The quickest way to ruin a road trip is to get stuck in traffic. (Photo: Thinkstock)
By Brittany Jones-Cooper for Yahoo! Travel
You finally did it. You used vacation days, packed up the car, and set off on that cross-country road trip you always dreamed of taking. You’ve programmed your GPS, but what you couldn’t predict was the painful gridlock waiting for you in the next city.
Maybe next time you’ll use Waze, the community-based traffic app that just released a comprehensive study of the best and worst cities for drivers in America.
To gather the data for their Driver Satisfaction Index, Waze evaluated the driving experiences of 50 million users. The cities were given numerical score, with 10 being the best and 1 being miserable.
In the traffic category, the results aren’t totally shocking. With a score of 4.7, San Francisco and New York tied as the cities with the worst traffic. Los Angeles isn’t far behind with a score of 4.8, and Miami rounds out the worst category with a score of 4.9.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few cities where traffic just isn’t that bad. Greensboro, N.C led the way with a score of 8.6, followed by Grand Rapids, Mich. with 8.5, and Dayton, Ohio with 8.4.
A city full of potholes is no friend to drivers. (Photo: Thinkstock)
In addition to traffic, the Driver Satisfaction Index also looked at road infrastructure, accidents, hazards, and driver resources to determine the friendliest places for drivers.
With a score of 8, Phoenix, Ariz. was named one of the best cities to be a driver. Phoenix topped the list due to low traffic and self-identified “happy” drivers. Greensboro, N.C. also snagged a score of 8 — we think the relatively small population and less traffic has something to do with it.
Other cities that are great for drivers include Dallas, Tex. and Detroit, Mich. with a score of 7.9. And rounding out the top of the list is Cleveland, Ohio with a score of 7.7.
As with anything, there are a few cities that need improvement. While the views may be scenic, Honolulu, Hawaii was identified as the worst city for drivers in America with a score of 4.1. Portland, Ohio received a score of 6.1, followed by Baton Rough, La. with a score of 6.3.
In other words, if you plan on driving through any of these cities, make sure you have a good playlist cued up, because it’s going to take a while.