Dayton ranks as 3rd best city in the U.S. to drive

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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A recent survey by Waze, a community-based navigation app, found Greensboro ranked the highest in driver satisfaction in the United States, rating an 8.7 out of a possible 10 points. Lexington, Ky., Dayton, Ohio, and Macon, Ga., also drew top honors (see below). The worst cities included Honolulu (with an embarrassing score of 4.69), two California cities — Los Angeles and San Diego — and Portland, Ore.

All of which brings up two interesting questions, just as Americans gear up for their spring break road trips: Where should you drive? And where shouldn't you? 

Waze thinks it knows. Its Driver Satisfaction Index measures traffic, safety, driver services and road quality in 217 metro areas across 39 countries. And the short answer is: Avoid big coastal cities and developing countries like the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, if you want to love your drive. The best experiences are in the midsection of the U.S., and in highly developed countries like the Netherlands, France, the Czech Republic and Belgium.

While the results offer a map for any future road trip, they also reveal the limits of these studies. No two experiences are the same, nor can they be. And you can never be too careful, no matter where you're driving.

The trick is avoiding rush hour. That's also true for Honolulu. I've motored through Lexington, Dayton, and Macon recently, and thought they were fine, but I didn't exactly hear an angelic choir as I cruised through. 

Maybe the best advice is to not think like a vacationer, but a professional. Truck drivers define a "good" driving experience differently that you or I do, or Waze does. "Navigating the driving environment in a vehicle that weighs over 26,000 pounds changes everything," explains Adam Kahn, a vice president at Netradyne, an artificial intelligence company specializing in commercial fleet safety. 

For pros, a positive experience means careful planning and execution, avoiding tight turns, alleys and risky areas. It means anticipating the dangers ahead. And it means zero incidents.

As a traveler, you can't always choose where you drive, but you can choose how to drive. Perhaps that's the secret to having the best road trip, too.

BEST AND WORST PLACES TO DRIVE

U.S.

Best

1. Greensboro, N.C.
2. Lexington, Ky.
3. Dayton, Ohio
4. Macon, Ga.
5. Albany, N.Y.

Worst

1. Honolulu
2. Jacksonville, Fla.
3. San Diego
4. Los Angeles
5. Portland, Ore.

You can read the full article at USA Today.

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