This headline should not come as a suprise for those of us that live and work in New York and New Jersey.  84% of Americans drive to work daily and we’re behind the wheel a half hour longer each day compared to the 1980’s.

Sitting in traffic is not only bad for the economy and your schedule, but it’s also taking a toll on our happiness, health, and wallets. While commutes are generally getting longer nationwide, there are, however, some bright spots on the map. Across the country, there are glimmers of hope for improvement as people take advantage of options like flexible work schedules and alternative methods of getting to work.

Esurance analyzed all 50 states to find the ones making the biggest strides in improving commuter experiences.  The composite indexing method, validated by a transportation expert, uses several factors to identify the states making progress and those that are stuck in the breakdown lane.  Looking at the time people spend commuting, how they commute, how safe they are on the road, and their overall work-related happiness and well-being.

Overall Rating:

New York – 47 out of 50

New Jersey – 49 out of 50

Overall highest-scoring states
1 Alaska
2 Utah
3 Montana
4 South Dakota
5 Wyoming
6 Idaho
7 Wisconsin
8 Hawaii
9 Colorado
10 Minnesota
Overall lowest-scoring states
41 New Hampshire
42 Alabama
43 Connecticut
44 Maryland
45 Rhode Island
46 Tennessee
47 New York
48 South Carolina
49 New Jersey
50 Delaware

Best States for Commuting Experience

overall rank usa map

overall rank key


Greatest improvements in commuting time: 

New York – 37 out of 50

New Jersey – 40 out of 50

Most-improved commute times
1 Wyoming
2 Montana
3 West Virginia
4 Alaska
5 Louisiana
Least-improved commute times
46 Massachusetts
47 North Dakota
48 Oregon
49 Delaware
50 Vermont
time trend rank usa map
time trend rank key

Most improved use of alternative transportation:

New York – 29 out of 50

New Jersey – 41 out of 50

Most-improved for alternative method
1 Hawaii
2 Massachusetts
3 Colorado
4 Virginia
5 North Dakota
Least-improved for alternative method
46 Missouri
47 Wyoming
48 Maine
49 Mississippi
50 Alabama
method trend rank usa map

method trend rank key


Safety and well-being best scores:

New York – 5 out of 50

New Jersey – 9 out of 50

Highest scores for safety
1 Minnesota
2 Hawaii
3 Illinois
4 Washington
5 New York
Lowest scores for safety
46 Arizona
47 Kentucky
48 Louisiana
49 South Carolina
50 Florida
safety rank usa map

safety rank key


Workplace happiness and well-being best scores:

New York – 34 out of 50

New Jersey – 26 out of 50

Highest scores for happiness
1 Alaska
2 North Dakota
3 Minnesota
4 Utah
5 Montana
Lowest scores for happiness
46 West Virginia
47 Ohio
48 Alabama
49 Kentucky
50 Louisiana
happiness rank usa map

happiness rank key

For a full version of the study Download the full graphs and overall rankings here.

How is your commute???

Written by Seth Goldstein / Seth@NYNJ.COM / © NYNJ MEDIA

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