Patrick Grieve
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Americans Wasted 8 Billion Hours Stuck in Traffic Last Year

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If you took a road trip for this Memorial Day weekend, you may have formed the following opinion at some point during your travels across the United States: traffic sucks.

Related info: Check out these tips for choosing a road trip partner

Well, now there is solid evidence to back up your assessment, provided by Inrix’s 2015 Traffic Scorecard. The Seattle-based company, which studies real-time and predictive traffic data, concluded that American commuters spend more time stuck in traffic than drivers anywhere else in the world.

The average American commuter loses 50 hours a year sitting in traffic, the report found, and the numbers are even worse for those who live and work in big cities.

Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles commuters have it the worst, as they spend a whopping 81 hours per year in traffic (the only city in the world that is worse off is London, where commuters waste 101 hours a year). Washington DC and San Francisco were tied for second with 75 hours a piece, while Houston (73 hours) took fourth and New York City (73 hours) finished fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Seattle (66 hours), Boston (64 hours), Chicago (60 hours), Atlanta (59 hours), and Honolulu (49 hours).

In total, American commuters wasted 8 billion hours of their lives in traffic last year, as they drove more than three trillion miles (the most miles driven since the Great Recession in 2008).

Low gas prices and unemployment rates are fueling the increase in driving, and the continually rising population is only going to make matters even worse in the coming years.

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The Department of Transportation is attempting to curb congestion with its “Smart City Challenge,” a national competition that will reward $40 million in federal money to the city that comes up with the best plan for implementing sustainable and shared transportation options.

In the meantime, the current state of events makes one long for autonomous vehicles—after all, those 50 hours a year wouldn’t feel quite so wasted if you could sleep through them.

News Source: Autoblog

Patrick Grieve was born in Southwestern Ohio and has lived there all of his life, with the exception of a few years spent getting a Creative Writing degree in Southeastern Ohio. He loves to take road trips, sometimes to places as distant as Northeastern or even Northwestern Ohio. Patrick also enjoys old movies, shopping at thrift stores, going to ballgames, writing about those things, and watching Law & Order reruns. He just watches the original series, though, none of the spin-offs. And also only the ones they made before Jerry Orbach died. Season five was really the peak, in his opinion. See more articles by Patrick.