TRAFFIC STUDY: National gridlock rose 6% in 2013

Sixty-one of the 100 largest cities saw traffic congestion increase last year

March 04, 2014

The National Traffic Scorecard Annual Report from INRIX, released this week, revealed that highway congestion rose 6% across the U.S. in 2013. The traffic increase came despite reports that the total number of miles driven stayed even.

According to the report, the average driver in the 10 most congested cities averaged 47 hours in the car in 2013—a five-hour increase from 2012.

Among the 100 largest U.S. cities, 61 saw traffic increases for the year. This was a huge jump from 2012, when just six of the top 100 saw a rise in traffic. Boston had the largest individual increase, with the average amount of time spent in traffic going from 31 to 38 hours.

Time in traffic actually decreased in Washington, D.C., from 41 hours to 40 hours. It was the only top-10 city to experience a decrease. 

While congestion increased across the nation, a February report from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicated that the growth of total miles traveled decreased 0.1%, marking the ninth consecutive year of decreased driving in the U.S. Transportation experts said the rise in traffic despite fewer drivers can be attributed to increased truck traffic last year. With the economy starting to emerge from the recession, trucks were hitting the roads in greater numbers to deliver goods.

The INRIX report is compiled from real-time data obtained from various sources such as highway sensors and mobile devices.