New Esurance Smart Commuting Index Maps U.S. Commuting Progress
The Northwest leads the way while the East still lags on commuting experience
San Francisco — September 26, 2018
Today, Esurance introduced the Esurance Smart Commuting Index, which ranks states based on its residents' commuting experience. According to the Index, the Northwest region is the best place to be a commuter. And Alaska came in at first place.
The commuting score was calculated based on four factors: time, method, safety, and work-related happiness and well-being. Below are the top and bottom 10 states in the Esurance Smart Commuting Index. See the full rankings of all the states and categories here.
Best Overall Score: the Northwest Region, with Alaska Coming out on Top
In general, the Northwest is the best place to be a commuter, based on the Index. Seven of the top 10 states are located in that region.
The best-scoring state is Alaska, ranking at the top across the categories. Alaska boasts short commute times that've bucked national trends and remained steady over the years. There's also been a 40 percent increase in the number of people who walk to work and a 20 percent increase in the number of people working from home over the past 10 years.
Utah ranked second, reflecting its ever-improving commute times, good marks for safety and happiness, and the fact that more people are seeking alternatives to driving. In fact, they've increased carpool usage by more than 8 percent in the past 10 years — taking more than 12,000 cars off the road during peak commute times.
Most Room for Improvement: the East Coast, with Delaware at the Bottom
The East Coast scored the worst in the Index, with eight of the bottom 10 losing ground in overall commuter experience. Delaware ranks last in the Index results. Across the board, Delaware scores the lowest on critical categories for commute time and limited use of alternative transportation methods. In fact, Delaware residents experience a commute that's increased by almost nine percent from 2007-2016. Its best score was for safety, where it ranked 34th.
Steps toward Painless Commuting
Commuting can be a pain. But there are certain things you can do to make it more manageable.
- If you adopt another method of transportation or start to work from home more and commute less, you could save on gas, parking, car maintenance, and tolls. Also, reach out to your insurance company. Commuting is one of the factors in determining your rate, so your insurance costs may go down.
- Consider carpooling. Not only will the time go by faster, but you'll save on expenses as well. Your commute could also become one of the bright spots in your day.
- Above all, put safety first. Being on the road during peak traffic times increases the likelihood of an accident. In 2016, 16 percent of fatal accidents happened between 3 pm and 6 pm, and 10 percent occurred between 6 am and 9 am, according to IIHS.
- Make your good driving pay off. With Esurance DriveSense®, you can receive a personalized discount based on your driving habits.
Survey methodology: To create the Esurance Smart Commuting Index, Esurance combined a variety of sources to develop six indexes, which it then aggregated to generate an overall index. For time and method scores, the company used data from US Census Bureau's American FactFinder. For safety scores, it used data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For happiness scores, Esurance combined data from the US Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monster/Brandwatch Social Data study, and Gallup's Well-Being Index. For the final rankings, Esurance 4x weighted time ranks, weighted method ranks 2x and safety and happiness rankings 1x to place more value on time and method scores.
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