South Florida: Are You Really Sitting In Traffic Longer?

Fairway Law Group

Texas A & M’s Transportation Institute has released its 2019 Urban Mobility Report, providing a detailed analysis of traffic conditions in 494 urban areas across the United States.

In a nutshell:  congestion continues, and it’s getting worse. And its only going to get worse in the year 2020. 


There are more and more vehicles on the road, despite all the popularity of ridesharing and new public transportation options.  Americans simply aren’t leaving their cars at home:  about three quarters of all Americans drive their car to work, on par with previous years. It’s not just cars, though: rising e-commerce demand means that more and more trucks are sharing the road with cars. In 2017 alone trucks delivered  almost 70% of all freight moved in America, valued at $721 billion.

Congestion in the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Area:  Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. 

Aggregating the three counties, the Institute found that the average commuter in the Miami-Dade Tri-County area lost 69 hours per year because of traffic congestion.

But crowded roads also mean a robust economy, so expect more congestion in the near future.  Construction continues in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach, with more projects planned. Any city mayor would tell you that they would much rather grapple with downtown congestion, a sign of a vibrant economy, than with the empty streets and shuttered storefronts of as recently as 2009.

The Cost of Congestion

We all know about the irritation of the forced idleness that comes from sitting in traffic. What do the numbers say?  Nationally, Americans are sitting in traffic for about 8.8 billion hours a year, wasting 3.3 gallons of fuel. And the cost of waste?  Up to $166 billion of lost productivity and lost fuel per year, or $1,010 for every auto commuter.

And the costs for Miami, Broward and Palm Beach county commuters?

Paradise costs!  The congestion cost per commuter is $1,289.00, almost $280 more than the national average.  The Miami-Dade metro area ranked 4th in the national Annual Congestion Cost: the price of living in paradise.

What About Other Costs?

More time in your car, especially in stop-and-go traffic, can result in more accidents.  Tired rush-hour drivers can be distracted, and may attempt to make up for the enforced inactivity by checking emails, texting and making calls.  Road rage can factor in, too, as irritations hit a boiling point.

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