Traffic congestion is tiresome no matter where you live, but it’s worse in some places than others. If you think your city is the worst, then you’re right if you happen to call Los Angeles home.
A recent survey conducted by Inrix found Los Angles was the worst place in the world for congestion. Yes, not just the United States but the whole world. They took a look at 1,064 cities in 38 countries for the largest study of this kind every completed.
It found drivers in Los Angeles spent 104 hours stuck in traffic during 2016. Runners-up included Moscow with 91 hours, New York with 89 hours, and San Francisco with 83 hours. Atlanta and Miami also made the top ten making the Unites States the most congested developed country in the world.
Notably absent from the list was a single city in China, which is a place notorious for traffic jams so bad they last for days. Turns out Inrix doesn’t gather data from Japan or China, so they may very well be far worse than LA, but simply weren’t in the scope of this study.
A TomTom study put Bangkok at the top of the list with Los Angeles coming in 14th place. That might not make it the worst in the world, but still makes it the worst in the United Sates.
According to Inrix, other US cities where drivers are spending too much time waiting in traffic include Boston, Chicago, Houston, and Seattle. On average, US drivers spend 42 hours per year stuck in traffic. That’s a whole work week wondering when the guy in front of you is finally going to move out of your way.
Being stuck in traffic costs time and money. The same study estimates it cost every US driver $1,400. This adds up to $300 billion across the country. All this congestion happens due to numerous factors. Continued urbanization of cities, higher employment, and low gas prices all figured into the problem.
The bad news is things aren’t going to get any better. Inrix expects more people will be taking to the roads, but the supply of roads won’t be increasing. City planners are well aware of their own congestion problems and are making efforts to improve traffic flow. Autonomous vehicles are a part of that plan, but it’s not something that will happen overnight.
Those sitting in rush hour traffic won’t be getting a break anytime soon.