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Shocking Report Shows Just How Bad Traffic Is in America

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Everyone hates traffic. Now there’s reason to hate it even more.

A new study has found that Americans wasted $121 billion in gas in 2011, because of traffic. We also sat in our cars an extra 5.5 billion hours that year because of traffic. And the average American wasted an average of $818 in 2011 because of – you guessed it – traffic.

And if you think the politicians in Washington just sit around all day without getting anything done, you may be onto something. Those lawmakers may actually be sitting in their cars, though. The nation’s capital has the worst commute — motorists there need three hours for a drive that should take half an hour without traffic. In 2011, drivers spent a staggering 67 hours in traffic. That’s a sharp contrast with Pensacola, Florida, the best traffic city where commuters need only nine extra minutes to get where they’re going.

If you have an appointment, you might want to make sure you eat a filling meal beforehand because it’s going to take some time to get to your destination. Americans typically need an hour for a trip that should last 20 minutes with no congestion on the roads.

Traffic also takes a toll on more than just our wallets and patience. It beats up the environment and was responsible for 56 billion pounds of carbon dioxide being emitted in 2011, about 380 pounds per driver.

Here are the most congested cities in the US:

1. Washington, DC
2. Los Angeles
3. San Francisco-Oakland
4. New York-Newark, New Jersey
5. Boston
6. Houston
7. Atlanta
8. Chicago
9. Philadelphia
10. Seattle


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