INRIX, a traffic services provider to private automobile and commercial motor vehicle companies, has produced a “Traffic Scorecard” based on 5 years of extensive global research showing by region the worst places, the worst times and the worst days of the week to drive. INRIX says its study is the most extensive research of its type ever produced. The collected data used includes analyses done through the first 5 months of 2012.
For the United States data, commuting experiences were tracked using GPS-equipped vehicles and researchers were able to analyze a database containing approximately 100 million vehicles including limousines, airport shuttles, taxis, delivery vans, long haul trucks and passenger cars. They found that urban areas are actually seeing traffic congestion decrease at a significant rate nationwide for the first time since 2008. In fact, 70 of the country’s top 100 most populated cities showed a drop in traffic congestion in 2011. And while less traffic can seem like a blessing for professional limousine drivers who deal with it every day, the study attributes the drop in the U.S. to rising fuel prices, less spending on road construction, high unemployment and the debt crisis.
Some interesting findings resulted from the study include:
- A 13-mile stretch of the San Diego Freeway outside Los Angeles is the most traffic-congested freeway in the country;
- Drivers in Honolulu spend the most time in traffic, averaging 58 hours a year;
- Southern cities, like Tampa, FL, Houston and Austin, TX that have lower unemployment rates had the busiest roads;
- 8 of the 10 stretches of road in cities with the worst travel times and delays were inNew York andLos Angeles;
- On average, Americans spend around 40 hours per year behind the wheel in rush hour traffic jams;
- Fridays between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. are the best commute times. The worst commute times are also on Fridays, between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.;
- Tuesday is the worst morning commute day. Monday is the best overall day for travel, perhaps because if people take 3-day weekends, they usually take Monday as their third day.