For anyone who sat in traffic last year and felt like your time and money was slowly sliding away as the minutes ticked by, you’re not alone. A new report says American commuters wasted more time and fuel in 2011 than the year before, averaging out to about $818 on average in 2011.As a nation we wasted $121 billion in 2011, says a new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute in its annual study of national driving patterns. That’s a $1 billion increase over 2010, notes the Associated Press.
Included in that waste are the 2.9 billion gallons of gas we burned while sitting in traffic, but it’s worth noting that’s an improvement over the peak waste yaer of 2005 when drivers burned 3.2 billion gallons.
We’re building in time in our schedules to account for driving delays, with the average commuter allowing an hour in their schedules for drives that should take 20 minutes sans traffic. The grand total of all those extra minutes? About 5.5 billion additional hours of time in the car.
Commuters in Washington D.C. had it the worst, needing about three hours for a trip that would take 30 minutes without traffic. If that doesn’t make your blood boil, we’re not sure what would.
After Washington the most congested cities in 2011 were Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, New York-Newark, Boston, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle.
And for those of you who don’t cherish sitting idly in your car while life passes you by, the best place for commuters is Pensacola, Fla., where drivers only need to pad an extra nine minutes into their daily drive time.