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How many hours do you spend in traffic?

Seattle-area drivers spend 44 hours a year stuck in traffic. As bad as that sounds, it’s about the same as the previous year.

The Texas Transportation Institute does an Urban Mobility report (pdf of the data) each year.

Traffic2Their new report finds drivers in Washington, D.C. spend 74 hours per year in traffic, followed by Chicago at 71 hours and 64 hours for the Los Angeles area.

Even though we’re spending fewer hours in our cars than those areas, we are stressed! Seattle ranks fifth on the reports “commuter stress index.” That figure is compiled in part by looking at the average commute times during non-peak hours, when traveling should be a breeze but isn’t.

We’re sixth in the category of “excess fuel per commuter.” We use 23 excess gallons of gas each year. Overall, this was the area the report found most concerning. In 2010, congestion caused city residents to travel 4.8 billion hours more and to purchase an extra 1.9 billion gallons of fuel. They figure that “congestion cost” at $101 billion.

Incidentally, some of the data used for the Urban Mobility report comes from Inrix, a Kirkland-based company.

(Photos courtesy WSDOT traffic camera)

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