Unless you have the luxury of working at home, you probably have the dutiful 15 to 30-minute travel time from your house to your workplace that you see day after day. As it turns out, the more common commute times, methods, and carpooling vary across the country. How long you’re spending in the car and in traffic each day depends greatly on the place you live, with some of the more commute-heavy places in America averaging the better part of an hour.
At the highest end of commute times are New Yorkers. Probably a product of including the busiest city in the nation, the average commute in the state is at a massive 38 minutes. It’s the better part of an hour spent in the car, or on a bus or train. Much of the northeast rises in commute time, with most state averages reaching the higher twenties or breaking half an hour. If you’re considering moving out there for work, be prepared for more time to yourself and in traffic.
The lower commutes in the nation are all in the more rural states, a result of smaller towns having less traffic and less area to cover. Out in the Dakotas and Idaho, the average daily commute dips under twenty minutes. Also, the rural parts of the country tend to have less available public transport, making car choices more key in a climate of slowly climbing gas prices. Public transit varies widely throughout the country, though it’s surprising that about a quarter of Alaskan commuters rely on it in such a rural area.
In terms of commuter cars, Honda has the most representation with the CR-V, Accord, and Civic, but it’s not all in the brand of car. If you’re choosing something to get you through the traffic in the mornings and evenings, consider a car with commuter-friendly features like hands-free audio and a reliable heat/air conditioning unit. Anything that syncs to your smart phone via Bluetooth will greatly ease the daily journey, as you won’t be at the mercy of the radio for entertainment.
Use your commute to your advantage, no matter the length. Stay comfortable and healthy in your car while going over your daily plans and goals. Keep a comfortable change of clothes, or just shoes, in your car to make the drive home feel a little more resolute. Relax even in bumper-to-bumper traffic and consider audiobooks or podcasts to expand your commute into an enriching activity. Stay safe and sane in your car, or on the bus or train.
Infographic by Carmax