In 2011, we published a blog post entitled, “What’s a Traffic Jam Worth?” about how much time Americans spend each year in traffic, the impact on productivity, budgets and the environment. The study rated the most congested cities in the US and showed that in 2011, commuters spent up to 34 hours in traffic each week with escalating travel time and costs associated with daily commuting continuing to rise each year, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute 2012 Annual Urban Mobility Report.
By 2020, it is estimated that the average American will spend 41 hours in traffic each week—the equivalent of an entire work week!
As the cost of living goes up each year, families face growing pressure to meet the demands of a busy work schedule. Many families now have second and third vehicles. Gas prices and larger automobiles are common, taxing not only our pay checks, but the environment as well. For a 20-minute trip, Americans plan to spend 1 hour in traffic.
Any efforts to reduce travel time by adjusting the time of day for travel haven’t worked. Forty percent of traffic jams occur mid-day and overnight. While commuting costs, travel time and the size of the traffic delays will only continue to get worse, it’s not all bad news. Many Americans have discovered ways to proactively use this time in their vehicles to get more done.
Further ways of eliminating traffic need to be considered such as work from home policies and family friendly working hours, conferencing calling and online meetings.
Below you’ll see the data from the 2011 and 2012 mobility reports, which demonstrate how much time from cost consuming traffic jams are really worth, along with ideas to maintain productivity throughout this growing trend.