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By Jim Adler June 12, 2015

Is Houston Texas’ worst city for car drivers? Even further, are Houston, Dallas, San Antonio or Austin among America’s worst cities for car drivers? According to personal finance website NerdWallet.com, Houston is indeed the worst in Texas, though no Texas city is in the Top 10 nationally for worst cities for drivers.

But they’re close. Houston, in fact, ranked 11th on NerdWallet’s survey of America’s worst cities for car drivers, released in May of 2015. Dallas was 17th worst, and Austin ranked 22nd. San Antonio did not make the top 25 (or bottom 25, depending on how you look at it).

America’s worst cities for car drivers were deemed to be No. 1 Boston, followed by Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, Detroit and No. 10 New York City.

Why Houston is Bad for Drivers

As for why Houston is bad for drivers, the seven criteria NerdWallet used were traffic congestion, driving delays, likelihood of an accident, inadequate parking, poor weather conditions, cost of gasoline and cost of car insurance.

NerdWallet found that Houston drivers on average experience 52 hours annually of traffic delays. According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, which provided some of the study’s data, that’s far worse than the 33 hours of delays annually for the average U.S. driver.

Also, Houston had 59.1% peak-period commuters per population, third-highest in the Top 25 (behind Dallas’ 60.1% and Denver’s 62.9%). That’s another category where national data came from Texas A&M.

Houston also showed 98 days of annual precipitation, more than Austin’s 77 and Dallas’ 71. Rain is considered bad for drivers, since wet, slick streets can contribute to collisions.

Houston also had the highest average annual car insurance premium of the three Texas cities on the list, with $1,209.82, followed by Dallas with $1,157.10 and Austin with $1,061.18.

Dallas ranked best for parking garages and lots per 1,000 vehicles, with .36, followed by Houston with .31 and Austin with .22. But Dallas ranked worst for “accident likelihood compared with the national average,” with 36.0 percent, followed by Austin with 30.3% and Houston with 29.4%.

Texas Cities Among Best for Gas Prices

At least Texas cities were among the best for gas prices. In fact, Houston ranked best among all 25 cities nationwide on the list for average gas prices. In Houston that price was found to be $3.29 per gallon, followed by Austin with $3.33 and Dallas with $3.36.

The world’s Energy Capital thus proves the adage: It pays to be close to the source. In fact, all three Texas cities were in the top four on the list for gas prices, with the only non-Texas city being Nashville, also at $3.33 along with Austin.

Driving in Texas is Tough

What does all this mean for Texas drivers in Houston, Dallas and Austin, not to mention San Antonio and elsewhere in the state? It means driving in Texas is tough — and for a lot of reasons.

Let’s not make it tougher by failing to obey traffic laws. Let’s drive safely and avoid accidents, which make the costs of driving even higher.

With such costs to you in mind, keep us in mind. If a bad driver injures you through no fault of your own, notify a car accident lawyer with Jim Adler & Associates. We can help you claim the payments you need to cover your costs after a car wreck injury.

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