Surprise! The Bay Area Has Some of the Worst Traffic in the US

San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose commuters may be well aware of the dire traffic situation on the cities' highways around 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

But, contrary to what you may believe when you're hitting your steering wheel somewhere along a jam-packed I-880, the Bay Area does not have the worst traffic in the nation. 

It has the second worst traffic in the nation, according to a study by Auto Insurance Center. That's much better, right? 

After Los Angeles, which ranks first, commuters in the Bay region spend 6.5 months in traffic during a 40-year career and 78 hours per year of "delay" time, or rather, time spent in traffic, the study reports. 

But that's not what hurts the most. 

Residents commuting to or from San Francisco and Oakland spend an annual $1,675 (fourth highest in the country!) on their commute per year, while those in San Jose spend $1,422 (eighth!). Those figures best those in Portland, Dallas, Austin, and even Boston. Interestingly, however, drivers in Turlock seem to spend the least on commute expenditures, with an average of only $31 per motorist. 

If those averages have you feeling a little low, just be thankful you don't live in Los Angeles. 

The portion of the U.S. 101 between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Vignes Street  in Southern California is the country's most jampacked roadway, according to an analysis by the Auto Insurance Center, a news and information website.

On this slice of highway hell, drivers creep along at an average pace of 17 mph. The 26-mile distance takes 91 minutes to travel at peak rush hour.

The analysis looked at data for 471 U.S. urban areas. Unsurprisingly, it ranks LA commutes as among the costliest in time and money.

Commuters in Riverside and San Bernardino fare only slightly better: they're losing 59 hours and $1,316 to traffic, the report says.

Head on North, though, and you'll hit highway heaven. The report ranks Turlock, California as number one in the cheapest and fastest commutes. Drivers there lose only $31 and one hour per year to traffic.

Here are more of LA's worst roadways, according to the report:

The study also found that the daily grind of traffic jams can lead to elevated blood pressure, higher cholesterol, anxiety and depression. 

Find out more by reading the full study

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