While the economy got stronger and the gas cheaper, this has also led to a growth in the number of drivers on the roads in the U.S. and of course to big traffic congestions.

A report released today stated that an average city commuter spends around 42 hours per year in traffic jams.

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) report said that highway overcrowding in the U.S. costs around $160 billion a year, which includes lost productivity, gas wasted while waiting in car lines and vehicle damages. The TTI is responsible for puting together with the traffic tracking company INRIX the annual Urban Mobility Scorecard.

Bill Eisele, senior researcher at TTI, said that

“The higher congestion levels are clearly the downside of increased economic activity. Congestion is mirroring the national trend.”

He added that Americans also drove a record of miles in the past 12 months, surpassing a previous record set in 2007 before the economic crisis.

TTI explained that back in 1982 a driver would spend in traffic an average of 16 hours stuck in traffic jams every year and that by 2010, a motorist would end up staying much longer, up to 38 hours.

And while the national average is of 42 hours, Washington D.C. seems to have the worst traffic in the country, as commuters waste 82 hours per year stuck in traffic, which is almost twice as much. The city is followed by other congested towns like Los Angeles, San Franciso, New York and San Jose.

Out of the top 10 most congested highways in the U.S., six of them are in metro Los Angeles, two in Chicago and other two in New York. The most congested highway in the U.S. is the US 101 in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.


By Gabriela Florea


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