Sitting in Traffic Cost Us Each $800 in 2011

Commuters released 56B extra pounds of carbon dioxide: study

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 5, 2013 9:33 AM CST

(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.

Heavy traffic is taking a toll on our wallets and the air.
Heavy traffic is taking a toll on our wallets and the air.   (Shutterstock)
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