It’s been a meme among those of us who own businesses or work from home to feel pity for all those poor suckers stuck in traffic five days a week. New research just released proves this is not just a pitiable phenomenon but one that costs these poor folks real money. And we do mean cold hard cash.
The study, conducted by INRIX, Inc. analyzed traffic data and found, “Traffic jams cost U.S. drivers an average of $1,200 a year in wasted fuel and time, and much more in Los Angeles, the city with the world’s biggest rush hour traffic delays,” according to Reuters.
The Washington State-based company aggregates information from both vehicles and infrastructure across the globe. Thailand, for instance, is rated the most “congested country in 2016” but the U.S. had “the worst traffic among rich developed economies” with five of the ten most congested listed as American cities, Reuters reports.
Bumper-to-bumper traffic all over metropolitan areas of the U.S. is not novel news. But if President Trump makes good on his promise to repair and refurbish infrastructure, such traffic costs to consumers could be substantially reduced. Ironically, states which did not support Trump in the general election would be most affected:
The worst stretch of road in the United States is New York City’s Cross Bronx Expressway, where drivers on the 4.7 mile (7.5 km) road spent an average of 86 hours a year staring at the bumper of the car ahead.
Meanwhile, on the left coast, there’s this:
Los Angeles drivers spent an average of 104 peak drive-time hours fighting slow traffic during 2016. That put Los Angeles at the top of the list of cities where drivers spent the most hours stuck in slow rush hour traffic.
Other American cities named in the study as having the most horrific traffic tangles are San Francisco, Atlanta, and Miami.
Still, the President may face an uphill battle to pass his infrastructure spending plan. Newsmax reports a new poll by Rasmussen Reports shows, “Fifty-two percent of U.S. adults are not willing to pay any more in taxes each year to fund a major federal plan to rebuild infrastructure in the United States.” While Trump has promised a trillion-dollar infrastructure program and has yet to put forth a specific plan to Congress, there has been talk of public-private partnerships which would presumably reduce the direct cost to taxpayers.
There is some solace for those stuck in endless hours of traffic as the study revealed there are worse places in the world as far as traffic congestion is concerned. In Moscow for instance, motorists spent twice as much time in traffic as the most congested city in the U.S. – 25.2 % compared to the 12.7% for drivers in LA. Even worse, motorists in Bogota, Columbia spend some 31.8% of their total driving time in traffic jams.
So, if misery loves company, it seems there’s plenty to go around in the world of traffic.