INRIX’s 7th Annual Traffic Scorecard Report (LINK) released this week reveals that traffic congestion increased in 2013 in the U.S. after two consecutive years of declines. While U.S. GDP grew at a rate of 1.9%, traffic congestion increased approximately 6% compared to 2012. If economic growth continues in 2014 as many economists suggest, drivers can expect more delays and longer commute times on America’s roads this year.
In Europe, traffic congestion rose in 2013 for the first time in 2 years, up approximately 6% in the last 3 quarters of the year. After suffering from a lack of economic growth and employment through the “Great Recession,” economic sentiment and hiring steadily improved in 2013 with the data indicating traffic congestion is once again on the rise as a result.
“While bad news for drivers, the gains we’ve seen in the U.S. and Europe in 2013 are cause for optimism about the direction of the economy,” said Bryan Mistele, INRIX president and chief executive officer. “If we’re to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economies, we must invest in intelligent transportation systems and connected car technologies now. It’s too late to build our way out of congestion – we’ve learned there is no such thing as ‘shovel ready projects’. Optimising road networks through better technology and data analytics will be a critical way to relieve congestion as the economy recovers in the near term.”