- Jul 31, 2013
Take A Tour Of A Driver's Hell
But we here at AOL Autos know you're just exaggerating. We've compiled the worst-of-the-worst driving scenarios in America. So unless you live in Flower Mound, Texas, or Washington, D.C., you've got little to complain about.
Worst City For Traffic Jams
You think Honolulu is a paradise? Not if you have a car and have to get somewhere. Commuters in the home base of Hawaii Five-O waste an average of 58 hours a year snarled up in traffic. Keep in mind, though, that is just an average for drivers. For some commuters, depending on their route and time of day they are forced to travel, it can be twice that -- over 100 hours a year. That's more than four days of your life crawling in your car.
Drivers could use GPS or the real-time traffic systems in their infotainment packages to find alternate routes during such congested times.
Worst Speed CameraWashington D.C. has become about the worst place on America, right? We can't get an infrastructure bill passed by Congress to help rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges. Proclamations to honor the lima bean? Sure. But tax reform? No way.
For drivers, it's even worse. The District of Columbia has the Satan of Speed Cameras. Perched above New York Avenue, this camera has been responsible for more than $11 million in tickets in just two years. Each ticket averages about $150, and the camera triggers an average of more than 100 tickets a day. Sounds like abuse to us. Try Washington D.C.'s bike sharing program instead of driving.
Worst City For Tickets
Flower Mound, Texas, sounds lovely, right? This suburb of Dallas has the dubious distinction of being named the worst place in the country for drivers by the National Motorists Association based on their tally of speed traps within the city limits.
The NMA's official definition of a speed trap is a spot that "combine[s] arbitrarily low speed limits with heavy traffic enforcement designed to generate ticket revenue."
Since AOL Autos is based in Michigan, we feel compelled to tell you that the second worst city is Romulus, Mich., home to Detroit Metro Airport. Actually, be on the lookout if you are driving anywhere near the Motor City. The NMA tallied 187 separate speed trap sights in and around the periphery of Motor City in the towns of Allen Park, Romulus, Livonia and a few others.
Using a radar detector would be a great way to avoid some of these speed traps. Just remember they're not legal in every municipality. It's smart to check local laws and proceed with caution.
Worst City For Car Accidents
Score another dubious distinction for the nation's capitol. According to the eighth annual "America's Best Drivers Report" issued by Allstate Insurance in Northbrook, Ill., in 2012, those living in Washington D.C. can again lay claim to having to put up with the absolute worst motorists in the country. Allstate studied the auto insurance claims frequency of America's 200 largest cities and found that residents of D.C. get into collisions on average once every 4.7 years. This means they're a whopping 112.1 percent more likely to be party to an accident than the typical driver in the U.S., who wrecks his or her car once every 10 years.
What accounts for it? A stew of trouble for drivers. The city attracts a huge number of tourists unfamiliar with the layout of city, which can be very confusing. The city streets were designed by the French architect Pierre L'Enfant with diagonal "grand avenues" crossing circles and plazas allowing for green space throughout the city for all the monuments. You can easily end up on the wrong street. In many areas, one way streets make it difficult to make a left turn and you may have to drive several blocks out of the way.
And then there is the epic traffic coming into D.C. from Maryland and Northern Virginia via Rt. 95, 295, 395 and 495. Argh!
D.C. might be the perfect place for drivers to buy more expensive trim levels that contain advanced safety technology, like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection.
The Most Dangerous Road in AmericaIt's known as "dead man's curve." That's your first clue that this is a road to be reckoned with. The bend is on a section of road known as "the snake." More than two miles of twisting, turning asphalt on Mulholland Highway outside Malibu, Calif.
The road, as dangerous as it is, is home to great views. This makes it a magnet for cars, motorcyclists and bicyclists. A weekend doesn't go by that an accident involving all three kinds of vehicles isn't reported and responded to. Again, it would be the perfect spot for drivers to invest in advanced safety technology, like lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.