Houston and Dallas are among the most traffic-congested cities in the United States, according to a new report by INRIX, a global traffic analytics company based in Kirkland, WA.
In the INRIX 2016 Global Traffic Scorecard, published in February of 2017, Dallas was listed in the Top 10, ranking seventh for traffic congestion in the U.S. Houston was 11th, Austin was 13th and San Antonio was 32nd. Those rankings were out of 240 cities in the U.S. which INRIX measured.
Worldwide, Dallas was ranked as the 16th worst city for traffic congestion. Houston was 28th, Austin was 42nd and San Antonio was 204th. Those rankings were among 1,064 cities which INRIX measured throughout the globe.
Some U.S. cities outside of Texas were worse in the global ranks. In fact, the most traffic-congested city in the world, says INRIX, is Los Angeles. New York ranks third-worst worldwide for traffic congestion, with San Francisco fourth, Atlanta eighth and Miami 10th.
Overall, the INRIX Scorecard cited the U.S. as the world’s most congested developed country. Our nation alone has 11 of the world’s top 25 cities for traffic congestion.
Such traffic tie-ups can be costly to drivers due to the wasted time spent idling in traffic and burning gasoline during delays. INRIX says last year’s traffic congestion cost American drivers almost $300 billion, or an average of $1,400 per driver.
The traffic jam problem “costs our country hundreds of billions of dollars, threatens future economic growth and lowers our quality of life,” says Bob Pishue, INRIX senior economist. He said employment growth, continued urbanization of major cities and lower gas prices all contributed to bad traffic last year.
The average Houston driver wasted 51.6 hours while stuck in traffic last year, usually during rush-hour commutes. That accounted for 7 per cent of such drivers’ entire driving time. Los Angeles was more than twice as bad, with the average driver spending 104 hours stuck in traffic in 2016.
The average Dallas driver spent 59 hours caught in traffic jams last year, while Austin drivers were delayed for 47 hours.
Congestion isn’t the only driving problem, of course. Another recent study by NerdWallet also took into account bad weather, inadequate parking, likelihood of a crash and costs of insurance and gasoline. It ranked Houston the nation’s 11th worst city for drivers, with Dallas 17th, Austin 22nd and San Antonio not ranked in the top 25.
INRIX also took roadways into account, ranking the nation’s most congested. And Austin was noted for having one of the worst: Interstate 35 southbound from Airport Boulevard to Slaughter Lane.
That stretch ranked sixth among the nation’s most congested roadways. Drivers on that clogged Austin road during peak evening hours lose 63 hours yearly in traffic delays.
Remarkably, the other most congested roadways were found in cities outside of Texas. They must have missed the West Loop 610 and Highway 59 intersection near Houston’s Galleria.
Though it’s galling to be stuck in traffic for hours at a time, traffic congestion calls for patience by drivers. Jim Adler & Associates offers many safe driving tips for drivers faced with horrible traffic jams and other road problems.
For one thing, guard against road rage — in yourself and in other drivers. Getting angry is unlikely to get you anywhere any faster. In fact, it could slow you down with a traffic accident due to impatient driving.
As for those who live in smaller Texas towns or in the wide-open country, you’re off the hook — or are you? Studies show that rural driving is more dangerous than city driving, in part because there are no routine traffic jams or slow-downs, people tend to drive faster on open roads, and emergency medical care is less readily available.
A 2010 study showed that 55 per cent of all U.S. traffic deaths occurred among the 19 per cent of the population living in rural areas. In short, though rural folks are less than one-fifth of all Americans, they account for more than half of all traffic fatalities.
So the message is clear: Wherever you live, and whether you face traffic jams or not, much of your driving safety is up to you.
But if you’re unlucky enough to be hit and injured by a bad driver, you know where to turn: Jim “The Texas Hammer” Adler and his team of veteran car wreck injury lawyers. Contact us today for a free case review.