• Jul 27, 2007
Ever feel like one more day of commuting will kill you? You might be right, especially if you live in Riverside, California. Or Atlanta. Or Los Angeles. Those are the top three cities on Forbes' list of the 25 with the most unhealthy commutes.

The combination of dangerous drivers, the stress of dealing with them and high levels of air pollution is apparently taking a serious toll on big-city commuters' health. Forbes quotes one study showing Americans commute an average of 25 minutes every day, but are exposed to 50% of the day's pollution during their drives. One study found diesel particle levels four to eight times greater inside commuters' cars than outside. That's nothing to sneeze at.

Southern California gets four spots on the list, with Houston, Miami, Detroit and Washington, D.C., taking some of the others.

There are ways to make your drive to and from work healthier, though. Forbes recommends you roll up your windows and set the air to recirculate. That will reduce some of the incoming air, and maybe some of the particulates that clog up your respiratory plumbing. Another health-saving solution is to take the long way home. Taking that curvy road home will not only give your inner F1 driver an outlet, but it will also avoid all those particulates spewed by diesel trucks on the highways.

[Source: Forbes, photo by K.C. Hohensee]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder how much, if any, these $30-$45 cabin filters help? Some have activated carbon, some aren't. I would hope they help remove some contamination. Two of my cars, my Subaru and my wife's Nissan have them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      as a resident of riverside, i commute about 3 hours and 120 miles daily from Riverside to LA and back everyday monday-friday with moderate traffic
      with bad traffic, usually mondays or thursdays it can be 4-6 hours
      and the air is as bad as it can get, usually see anywhere around 50-100 big rigs daily through my commute
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wait - the air is 4-8 times worse INSIDE my car...so they suggest rolling up my windows and setting the air to recirculate. Those bas*ards are trying to ice me!!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        this is because the air is concentrated in your car by it coming in and not leaving. If you use recuirculate, it doesnt draw the outside air to begin with, leaving you with the air from your neighborhood.

        Of course after 45 min in traffic, the air in the car gets pretty stale, contributing to the short term memory loss.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The worst thing about commuting from western Riverside County into Orange County is dealing with the varieties of selfish, obnoxious drivers. Cell phone users, tail gaiting when traffic is moving at 60 but too dense to take evasive action, carpool lane cheaters [who should be shot], assholes who use exit only lanes to get ahead of anyone they can, people who pass on the right after their lane ends. I have THREE Hella horns that I'm about to install on my vehicle. Some douche bags are going to get blasted.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is one of the reasons I started heading in early (before 7 AM) and passing my morning at a coffee shop near the office. But the major reason was cutting the commute from 45 minutes to 15. Better gas mileage, too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      wow....that list is a load of crap lol

      Anyone who drives in Pittsburgh can tell you that its not how they make it out to be.

      Steel Mill Products - Umm....the mills have been quiet for many years, and this isn't the Steel City anymore :/
      Canned Fruits - Del Monte? LOL you've gotta be joking me.
      Vegetables - Heinz and Del Monte. Again, joking much?
      Paint and Coating Manufacturing - Pittsburgh Paint? They're planning on selling out the company soon. Nice Try.
      Family Clothing Stores - umm...Dick's and American Eagle. And they forgot to mention Dick's too, which is headquartered out of Pitt.

      Honestly, we have rush hour. And it takes an hour to get somewhere. But that's it. The city is rarely conjested, unless there's hockey and football at the same time or a big event at the convention center.

      Our city shouldn't even be on this list.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a Hotlanta resident i can't say i can disagree.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I also live in the ATL and the problem with the backroads is that those are clogged too.
      There is just no escape.
      I drive from Downtown ATL to Conyers for mu commute. It is a 24 mile drive and takes me 2 hours most of the time on I-20.
      It's pretty ridiculous...I can't even imagine what the people in Riverside go through.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I live in Atlanta too.
      The problem is that even the backroads are clogged too.
      I commute 24 miles from Atlanta to Conyers and it takes me 1.5 hours to get home, and now there is construction on I-20 in DeKalb, so my commute is terrible. I can't even imagine what it must be like for the people in Riverside.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does anyone take Forbes seriously outside of Wall Street?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Forbes, the be-all/end-all of car related news? There's been a slew of Forbes-sourced information here on AB, what gives? The last place I'll ever look for accurate data on all things automobile is within the pages of Forbes. It's almost as accurate as the news reported in the NY Times.

      Take post, slather in sarcasm, let bake at 350 degrees, and serve.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think you meant "New York Post"
        • 7 Years Ago
        I wouldn't lump this in with the "Top X Most Y Cars" lists, which have been lame. If Malcolm Forbes were alive, that crap wouldn't get published. This was more about commuting through smog and not about cars they know nothing about.
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