IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

How much did traffic congestion cost the U.S. last year?

Answer: More than $81 billion.

Looking down the gap between two lines of car traffic.
Traffic congestion in the U.S. got worse over the past year, and drivers paid for it. According to transportation data company Inrix, the average driver in the U.S. spent 15 more hours in traffic than in 2021, for a total of 51 hours that equates to $869 in lost time. Additionally, the average driver spent $134 more for fuel last year.

These numbers still reflect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic though. Inrix found that while vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the U.S. increased by 1 percent over 2021, they were still 9 percent below pre-pandemic levels. The company believes this is due to the increased number of employees working from home — 17.9 percent of U.S. workers were home-based in 2021, compared to just 5.7 percent before the pandemic.

Inrix also looked at global data and found that Chicago was the second-most congested city in the world last year. The hours drivers there spent in traffic increased a whopping 49 percent, going up to 155 hours. London took the top spot with 156 hours, a 5 percent increase over the previous year. And Paris came in third with 138 hours, a 1 percent decrease from 2021. Two U.S. cities, Boston and New York, rounded out the top 5 with 134 hours and 117 hours, respectively.