A study conducted by Seattle-based INRIX and the Centre for Economics and Business Research has shown that direct and indirect losses caused by traffic congestion cost American drivers a whopping $124 billion.
What’s more alarming is that because of numerous factors, such as the population rise, GDP increase, decline in fuel prices and rising sales that lead to a substantial growth in car ownership, over the next 16 years the costs are predicted to jump 50% to a mind-boggling $186 billion by 2030.
The data about the traffic problems was gathered to form the INRIX index from 180 million vehicles and devices on the US roads through satellite navigation systems, GPS in vehicles, information from wireless carriers and even a specialized smartphone app.
According to the company’s CEO, Bryan Mistele, the data is not only collected in the US, but also from anonymous info taken across roadways of 40 different countries in the world.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research then took the raw figures and compiled them to reflect costs that burden households by judging three main aspects: time spent and wasted in congested traffic, fuel lost and the effect of transportation on the environment. There are also numerous indirect costs and the CEBR found that last year the first cost Americans $78 billion and the latter another $45 billion.