The Most Stressful Cities to Drive In: 2021 Rankings

Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila Among the Most Stressful Cities to Drive In

Some of the trickiest roads to navigate can be found in Southeast Asia.

Road rage is the inevitable reaction when you’re stuck in hours of traffic. If driving is a part of your everyday routine, then you know that nothing ruins a day faster than seeing the brake lights of a thousand cars flickering like Christmas lights during rush hour. Between suffering through bumpy roads and trying to keep up with ever-changing traffic rules, driving in some parts of the world can be a real test of patience and character.  

To locate where people are most likely to feel stressed and exasperated behind the wheel, U.K. car-sharing platform Hiyacar has revealed the worst cities in the world to drive in. The survey ranked 36 of the world’s most populated cities with a score out of 10, with 10 indicating the highest level of stress for drivers.  

10 Most Stressful Cities in the World to Drive In 2021: Kuala Lumpur

Traffic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Image credit: Trots1905 via Canva Pro

In evaluating these cities, the survey took into account the following factors: city density, quality of the roads, number of cars per capita, total number of vehicles in the city, severity of traffic congestion, number of traffic accidents per year, and availability of public transportation

Based on these factors, Mumbai was the most stressful city to drive in with a score of 7.4 out of 10 points. India’s most densely populated city contains approximately 12,478,447 million people, while its streets are overcrowded with roughly 57,500,000 cars and a 53% congestion ranking, according to the study. 

Southeast Asia has some of the most stressful cities for drivers, survey shows

10 Worst Cities in the World to Drive In 2021: Manila

Traffic in Manila, Philippines | Image credit: Nikada via Canva Pro

Some of the most aggravating roads can also be found in Southeast Asia. Four cities from the region ranked among the top stressful cities to drive in, though this result will likely not surprise anyone who has lived in these urban areas and experienced Carmageddon firsthand. 

Indonesia’s largest city and capital Jakarta scored 6.0 out of 10 points, placing third in the list of most stressful cities for drivers. Kuala Lumpur ranked 5.4 out of 10 points at sixth place, while Bangkok (4.7) and Manila (4.4) come in at 13th place and 17th place respectively. 

See the full list below.

The most stressful cities to drive in, from worst to least 

1. Mumbai, India — 7.4
2. Paris, France — 6.4
3. Jakarta, Indonesia — 6.0
4. Delhi, India — 5.9
5. New York, United States — 5.6
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — 5.3
7. Nagoya, Japan — 5.1
8. London, United Kingdom — 5.0
9. Mexico City, Mexico — 4.9
10. Osaka, Japan — 4.9
11. Bangalore, India — 4.7
12. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — 4.7
13. Bangkok, Thailand — 4.7
14. Chicago, United States — 4.7
15. Tokyo, Japan — 4.7
16. Istanbul, Turkey — 4.6
17. Manila, Philippines — 4.4
18. Moscow, Russia — 4.4
19. Los Angeles, United States — 4.3
20. Cairo, Egypt — 4.0
21. Guangzhou, China — 3.7
22. Beijing, China — 3.6
23. Chongqing, China — 3.6
24. Hong Kong, China — 3.3
25. Wuhan, China — 3.3
26. Chengdu, China — 3.1
27. Shanghai, China — 3.1
28. Buenos Aires, Argentina — 3.0
29. Shenzhen, China — 2.9
30. Bogotá, Colombia — 2.7
31. Nanjing, China — 2.7
32. São Paulo, Brazil — 2.7
33. Hangzhou, China — 2.6
34. Tianjin, China — 2.6
35. Dongguan, China — 2.4
36. Lima, Peru — 2.1

Also read: The Best Scenic Drives in the World, According to Instagram

What other factors contribute to a stressful driving experience?

In addition to the factors mentioned above, the survey pointed out that a lack of road awareness, difficulties in navigation, and inconsiderate drivers can also lead to higher levels of stress on the road. 

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