Best and Worst Cities to Be a Driver

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When talking best and worst cities to drive in the US, our Southwest states seem to know what's up, while some of our favorite cities seem to be letting drivers down (looking at you Chicago). Thanks to WalletHub's comparison of the 100 most populated cities, we've got your five best and five worst cities to be a driver, based on cost, traffic and road conditions, safety, and driver and car wellness.

The Best:

5. Mesa, AZ

4. Gilbert, AZ

3. Corpus Christi, TX

2. Tucson, AZ

1. Scottsdale, AZ

The Worst:

96. Philadelphia, PA

97. Chicago, IL

98. San Francisco, CA

99. Detroit, MI

100. Washington, DC

Now, because a lot of our drivers reside in Chicago, we wanted to look at why the city ranks so poorly and if there are ways we can work around the shortfalls. Turns out, there are a couple things drivers can do.

First, Chicago ranks 100th in terms of gas prices. We can't magically drop the cost of gas, but we can(with a little help from MoneyTalksNews) tell you a few tricks to use less of it and save some money.

1. Look ahead. When you can better anticipate what's to come on the road, you reduce the amount of times you have to slam on the brakes or gas pedal. Those rapid changes cause your mileage to drop by up to 37 percent!

2. Keep it slow(ish). Just know that when your car goes over 60 mph, mileage per gallon reduces significantly. If you drive an SUV, driving at 75 mph versus 55 mph reduces your mileage by 33 percent.

3. Know when, and when not to idle. If you're going to stop your car for longer than 30 seconds, it's best to just turn off your car and save up to 19 percent of your gas.

4. Be selective with cruise control. When the roads are flat, cruise control can be your best friend. However, if you're driving on a lot of hills, it's harder for your cruise control to maintain a constant speed and will cost you 14 percent more in gas.

Second, it's probably no surprise to our Chicago drivers that the city ranks poorly in terms of parking rates. Luckily there is a nifty little site called BestParking that shows Chicago drivers were they can find the cheapest parking during specific times in the day.

Since we like to end things on a good note, we figured we should mention Chicago finished in the 15th spot in terms of auto safety! That means compared to the majority of cities, Chicago has less wrecks, less crash-related deaths, less theft, great DUI strictness and safer driving laws. Way to go Chicago!

Posted October 4, 2016 in street smarts.