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.

20. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
> Traffic fatalities: 11.7 deaths per 100,000 residents
> Avg. commute: 26.4 minutes
> Avg. vehicles per household: 1.0
> Avg. gas price: $2.17 per gallon

Car owners in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area are at a higher than typical risk of having their vehicle stolen. There are about 397 car thefts for every 100,000 residents annually, more than in the majority of U.S. metro areas and more than three times the motor vehicle theft rate nationwide.

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.