Cities with the most stressful traffic. Where does yours rank?


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Driving is supposed to be fun. Imagine telling your ancestors about the possibility to hurtle around town in a metal box at three times the speed of the average horse. OK, so they’d probably be terrified at first – but after an easy cruise along an open, blue-skied motorway, your great-great-great grandma would probably get the idea.

Unfortunately, those open motorways are in short supply. Motorists have filled the roads with slow-moving metal boxes and named it ‘traffic.’ And fun is in short supply, too. Instead, a slow road when you’re in a hurry causes stress, road rage, and more.

The fatigue of all that stopping and starting leads to mistakes, a short temper, and further stress. One study found that commuting during rush hour causes your blood pressure to spike. Another even found that domestic violence rises in times of high traffic.

Whether you’re a commuter, hauler, or just have somewhere to be, FleetLogging wants you to take the least stressful route. (As a side note: never tweet while driving, people!)

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Methodology and Sources

Using Twitter API we collected tweets that featured the keyword “traffic” written in English and posted in either the US. We removed tweets from traffic update accounts.

Then using the TensiStrength tool, we classified every tweet as stressed or not.

To detect the location of each tweet, we referred to the post coordinates (where it was added) or the location mentioned in their profile.

To get the breakdown by roads, we first took the lists of most congested roads from the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard for the US and this list from the Office of Highway Policy Information of the most traveled urban highways in America.

Then we extracted tweets that contain the names of those roads.

Data were collected in January 2021.

Here are the cities (and the states and roads — we’ve put those at the end) that cause the most stress in the U.S.

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50. Houston

Stressed tweets: 53.1%

Image Credit: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto.

49. Chicago

Stressed tweets: 53.3%

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48. Toledo, Ohio

Stressed tweets: 53.6%

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

47. Pittsburgh

Stressed tweets: 54.0%

Image Credit: Union Station, Pittsburgh by Ram-Man (CC BY-SA).

46. Los Angeles

Stressed tweets: 54.0%

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45. San Diego, California

Stressed tweets: 54.0%

Image Credit: f11photo/istockphoto.

44. Spokane, Washington

Stressed tweets: 54.1%

Image Credit: ChrisBoswell / iStock.

43. Minneapolis

Stressed tweets: 54.3%

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42. Charlotte, North Carolina

Stressed tweets: 54.7%

Image Credit: Kruck20 / iStock.

41. Tampa, Florida

Stressed tweets: 54.9%

Image Credit: Gabriele Maltinti / iStock.

40. Baltimore

Stressed tweets: 55.3%

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39. New Orleans

Stressed tweets: 55.7%

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38. Omaha, Nebraska

Stressed tweets: 55.9%

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

37. Aurora, Colorado

Stressed tweets: 56.3%

Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall.

36. St. Louis, Missouri

Stressed tweets: 56.3%

Image Credit: iStock.

35. Columbus, Ohio

Stressed tweets: 56.5%

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34. Saint Paul, Minnesota

Stressed tweets: 56.8%

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

33. San Antonio, Texas

Stressed tweets: 57.0%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.

32. Bakersfield, California

Stressed tweets: 57.1%

Image Credit: ChrisBoswell / iStock.

31. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Stressed tweets: 57.3%

Image Credit: tobynabors / iStock.

30. District of Columbia

Stressed tweets: 57.3%

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29. Nashville

Stressed tweets: 57.4%

Image Credit: iStock.

28. Richmond, Virginia

Stressed tweets: 57.5%

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27. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Stressed tweets: 57.7%

Image Credit: BSPollard/istockphoto.

26. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Stressed tweets: 57.9%

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25. Detroit

Stressed tweets: 58.5%

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24. Boise, Idaho

Stressed tweets: 58.5%

Image Credit: Sean Pavone/iStock.

23. Portland, Oregon

Stressed tweets:  58.8%

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22. Raleigh, North Carolina

Stressed tweets: 58.8%

Image Credit: iStock/Mark Howard.

21. Wichita, Kansas

Stressed tweets: 58.9%

Image Credit: Getty.

20. Orlando, Florida

Stressed tweets: 59.1%

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19. Norfolk, Virginia

Stressed tweets: 59.5%

Image Credit: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.

18. Memphis, Tennessee

Stressed tweets: 60.0%

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17. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Stressed tweets: 60.0%

Image Credit: Jacob Boomsma / iStock.

16. Indianapolis

Stressed tweets: 60.5%

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15. Jersey City, New Jersey

Stressed tweets: 60.5%

Image Credit: Ultima_Gaina / iStock.

14. Lincoln, Nebraska

Stressed tweets: 61.8%

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

13. Mesa, Arizona

Stressed tweets: 61.9%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto.

12. Long Beach, California

Stressed tweets: 62.5%

Image Credit: MattGush / iStock.

11. Gilbert, Arizona

Stressed tweets: 62.5%

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

10. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Stressed tweets: 63.0%

Image Credit: benkrut / iStock.

9. Jacksonville, Florida

Stressed tweets: 63.0%

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8. Atlanta

Stressed tweets: 63.3%

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

7. El Paso, Texas

Stressed tweets: 65.1%

Image Credit: pabradyphoto.

6. Louisville, Kentucky

Stressed tweets: 66.0%

Image Credit: hstiver / iStock.

5. Fort Worth, Texas

Stressed tweets: 67.2%

Image Credit: Barbara Smyers / iStock.

4. Tucson, Arizona

Stressed tweets: 67.5%

Image Credit: Sean Pavone / iStock.

3. Stockton, California

Stressed tweets: 70.6%

Image Credit: f1monaco31/ iStock.

2. Newark, New Jersey

Stressed tweets: 73.1%

Image Credit: ChrisBoswell / iStock.

1. Lubbock, Texas

Stressed tweets: 75.0%

Image Credit: Ron and Patty Thomas/istockphoto.

Most-stressful state for drivers: Tiny Rhode Island

Our heat map illustrates the most stressful states for traffic in the US. Colder colors indicate a lower density of stressed tweets; hotter colors indicate more stress.

America’s smallest state is also the second-most densely populated one – and has the nation’s most stressed drivers. Rhode Island has a traffic stress rate of 62.18%. Roadworks such as the closure of Manville Bridge in Lincoln (which normally carries 8,000 cars each day) have exacerbated the problem of the state’s already overpopulated roadways.

Utah has the lowest traffic stress, a full 6% less than the second mellowest state, Iowa. The state of Utah is celebrated for its leisure routes and was recently declared America’s best state for driving due to a low fatality rate and low cars-to-road-mileage ratio.

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America’s Most-Stressed Road

Interstate 95 from Miami, Florida, is America’s most stressed road, with an 86.96% stress rate. The I-95 is “built like a back road and one crash completely paralyzes traffic” according to one angry tweeter. But roads in Georgia and California dominate the stress hit list. A spate of highway shootings in Atlanta, including two on America’s second-most stressful road (I-85), may or may not have been a response to traffic stress – but the investigations certainly slowed local commuters.

It’s not always possible to avoid the traffic, but if you can – you should. Scientists found that every minute longer it takes you to get to work will add to your dissatisfaction in life. Not good news when you’re already feeling stressed! If you must navigate busy roads or cities when you travel, try deep breathing, singing, and even smiling to keep stress at bay. Another angry driver on the road just adds to the problem.


This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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