The data from the 2023 TomTom Traffic Index has officially been shared and according to the insights it’s collected over the past year, Washington, D.C. has the second-worst traffic in the United States! The rating may come as little to no shocker to us Washingtonians who have been dealing with DMV area drivers all our lives (looking at you MD drivers, sorry not sorry), but it’s nice to be vindicated by real data and see how our cities traffic compares to other cities in the United States.
How bad is D.C. traffic?
According to the 2023 TomTom Traffic Index, D.C. traffic is among the slowest in the entire country, ranking at #2 in the U.S. behind only NYC. D.C. traffic was rated the 5th worst in all of North America, and the overall 55th worst in the entire world. The average travel time per 10 km (equal to just over 6 miles) in D.C. this past year was measured at 21 minutes and 20 seconds, which happens to be a 10-second increase from the average in 2022. Given how slow it takes to get from place to place in the city, it seems fitting that the average speed during rush hour in D.C. was 14 mph, which is painfully slow for those trying to get to their destinations on time.
To convert the reality of how bad D.C. traffic was in 2023, the average Washingtonian lost about 86 hours of their time last year just sitting in D.C. traffic during rush hour. In other words, even if you spent three days straight sitting in your car without ever leaving, you’d still have 14 additional hours to equate to the amount of time that the average D.C. driver spent sitting around in traffic last year!
Additionally, based on the calculations of the Traffic Index, this past year the average one-way commute in D.C. of around 6 miles would result in a yearly total of 205 hours spent driving, over 2,000 lbs of CO2 emissions, and around $418 spent on gas. The most shocking aspect of that average is that it’s also only considering a one-way commute, and considering how commutes are certainly a two-way obligation, you can assume the averages above can be roughly doubled for D.C. drivers that commute to and from the office by car every day.