Having a car inspires feelings of freedom and conjures images of the open road. But the reality of being an auto owner can be an entirely different experience. High gas prices, long commutes, and sometimes deadly accidents are daily concerns for drivers.

The drawbacks to car ownership and driving are far more pronounced in some parts of the country than in others. Just as gas prices vary by region, so does the likelihood of congestion, stolen vehicles, and accidents.

5. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
> Traffic fatalities: 7.4 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 30.7 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.2
> Avg. gas price: $2.96 per gallon

California is notorious for high gas prices, and its largest city is no exception. At $2.96 per gallon, the average cost of gas in Los Angeles is higher than in all but two other U.S. metro areas.

As one of the largest cities in the United States, Los Angeles has more cars on the road than all but one other metro area. More than 5 million vehicles are used to commute.

24/7 Wall St. created an index from half a dozen driving-related measures to identify the worst cities to drive in. The index components were selected to capture an area’s safety, convenience, and cost of driving. While the metro areas on this list span the United States, a disproportionate share of the worst cities for drivers are in western states — California in particular.

Click here to see the worst cities to drive in.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.