that a company threatens to move if the roads aren’t fixed.
Crime in Detroit has often been cited as a problem, and this report upholds that assertion. Detroit comes in 92 (last in this case because of several ties), for auto theft. If you’re going to leave your car unattended for a while, be sure to lock it and secure your valuables.
If you thought that parking in Detroit was expensive, you’d be right. WalletHub found that Detroit ranked 80 when it comes to parking rates.
As far as time spent in traffic, Detroit ranked 70, so while Detroiters are still spending a lot of time in their cars because of traffic delays, it could be worse.
The good news is that Detroiters are slightly less likely to get into a traffic accident. Detroit ranked 49 for accident likelihood, perhaps because Detroiters are careful to avoid wrecks and the insurance hikes that come with them.