2012 Urban Mobility Report: Americans wasted an average of $818 waiting in traffic


Vehicles sit in traffic on 10th Avenue on Nov. 2, 2012 in New York City.


Allison Joyce

An annual study of the nation's driving patterns had some interesting things to say about US traffic on Tuesday.

For example, the US spent about 5.5. billion hours waiting in traffic in 2011. 

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute's 2012 Annual Urban Mobility Report also stated traffic cost Americans about $121 billion in 2011. On the individual level that translates to a loss of about $818 per person, according to the Associated Press.

The good news is that congestion is below its peak in 2005. However, researchers note that's mostly due to the bad economy. As the economy improves, expect more traffic. 

But the report has more to offer than interesting facts. It also gives urban drivers reliable driving times by analyzing driving patterns in 498 urban areas.  

"When you have enough information about what's happening every day of the year, you can ... tell people how much extra time they should allow," Tim Lomax, a co-author of the report, told USA Today.

The report's top ten most traffic-congested cities are: Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, New York-Newark, Boston, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle.

In general, the report recommends that drivers in the nation's most congested cities add 38 to 95 minutes for 20-minute trips if they want to arrive on time. 

In short, "Congestion wastes a massive amount of time, fuel and money," the report said

Good luck with the road rage.