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[Slashdot] - Traffic Congestion Dropped by 73% in 2020 Due To the Pandemic

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In 2020, the average US driver spent 26 hours stuck in traffic. While that's still more than a day, it's a steep decline from pre-pandemic times; in 2019 the average American sacrificed 99 hours to traffic jams. Around the world, it's a similar story. From a report: German drivers averaged an identical 26 hours of traffic in 2020, down from 46 the year before. In the UK, 2019 sounded positively awful, with 115 hours in traffic jams. At least one thing improved for that island nation in 2020: its drivers only spent 37 hours stationary in their cars. This data was all collected by traffic analytics company Inrix for its 2020 Global Traffic Scorecard that tracks mobility across more than 1,000 different cities around the world based on travel times, miles traveled, trip characteristics, and the effect of crashes on congestion in each city. And unless you've spent the past 12 months in a cave -- in which case, gee, do I have some crappy news for you -- you'll instinctively know that there were big declines in traffic in 2020, and in particular a drop in people traveling to downtowns and central business districts. Still, traffic didn't actually disappear completely, and averages hide a lot in a country as large as the United States. The worst traffic of 2020 was experienced in New York City, up from 4th worst in 2019, where drivers lost 100 hours to traffic jams. But New Yorkers still spent 28 percent less time stuck in traffic, traveled 28 percent fewer miles, and experienced 38 percent fewer crashes than in 2019. The biggest decline in traffic was seen in Washington, DC. In the nation's capital, drivers spent 29 hours in traffic, a whopping 77 percent decrease over pre-pandemic times. However, the city only saw a 26 percent reduction in crashes and a 25 percent decrease in vehicle miles traveled.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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