Everybody hates traffic. But, that doesn't stop each and every one of us from getting stuck in it from time to time, does it? Especially if you live in L.A., the city with the worst traffic of all. How bad is it? According to a study performed by the Texas Transportation Institute, rush-hour drivers in L.A. spend an extra 72 hours a year on average stuck in traffic. Other major offenders are the metropolitan areas of San Francisco/Oakland, Washington, D.C./Virginia/Maryland, and Atlanta, where drivers spend about 60 hours in traffic during peak hours. It gets worse, too. No matter where you live, traffic increased in 2005, according to the study.
Obviously, this is a terrible time waster, but it's also a horrible waste of gas, with 2.9 billion gallons of extra fuel used up in 2005, for a total cost of $78 billion. As gas gets more expensive, this figure will rise. Of course, if your car does not idle, you are using less gas. Also, this is where hybrids and electric cars have a huge edge, as they can rely on battery power while slowly moving along in gridlock.
So, whatcha gonna do about it? See here for some suggestions and to see what is being done now. In the meantime, perhaps you should move to the Mojave Desert, where traffic is mostly non-existent. Just a thought.
[Source: Texas A&M University]