dog in traffic

California Cities Rank Highest for U.S. Traffic Congestion

It should come as no surprise to southern California residents that when it comes to traffic congestion, Los Angeles tops the list. With a per driver average of 104 hours spent stuck in traffic in 2016, Los Angeles ranks highest not only among U.S. cities, but globally as well.

In the largest ever study of its kind, the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard analyzed and ranked traffic congestion in 1,064 cities across 38 countries, in order to determine both the financial impact and the number of hours the average driver spends in traffic each year.

Among U.S. cities, San Francisco came in at number 3, with an annual average of 83 hours in traffic, while New York City appeared somewhat predictably in the number 2 spot at 89 hours.

INRIX estimates the financial burden of traffic congestion to Angelenos at $2,408 per driver annually — the total cost for the city being $9.7 billion. San Francisco drivers incurred about $1,996 each in 2016, for a total of $2.5 billion.

Other California cities to make the top 50 list of most gridlocked cities include:

  • #14 - San Diego (46 hours per driver annually)
  • #22 - Santa Barbara (36 hours per driver annually)
  • #26 - Concord (33 hours per driver annually)
  • #29 - Sacramento (28 hours per driver annually)
  • #35 - Fairfield (26 hours per driver annually)
  • #36 - Dublin (26 hours per driver annually)
  • #38 - Escondido (25 hours per driver annually)

When these annual numbers are factored out over the length of an entire career, it can add up to a startling amount of time lost for commuters stuck in traffic. It’s easy to see why more and more California drivers are opting for alternatives such as carpools, public transit, or even bicycling to work.

Traffic Congestion Infographic

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