by Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler
In a new study, traffic app Waze ranks the world's best and worst cities for driving--from safety conditions to long, miserable minutes spent commuting. The worst offender, despite popular opinion, isn't Los Angeles.
It's no secret that everyone thinks their commute to work is the worst. From L.A. to New York and on to Milan, traffic is stressful across the board. But now we have data to back our complaining! A new study by the company behind Waze, the community-based mobile app that tracks traffic trends around the world, reveals that Manila has the worst commute in the world, with drivers in the Filipino capital spending more than 45 minutes in the car on average--each way. It isn't just Manila you have to look out for, either; Indonesia gets dinged the most, with eight cities listed with abysmal driving situations. So stop whining, Los Angeles--the 35.9-minute commute doesn't look so bad now, does it? Other short(er) commutes include Madrid (31.6 minutes), Sao Paolo (32.8 minutes), and Atlanta (34.1 minutes).
Waze, which relies on user-submitted driving updates, reports on the best routes for avoiding traffic and recently evaluated the driving experiences of 50 million users in its latest review. Here's what we learned:
ITALIANS COMPLAIN, EVEN WITHOUT TRAFFIC
Stressed and unhappy? You will fit right in with Italian drivers. Italy actually ranks within the top 15 countries with the least traffic, competing with frontrunners like the Netherlands and Slovakia, where driving is also a breeze. But even without congested streets, the country's users were among the world's unhappiest drivers, based on the bad-mood emoji Italians chose to represent themselves on the Waze map.
THE U.S. HAS THE BEST CITIES FOR DRIVERS
Head to Phoenix, AZ; Greensboro, NC; and Dallas, Texas, if you're looking for a stress-free drive. Believe it or not, five U.S. cities topped the app's top 10 best cities for drivers list, with Phoenix taking first place. With some of the highest driver satisfaction ratings in the world, reconsider taking a road trip to Detroit or Cleveland for the best experience. The ranked list is: Phoenix; Greensboro, NC; Dallas; Amsterdam; Detroit; Rouen, France; Cleveland; Milan; Nantes, France; Rennes, France.
IT'S SLOW GOING IN SOUTH AMERICA
In nearly half the cities tracked in the report, the average traffic speed was under 40 miles per hour. Be especially careful in El Salvador and Colombia, as San Salvador ranked as the worst city in the world for drivers, with the lowest driver satisfaction rating; both countries suffer from the worst safety index. Odds are cars will be stuck in gridlock due to frequent accidents on the road.
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