Posted on Feb 23, 2013
What could you do with 47 hours?
According to the 2011 Urban Mobility Report from the Texas Transportation Institute, that's the amount of time that the average South Florida commuter spent in traffic last year. That's an extra weekend worth of time!
And if it seems to you that traffic is getting worse, you're right. In 2010, the average commuter in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties spent 46 hours stuck in traffic. The difference was enough to bring South Florida's ranking from 15th to 11th on the list of the 498 most congested U.S. metropolitan areas.
|Most Congested Urban Areas in U.S.||Annual Hours Wasted in Traffic|
|1. Washington DC/Northern VA/Southern MD||67|
|2. Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana CA||61|
|3. San Francisco/Oakland CA||61|
|4. New York/Newark NY, NJ, CT||59|
|5. Boston MA, NH, RI||53|
|6. Houston TX||52|
|7. Atlanta GA||51|
|8. Chicago IL, IN||51|
|9. Philadelphia PA, NJ, DE, MD||48|
|10. Seattle WA||48|
|11. Broward/Palm Beach/Miami-Dade FL||47|
|12. Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington TX||45|
Why is traffic in South Florida getting worse? Experts say it is a sign of a rebounding economy. Traffic increases when people go back to work and increase their leisure travel. In fact, as bad as the 47-hour figure seems, before the economic downturn, South Florida drivers were spending an average of 55 hours per year in traffic.
What does 47 hours in traffic mean to you? It means an extra 25 gallons of gas for your vehicle and about $993 per year in time, wear on your car, and fuel. It also means an increased risk of injury in a Palm Beach car accident.
What may be worse is that the traffic congestion is a bit unpredictable and is not limited to the traditional rush-hour times. It means that a trip that should take 30 minutes if there is little traffic may take as much as 1 hour and 48 minutes if you happen into a traffic jam caused by an accident or other unexpected event.
What can you do? The best thing is to avoid scheduling appointments or other events that require you to drive during rush hour, when you can anticipate the worst traffic. Allow extra time to reach your destination, and use public transportation when possible.