Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 18, 2020

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Carpooling can benefit just about everyone, but if you live in some of the U.S. cities with the worst traffic, you have an even greater opportunity to share a ride.

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Most Congested Cities

The following are the cities with the worst rush hour congestion, according to the navigation system company Tom Tom:

Los Angeles is the most highly congested city in this country. A drive through L.A. has 80 percent congestion during the evening rush hour, extending a 30 minute trip to 54 minutes.

Other highly-congested cities, according to the survey, are: San Francisco, Honolulu, New York, Seattle, San Jose, Miami, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Portland. Chicago, Baltimore, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, and Atlanta are also well-known for having high levels of headache-causing traffic.

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Carpooling

Carpooling can help make your commute more pleasant and can also help you save money. Here are 10 compelling reasons why you should carpool:

  • You’ll save on gas. If you carpool with just one other person, you’ll cut your share of the gas expenses by half. The savings become even greater if you share the road with two or three others.
  • You’ll save on expenses. If you live in an area that has toll roads or charges for parking, you’ll be able to split these costs as well.
  • Your maintenance costs will be lower. The fewer miles you rack up on your car, the lower your maintenance and repair costs will be. For example, you won’t need to change your oil or tires as often.
  • Your insurance costs may be lower. If your commute to work is shorter, your insurance premiums may go down. You’ll be driving your car less and will put fewer miles on it. This may help your insurance rates.
  • You may save time. Many congested cities have HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes designated for vehicles with two or more occupants. HOV lanes often move more quickly, helping you save time. You’ll also save on gas here as well, because you’re not spending as much time in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  • You’ll have less stress. Instead of bearing all the burden of driving in rush-hour traffic, you’ll be able to be more relaxed at least half of the time. You’ll have someone to chat with, making the time pass faster and be more enjoyable.
  • You’ll help cut traffic congestion. Instead of adding to the multiple cars on the road each workday, you’ll be able to help reduce the number of cars on the road. If more people carpooled, it could have a powerful effect on reducing traffic.
  • You can use your time wisely. In addition to chatting with your fellow carpoolers, you can be productive while you’re in the passenger seat. Check the day’s headlines on your cell phone, or take time to read and answer e-mails before you start your work day.
  • You’ll help the environment. Each car on the road releases gases that contribute to air pollution such as smog and global warning. By leaving your car at home at least half of the time, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment.
  • You’ll stay more alert. You may not even realize it, but if you’re driving alone, it can be easy to become drowsy. Driver fatigue causes around 100,000 car crashes reported to police each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, resulting in 1,550 deaths. If you have someone with you, you’re more likely to stay alert, and you can both look out for each other and ensure that you’re able to drive safely.