Sitting in Traffic Cost Us Each $800 in 2011
Commuters released 56B extra pounds of carbon dioxide: study
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 5, 2013 9:33 AM CST
Heavy traffic is taking a toll on our wallets and the air.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – This may not do much to quell road rage: America's commuters each wasted an average of $818 in time and gas while stuck in traffic in 2011, a yearly study finds, for a total of $121 billion nationwide. That's up $1 billion from the year before, the AP reports. US commuters allowed for an average of an hour for a trip that should have taken 20 minutes, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute study reveals—meaning we spent an extra 5.5 billion hours on the road.

Commuters in Washington, DC, have it the worst: In that city, it takes three hours to make a trip that should clock in at 30 minutes without traffic. Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, New York-Newark, and Boston were among the other clogged cities. Time-wary commuters need to add between 38 and 95 minutes to what should be a 20-minute trip, USA Today notes. And all that drive time unloaded 56 billion extra pounds of carbon dioxide on the environment in 2011—some 380 pounds per commuter as we burned a total of 2.9 billion gallons of gas while twiddling our thumbs.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Wrongdirection
Feb 14, 2013 10:11 AM CST
I knew this older man that had a golf cart (gasoline powered) that he used to get around on his property. I would ride with him sometimes when he was out and about on it. The amazing thing was, this cart would turn off the engine when the accelerator was releasted and when he stepped on it slowly it would start up and the more he pressed on it, it would move forward. I know the automotive industry is cool with it's self parking cars, But wouldn't it be more realistic to have gas saving in every car made. Why hasn't the government mandated this? Because they receive fuel taxes. The more gas you buy the More Money they get! To ruin our planet!
right2dave
Feb 6, 2013 11:33 AM CST
And we need this study why?
lvan
Feb 6, 2013 2:53 AM CST
I almost miss rush hour traffic, TV commercials and online advertising... almost.