INRIX®, a leading provider of traffic and navigation services in North America, today released its 3rd Annual INRIX National Traffic Scorecard, http://inrix.com/scorecard/, revealing that traffic congestion and commute travel times in 2009 are back on the rise as the economy emerges from the recession. In fact, 58 of the Top 100 most populated cities showed increases in traffic congestion last year. According to the report, the Top 10 most congested cities in 2009 were:
1. Los Angeles, Calif.
2. New York, N.Y.
3. Chicago, Ill.
4. Washington, D.C. (up from 6th in 2008)
5. Dallas, Texas
6. Houston, Texas (down from 4th in 2008)
7. San Francisco, Calif.
8. Boston, Mass.
9. Seattle, Wash.
10. Philadelphia, Pa. (up from 11th in 2008)
These cities account for half of our nation’s traffic congestion with 4 of the Top 10 cities experiencing modest increases in traffic congestion in 2009 (L.A., New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.) Of the nation’s top 30 largest cities, Las Vegas, Baltimore and D.C. experienced more than 10% increases in congestion during peak commute periods year-over-year. The increase in Las Vegas congestion was primarily due to major construction along I-15 that began in the Summer of 2008, while congestion in the nation’s Capitol was indicative of a city bustling with activity as the federal government enacted policies and increased spending to combat the recession.
Turning Insight into Intelligence and Taking Action
INRIX is committed to working with its partners and customers better understanding the many issues that can affect the flow of traffic and provide consumers, businesses and governments with solutions for addressing these problems. With the holiday from increasing gridlock coming to an end, INRIX partnered with MapQuest, a division of AOL, Inc. to provide commuters with a list of tips for saving time, money and staying sane on their daily commute:
1. Use trip planning tools that show traffic conditions like MapQuest.com where consumers can check traffic before they walk out the door and easily drag their route to an alternative option. In addition, users of MapQuest can choose to avoid highways and tolls as additional ways to avoid traffic.. If you live on the East Coast and regularly travel through the I-95 corridor, visit http://www.i95travelinfo.net/. Sites like these can provide you with travel times and a snapshot of current traffic conditions so you see traffic jams and make plans to avoid unwanted hassles before you hit the road.
2. Take advantage of carpools, ride-share programs and public transit. Even if you only do this a few days a week, you can cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save your car unnecessary wear and tear. Many urban areas allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes which are typically less congested, further improving your fuel economy
3. For iPhone and Android GPS Smartphone owners, use mobile apps like INRIX Traffic! Pro to save time on your daily commute. INRIX Traffic! Pro takes the guesswork out of the commute with fastest routes, best time to leave, travel times and ETAs for any destinations. Other navigation apps for your GPS smartphone that feature real-time traffic include NAVIGON Mobile Navigator, ALK Co-Pilot and MapQuest Navigator.
4. Talk to your employer about telecommuting one or more days a week or try to stagger your work hours to avoid peak travel times. Typically, these are between 7-9 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. To see the peak travel times specific to your city, visit http://scorecard.inrix.com/scorecard/
5. Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas and can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Not only will you be safer but you’ll save money at the pump.
6. As part of your next car purchase, consider an in-car navigation system that provides real-time traffic information. Systems like Ford Motor Company’s SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information that’s offered on new Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles make navigation more useful everyday by factoring in real-time traffic conditions in determining the best route to any destination.
7. Avoid following the cars in front of you too closely and minimize distractions while driving. Following too closely and engaging in distracting activities like talking on your cell phone or texting while driving increase your chances of getting in an accident and being the source of the next traffic jam.
8. Drive the speed limit. While the natural tendency is to speed up when traffic opens up to make up for lost time, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.
9. Let music set your mood. Select music that relaxes you to reduce stress, angst and overall frustration when stuck in traffic. Choosing more calming music or talk radio is more likely to help take your mind off of the gridlock and ease the stress of your daily commute.
10. Gradually accelerate to waste less gas and use cruise control as much as possible because driving at a constant speed increases your gas mileage.
For more information and details, please visit the MapQuest blog at http://blog.mapquest.com/. Available for free as a public service from INRIX, the INRIX National Traffic Scorecard. is the definitive source on traffic congestion. The report is the first of its kind to rank and provide detailed information on the 100 most congested U.S. metropolitan areas and the 100 worst traffic bottlenecks. For more information about traffic in your city or to see the complete National Traffic Scorecard, visit: http://inrix.com/scorecard/ and to view videos about the report go to http://YouTube.com/INRIXTraffic.