How Much Time Is Wasted Sitting at Traffic Lights?

A significant amount of time is wasted sitting at traffic lights—on average, six months of a person’s entire life is spent at red stop lights, according to a time management study by Priority Management Pittsburgh. Each year, approximately 36 hours are spent stuck in traffic congestion in the US, as reported by the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2009 Urban Mobility report. However, larger cities, including Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, may experience an even higher amount of wasted time in traffic at over 46 hours. In 2007, Americans wasted a total of 4.2 billion hours sitting in traffic, or the equivalent of 500,000 years.

More about traffic statistics:

  • The gas used for transportation in the US each year could theoretically reach from Los Angeles, to Boston, and then Houston.

  • Being stuck in traffic is estimated to cost the US economy over $87 billion US Dollars (USD) each year because of factors such as wasted gas, vehicle usage, and lost productivity.

  • Over 86% of workers in the US drive to work, while just 5% use public transportation.

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