Drivers rejoice: Time spent stuck in traffic is down

May 22, 2012

A new study shows that traffic congestion across the U.S. dropped by 30 percent in 2011 over the previous year.  

The report says increased fuel prices and fewer drivers are two key factors. It says many people are driving less because they are unemployed or have stopped looking for work. Nevertheless, Americans still drove more than 475 billion miles last year -- that’s down five billion from 2010.

Los Angeles and New York had eight of the top ten most congested stretches of roadways. Phoenix only had one stretch of freeway that made the list. That would be afternoons on I-10 westbound from the 51 interchange to 35th Avenue. And it actually got better for drivers along that stretch last year where they spent about a minute less stuck in traffic.

The city where drivers waste the most time is Honolulu. Drivers there spend 58 hours a year stuck in traffic. The study was conducted by INRIX a traffic information company.

The survey also showed the busiest morning traffic is at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays, and the busiest evening traffic, no surprise, is Fridays at 5:30.

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