Traffic jams worsening in New York and nationally: analysis

The average driver in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut spent almost 75 hours last year stuck in traffic, an analysis found.

Tri-state drivers waste far more time in gridlock than the average American, who loses, on average, about 42 hours a year. Only drivers in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco sit in traffic longer, according to researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

Motorists in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were first nationally when it comes to wasting gas, truck congestion, and the cost of traffic jams — before Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

American drivers also set a record by traveling 3 trillion miles in the past year. Congestion is now worse than pre-recession levels, the report found.

Congestion is worsening not only due to a strengthening economy but also due to cheaper gas prices and a growing number of people living in cites.

Nationally, traffic jams cost drivers an estimated $160 billion last year because of gas and the loss in productivity. More than 3 billion gallons of gas were wasted in congestion, and drivers lost almost 7 billion hours of time.