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Traffic congestion seems to be getting worse and is an even larger source of complaint in the Houston area.  So, we thought we’d do some research and see if it’s real or a figment of our imagination.

Enter the TomTom Traffic Index. Now in their 8th year, the Index provides drivers, city planners, auto manufacturers and policy makers with statistics and information about congestion levels in 403 cities across 56 countries on 6 continents.  The Traffic Index is a key initiative in their ongoing mission to create a safer, cleaner, congestion-free world together with their partners and drivers.

The Research

The Traffic Index represents the measured amount of extra travel time experienced by drivers across the entire year. The study begins with a baseline of times during uncongested travel during free flow conditions across each road segment in each city. The travel times are analyzed over the entire year (24/7) for each city – then this information is analyzed against free flow periods to derive extra travel time.

An overall congestion level of 36% means that the extra travel time is 36% more than an average trip would take during uncongested conditions. Average times are of actual taken trips, across every vehicle in the entire network, 24/7. Travel times in free-flow (uncongested) conditions are not based on speed limits but on actual trips made.

The Results

In the top 4 most populated cities in Texas, Houston comes in second place in our traffic congestion contest.  Note: In this list, the worst cities are listed first, so a higher number means less congestion.

City

U.S. Rank

Congestion Level

Best Day

%

Worst Day

%

Austin

14

25%

12/25/18

0%

12/6/18

44%

Houston

18

23%

12/25/18

0%

10/31/18

44%

Dallas/ Ft Worth

35

18%

12/25/18

0%

2/20/18

34%

San Antonio

43

17%

12/25/18

1%

4/25/18

34%

Adding Perspective

How does Texas compare with the top 5 most congested cities? 

Top 5 Most Congested Cities in 2018

Rank

City

% Rate

1

Mumbai, India

65%

2

Bogota, Colombia

63%

3

Lima, Peru

58%

4

New Delhi, India

58%

5

Moscow, Russia

56%

The Bottom Line

Based on the percentages of the top 5 most congested cities in the world, Houston isn’t looking too bad at 44%.  The clear implication is that it could be worse.

The last random fact in the TomTom study is a note that while in traffic in 2018, on average you could have finished 1 audiobook per week. Interesting thought.

Dean and Draper

We invite you to call us with your insurance questions.  We’re here with some great answers.

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Sorce:  TomTom Traffic Index

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