A recent study done by WalletHub placed four cities in North Carolina in the top 10 for best cities to drive in, including Raleigh (1st), Winston-Salem (5th), Charlotte (9th) and Greensboro (10th). Durham, North Carolina made the top 20 list at 19th.
To conduct the study, WalletHub compared a sample of the 100 most populated U.S. cities across four dimensions:
- Cost of Ownership and Maintenance (cost of the car, average gas prices, average car insurance, maintenance cost, etc.)
- Traffic and Infrastructure (annual hours spent in congestion, number of days with precipitation, number of cold days, quality of roads and bridges, etc.)
- Safety (crash likelihood vs the national average, traffic fatality rate, seatbelt usage, uninsured drivers, car theft rates, strictness of DUI punishment, driving laws, etc.)
- Access to Vehicles and Maintenance (car dealerships per capita, auto-repair shops per capita, car washes per capita, gas stations per capita, parking lots per capita)
Despite growing access to public transportation in U.S. cities, most people still choose to travel by car, mostly for comfort and reliability, but driving is often more of a hassle and expense than public transportation.
Drivers spend an average of more than 310 hours on the road, and the costs of wasted time and fuel in congestion comes to about $1,700 per household.
But, according to the study, if you have to have a daily commute in a personal vehicle, North Carolina is the best state to do it.