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Study: DC among nation’s least driver-friendly cities

Not only did the District rank high in traffic congestion and vehicle ownership costs, but a study also showed that D.C. has relatively few repair shops available. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

WASHINGTON — When it comes to driver-friendly cities across the United States, the nation’s capital, perhaps unsurprisingly, does not fare very well.

A study released this week by the personal-finance website WalletHub ranks D.C. 97th among the country’s 100 largest cities.

“D.C. did have a lot of negatives here,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “There were a few things where it ranked either at the very bottom or close to it.”

The District was followed by Detroit, Oakland and San Francisco.

Baltimore was also a member of the bottom 10 cities on the list, coming in at number 92.

“We looked at safety, access to vehicles, traffic and the cost of ownership,” Gonzalez said.

In all, researchers considered 25 factors, such as annual hours spent in congestion, the likelihood of getting into a crash, gas prices, parking rates and car maintenance costs.

Not only did the District rank high in traffic congestion and vehicle ownership costs but the study also showed that D.C. has relatively few repair shops available.

Drivers are also 33 percent more likely to get into an accident compared to the national average, researchers said.

“There’s a lot of stop and go traffic, so that does play into the likelihood of getting into some type of crash in general,” said Gonzalez. “Another thing is that D.C. is actually quite lenient on things like DUIs, and we counted that against the District.”

The frequency of crashes in the region put the D.C. metro area at the bottom of another recent study from the Allstate insurance company.

In that study, released late June, the D.C. area was ranked 197th among the 200 largest metro areas in the country.

Baltimore was nearly the worst, coming in at 199.

In generating those results, Allstate examined company claims data, looking at property damage claims reported during a two-year period.

Here’s an interactive map of WalletHub’s national findings:

Source: WalletHub


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