The thing about America is, they are the largest and the biggest economy in the world. They have a pretty low unemployment rate. The car prices are not too high and neither the fuel will cost you a dent in the pocket. Which means, an average American drives more than anyone in the world and according to the Federal Highway Administration, Americans drove more than three trillion miles last year.
You might think that America is a big country and the population is fairly low as compared to India and China, meaning no jams on the road. Wrong! According to a latest study published by Inrix, a real time and predictive traffic data providing company, an American wastes more time in traffic than anyone else in the world, approximately 50 hours per year.
The number varies from states to states and some figures are eye-opener. A typical commuter in Los Angeles will spend more time in traffic, a staggering 81 hours per year. The capital, Washington DC and San Francisco city spend 75 hours in traffic. Next in the line is the Houston city with 74 hours, New York with 73 hours and Seattle at 66 hours, rounding off the top 5 most congested cities in the U.S.
The sign of relief for the U.S is that they are not the number one when it comes to a particular city in terms of the traffic. London tops the list with 101 hours in traffic and is the most congested city in the world. Among the top 10 list, number 1 is London and the rest five are the above mentioned cities. Overall US commuters wasted 8 billion hours in traffic.
"As a society, we don't value our time at all," said Seval Oz, head of Continental's business unit for intelligent transportation systems. "We haven't thought about what it costs us to sit in traffic. I love to drive, but I don't like to drive in traffic. There is a disconnect there." The situation is getting worse with every going day and 70 million more people will hit the highway in next 30 years.
The Congress, various organizations, universities and Department of Transportation (DOT) are all working in sync to solve this congestion problem. DOT came up with a smart city challenge and are planning to give $40 million to a city which comes with the most innovative and practical way of easing the congestion.
As for the India, we are facing some tough time in our country too, but the car density is still lower. Metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have the most number of cars and out of these Mumbai and Bangalore face a severe traffic problem. We hope that our government will also kick start an initiative to decongest the roads.