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Rush Hour is Dead. Long Live Traffic.

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You might be reading this sitting at work and thinking of the upcoming rush hour. Well, we have some bad news, because a new report from Texas A&M Transportation Institute suggests that rush hour is no longer really a thing. Traffic, like diamonds, is eternal.

Let’s be real, though, if you live in America’s largest cities this probably isn’t news to you.

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Beyond the rude growth of car congestion in the United States, the report also uncovered how many hours an average commuter like you spends in gridlock. It adds up to about 54 hours, or more than two days, of “extra traffic” time. That’s not the time you spend commuting in general, but rather any time you spend stopped on a roadway or going slower than a particular road’s average pace. If you’re unlucky enough to live in the 15 cities Texas A&M called the most congested, your lost time bumps up to 83 hours a year.

What city has it the worst? Los Angeles, with a reported 119 hours of extra traffic time.

All of that time spent idling on America’s roads is no good for your wallet or the environment. Based on its data, the report estimates about 3.8 billion gallons of gas were wasted in traffic in 2017. Once the cost of all that gas was divided up, you paid (on average) about $1,010 for the honor of spending extra time on the road.

These figures are all very depressing, but one of the gloomiest pieces of it is the realization that the worst traffic isn’t always during rush hour, as it had been in years past. About 33 percent of the extra traffic time hours occurred outside of peak times.

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It’s one thing to be stuck in traffic, and it’s another thing altogether to be told how much of your year was burned away because of roadway congestion. While there might be things you could do to make your driving time less horrible, like carpooling, let this new report serve a reminder to cherish the time you do have outside of your vehicle.

News Source: CNN