City Desk

Study: D.C. Area Traffic Increases Travel Time by 24 Percent

Traffic in the D.C. area is bad, but, according to a new study, it could be a whole lot worse.

The TomTom annual traffic index looked at 63 cities throughout North America and South America and calculated how long it took motorists to travel to certain destinations without traffic—and compared that to the amount of time it took to travel to those same places at different times during the day. TomTom manufactures navigation devices, and conducted similar studies around the world. The study only looks at commuters using TomTom's GPS devices, from which it captured the data over 27 weekdays and 15 weekend days in 2013.

The study found that in the D.C. area, traffic increases travel time by an average of 24 percent. During the peak morning rush hour the average commute time is increased by 41 percent and, during the evening, that jumps to 54 percent . Over a year—assuming your commute is around 30 minutes—that amounts to about 73 hours of delays.

On highways, the average car commute time is increased by 17 percent and on nonhighways the commute is increased by 29 percent, according to the study.

That sounds pretty miserable, but the traffic index studied 14 cities that were worse. Rio De Janeiro traffic delayed travel time by 54 percent. During the morning rush hour that number jumps to 84 percent and in the evening to a whopping 115 percent. In the U.S., Los Angeles is the worst traffic city, with the average commute delayed by 36 percent. San Francisco and Honolulu come in second and third.

Read the full report here.

Photo by Joe Schlabotnik via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

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