How Bad is San Bernardino Traffic?

San Bernardino is a tough city to navigate, with the average driver losing $1,365 to traffic each year.
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
In 2018, traffic cost the average San Bernardino driver $1,365 in lost fuel and vehicle wear and tear. Though that number has fallen slightly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still frustratingly high.
We’ve got good news and bad news. The bad side of things?
is consistently ranked as one of the worst states for traffic in the nation. Fortunately, San Bernardino doesn’t have the heaviest traffic in the state—places like LA and San Francisco earn that dubious honor.
Here’s some more good news:
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has put together everything you need to know about traffic in San Bernardino. We’ll walk you through the traffic hotspots in the city, how the COVID pandemic has impacted traffic trends, and what you can do to steer clear of gridlock on your daily commute. To top things off, we'll even give you some tips to save money on
car insurance in San Bernardino
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How bad is San Bernardino traffic?

Though it’s only the 18th largest city in California, the roads in San Bernardino can get pretty congested—especially during rush hour.
In fact, based on surveys that factor in road maintenance, number of cars, and driving safety, San Bernardino ranks as the fifth-worst city for driving in the Golden State. On top of that, drivers in San Bernardino lost an estimated $1,365 to traffic in 2018—that’s almost $4 a day!
Recently, those numbers have fallen as more folks work from home during the COVID pandemic. Still, it’s tough to sit behind the wheel, twiddling your thumbs in bumper-to-bumper traffic, when you could be relaxing at home. Let’s take a look at how traffic in San Bernardino got so bad.
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Why is San Bernardino traffic so bad?

You can’t pin the blame for traffic on any single factor, but population size, road infrastructure, and the habits of drivers in San Bernardino all contribute to gridlock.

Population size

Only 220,000 people live in San Bernardino, but they’re packed into a density of 3,500 people per square mile. That puts San Bernardino in the same league as
San Diego
when it comes to population density—and it’s plenty of drivers to fill the roads. 

Major chokepoints

It’s not all about numbers, though! Traffic also depends on the distribution of drivers—in other words, San Bernardino’s infrastructure. Here are some trouble spots to watch out for:
  • San Bernardino Fwy
  • W Base Line St/ Medical Center Dr
  • W Rialto Ave
  • W 5th St
  • Central Ave

Driving habits

Unfortunately, drivers in San Bernardino have a
high average commute time
of over an hour per day. When cars merge onto the freeway and don’t exit for many miles, vehicles start to pile up. This adds a few minutes to your daily drive.
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How to navigate San Bernardino traffic like a pro

Don’t give up hope just yet! Jerry has compiled a handful of expert tips to keep you away from traffic jams (and the accidents, road rage, and increased insurance premiums that come with them!). If you want a low-stress daily drive, keep these in mind:
  • Try to avoid rush hour. Traffic in San Bernardino hits a high point from 6-9 am and 4-7 pm. Aim for the gaps for smooth sailing.
  • Learn San Bernardino’s backroads. Roadwork up ahead? No problem—as long as you know a shortcut through the city! Take a little time to familiarize yourself with the lesser-known roads in San Bernardino.
  • Get a navigation app or check traffic reports. We like
    Google Maps
    to stay up to date with real-time road conditions. News stations like 540-KGIL AM or 640 KFI AM are great for drivers who aren’t a fan of apps.
  • Stay focused. If you find yourself in sudden stop-and-go traffic, try to avoid distractions, leave plenty of space around you, and take it easy on the streets. Your car (and bank account!) will thank you for it later.

Prepare for San Bernardino traffic by updating your car insurance

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car insurance
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All you’ve got to do is sit back, relax, and say goodbye to overpaying! The average Jerry user saves $887 on car insurance. 
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San Bernardino’s traffic and bumpy roads make the city a challenge to navigate. You can save yourself some time and stress by planning out your drive and choosing less popular routes.
The sweet spots for San Bernardino driving are before 6 am, between 9 am and 3 pm, and after 7 pm. Of course, if you’re road-tripping through Cali, you should try to power through the major cities on the weekend when traffic is lighter.
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