"The shortest distance between two points is under construction." -Noelie Altito

While an amusing quote, it comes with a sting of truth for those that live in urban areas, where construction, accidents and the sheer amount of people on the road trying to get to different places contribute to maddening congestion. 

It's a way of life in the city, but some of these places are even worse than others.

GPS navigation manufacturer TomTom recently released its findings about the most congested cities in North America by compiling its own real-time traffic data. The company determined the top 10 worst cities for traffic congestion by comparing travel times between peak traffic hours and non-congested (free-flow) hours. The cities with the biggest difference between the two -- expressed as a percentage increase in travel time -- took on the not-so-illustrious distinction. 

Click through to see the most congested cities in North America. To see more on how TomTom ranked the cities and for more information on each, such as the worst days of the week and times of day to be on the road, head over to the TomTom website.

We're sorry if you're a driver in one of these places.

Image Credit: Oran Viriyincy, Flickr

10. Montreal, QC

10. Montreal, QC

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 86 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 36 minutes

Montreal has gotten better since TomTom's last congestion study, but the Canadian city is still especially bad during evening rush hour. The delay per hour during peak traffic time is 36 minutes.

Image Credit: Goodnight London, Flickr

9. New Orleans, LA (25%)

9. New Orleans, LA (25%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 29 minutes

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 74 hours

Congestion in NOLA has been increasing in recent years. Drivers can expect lengthy delays on Friday evenings and Thursday mornings, especially on non-highways.

Image Credit: jczart, Flickr

8. Washington, DC (25%)

8. Washington, DC (25%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 78 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 31 minutes

Gridlock on Washington's roads mirrors the gridlock of the federal government. Traffic during peak hours is really bad on non-highways, resulting in drivers wasting about 78 hours per year sitting in traffic.

Image Credit: cbowns, Flickr

7. San Jose, CA (25%)

7. San Jose, CA (25%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 84 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 35 minutes

Non-highways in San Jose are just brutal during peak hours. All of those tech visionaries in Silicon Valley have plenty of time to plan out the future while they're sitting in traffic for 84 hours per year.

Image Credit: toprankonlinemarketing, Flickr

6. Toronto, ON (25%)

6. Toronto, ON (25%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 81 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 31 minutes

Canada's biggest city also sees some of its worst traffic congestion. Thursday mornings and Wednesday evenings are especially bad here, both on highways and non-highways.

Image Credit: elPadawan, Flickr

5. Seattle, WA (26%)

5. Seattle, WA (26%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 84 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 35 minutes

Drivers in the Emerald City are delayed for a remarkable 84 hours per year. Although cars provide a shelter from Seattle's notoriously rainy climate, it's little consolation for those stuck in traffic on the freeway.

Image Credit: Atomic Taco, Flickr

4. San Francisco, CA (29%)

4. San Francisco, CA (29%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 84 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 35 minutes

Between San Jose and San Francisco, the Bay Area is simply brutal for drivers. Thursdays are especially bad in SF and drivers can expect a delay of 35 minutes per hour behind the wheel at peak hours.

Image Credit: moonlightbulb, Flickr

3. Honolulu, HI (30%)

3. Honolulu, HI (30%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 86 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 36 minutes

Although Hawaii provides plenty of ways to escape  from stress, driving is not one of them, especially in the state's capital. Drivers here spending 86 hours per year wishing they were doing something else.

Image Credit: Corey Leopold, Flickr

2. Vancouver, BC (32%)

2. Vancouver, BC (32%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 84 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 35 minutes

Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world to live. That's remarkable considering the traffic. Non-highways are awful during peak hours, especially during the middle of the week.

Image Credit: Tim in Sydney, Flickr

1. Los Angeles, CA (33%)

1. Los Angeles, CA (33%)

Increase in travel time (free-flow to peak hours): 25%

Delay per year with a 30 minute commute: 90 hours

Delay per hour driven in peak period: 39 minutes

No surprises here. LA has a reputation for congestion. Although the city recently announced it would be syncing its traffic lights to ease the traffic jams on non-highways, it's likely to remain at the top of the list for a while. Commuters here waste 90 hours of their lives per year sitting in traffic.

Image Credit: USFS Region 5, Flickr

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