Study Shows Improving Economy Leads To Traffic Congestion

I posted last week about the Texas A & M study that revealed the potential dangers of red light cameras in Chicago. The same study also revealed that the improving economy has led to more motorists on the road, which in turn, will lead to more car accidents .

The study revealed that commuters in Chicago and Washington suffered the most, losing 70 hours a year to traffic delays. Nationally, the average commuter wasted 34 hours in traffic in 2009 — up from 14 hours in 1982, the first year for which researchers have records.

The good news, researchers say, is that traffic also is a sign of prosperity.  “The tie between the economy and congestion is not unexpected,” said Tim Lomax, a research engineer with the institute.  “What we’ve seen on the regional level is mirrored in these numbers on the national level,” Lomax said.

Also like the economy, traffic still is not at pre-recession levels.  The study found that in 2007, the nation wasted 5.2 billion hours in traffic. A year later, when the recession peaked, the number plummeted to 4.6 billion hours. As the economy slowly recovered in 2009, the number climbed to 4.8 billion hours lost to traffic delays.

As always, try to keep a cool head while on the road and facing increased traffic jams. It will help keep you and other drivers safer. 

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