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How Bad is San Francisco Traffic? What Drivers Need to Know

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Residents of San Francisco are no stranger to traffic congestion and long commute times. According to 2020 census data, more than 870,000 people call the city home. If you include the surrounding Bay Area, that increases the number of residents to more than seven million. As a result, drivers often find themselves stuck in traffic jams or stalled as a result of an accident. It leaves some wondering, “how bad is San Francisco traffic?” For residents and visitors, knowing the answer might be useful in helping to navigate congestion and staying safe on the road.

Traffic Conditions in the Bay Area

While Los Angeles is consistently ranked the city in the U.S. with the worst traffic congestion, the Bay Area is not far behind. Bay Area traffic statistics earned the metro a spot on INRIX’s Global Congestion Ranking. The report found that in 2019 drivers spent 97 hours waiting in traffic, which cost the city approximately $3 billion.

It’s important to remember that there are other contributing factors to increased traffic congestion beyond the high population. For one, the dense infrastructure of San Francisco does not allow for cars and buses to easily maneuver city streets and highways.

In addition, congestion is also caused by the overall poor quality of the roads. San Francisco has some of the worst maintained roads in the country. An analysis by Teletrac found that 71% of the roads in the city are in very poor conditions. This increases congestion through the ongoing construction projects to repair roads and the accidents caused by the poor road conditions themselves. 

Traffic at day on the Golden Gate Bridge - how bad is San Francisco traffic?

When Traffic is the Worst in San Francisco

Patterns have emerged to help drivers decrease their chances of getting into a Bay Area car accident during times of high congestion. Analysis of traffic patterns by the city of San Francisco found the peak traffic times when accidents are more likely to occur to be Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., as well as between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. This isn’t surprising given that these are the traditional “rush hour” periods when most people are on the road to get to work or to get home.

However, during these times of day, those on the road need to be extra cautious due to the increased number of cars. While riding a bike might be a healthier way to commute than driving a car, San Francisco bicycle accident statistics indicate that it comes with its own unique risks. According to the University of California-Berkeley’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS), San Francisco had the second highest occurrence of bicycle related fatalities and injuries in the state with 46 people killed or injured.

What Should You Do If You’re in an Accident

Knowing the answer to “how bad is San Francisco traffic?” might help drivers be cautious while on the road, but it doesn’t necessarily prevent accidents from occurring. If you are injured in a car or bicycle accident in the Bay Area, you’ll want to connect with the best accident lawyers in San Francisco. 

Look no further than Avrek Law. We have more than 50 years of combined experience resolving cases in favor of clients who were wrongfully injured. Avrek Law has recovered more than $1 billion in compensation for injury victims in over 45,000 cases. Contact us for your free consultation to learn more!

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