Traffic jams worsening in New York and nationally: analysis

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

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.

Rebecca Harshbarger