Top Five Major Reasons of Traffic Congestion in The United States


Traffic congestion has been increasing throughout the world, and all indications show that it will continually get worse. It imposes an undeniable threat to the quality of urban life. The major reasons are the increase in traffic congestion in United States city is the vehicles, reduction of speeds, traffic flow, rush hours, and many more. Traffic congestion causes larger impacts on our regular life. A wide range of factors contributing to environmental pollution takes place due to traffic congestion. 

INRIX (2021), a world leader in transportation analytics and connected car services has published that Americans Lost 3.4 Billion Hours Due to Congestion in 2021. Drivers in Chicago (104 hours), New York (102 hours) and Philadelphia (90 hours) lost the most time to traffic congestion in 2021. Fourth-ranked Boston (78 hours) and Fifth Miami ( 66 hours). The graph above shows the cost per driver lost as a result of traffic congestion. 

Source: INRIX, Inc.( Traffic Scorecard, 2021) 

Top Five Reasons for Traffic Congestion in The United States

Overpopulation and Road Capacity

The main reasons for traffic congestion in the United States of America are overpopulation and a lack of road capacity. As the population grows, peak-hour traffic volumes outnumber road capacity, and individuals prefer private transportation. When the density of vehicles increases, it is natural that the normal movements of vehicles will slow down. It causes drivers to move slow and eventually drive traffic congestion.

Distracted Driving 

When drivers use their phones to call or text while driving, their focus is diverted away from the road, increasing the probability of a car crash and traffic congestion. Most of the drivers recognize the consequences of distracted driving, but they do not take it seriously. There are several laws to encourage drivers on hands-free driving. Difficulties in monitoring drivers give them the chance of breaking the law.  “ Every day about 8 people in the United States are killed in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver ( NHTSA,2020).”

Aggressive Driving Practices

Many drivers face aggression while driving. Sometimes they are rushing to work or other places, sometimes they are competing against other drivers. No matter what the reason is, aggressive driving can endanger both drivers and passengers.  The number of aggressive drivers in the United States is increasing especially as an aftereffect of alcohol and drugs. Nearly 28 people in America die every day due to drunk-driving car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Weather Condition

Winter weather has long been a source of traffic congestion in the United States. Most traffic signal management systems are currently intended for normal weather conditions and are thus inefficient and unsafe for directing traffic during winter snowstorms due to changes in traffic patterns and driver behaviors. Because bad weather causes drivers to be more cautious, it disrupts the free flow of traffic. While you may be upset by drivers who are driving slower than usual due to rain, snow, or ice, they are only taking safety precautions.

Vehicle Defects

Vehicle defects and equipment failures are an often-overlooked cause of motor vehicle accidents. Defected automotive parts not only cause accidents, but they can also result in serious injury or death, even in minor collisions. 

The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (originally enacted in 1966 and now recodified as 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301) gives the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the authority to issue vehicle safety standards and to require manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do not meet Federal safety standards. ( NHTSA)

Different countries and cities have different reasons behind traffic congestion. It is necessary to construct long-term strategic plans to balance the needs of mobility, growth, and competitiveness, with the sustainability of cities and the improvement of their quality of life. Introducing Fleet tracking software to commercial fleet services can eliminate most of the ground reasons behind traffic congestion. CloudApper Fleet is dedicated to resolving traffic conflicts with its cloud-based, easily maintainable fleet tracking software. Sign up for your free trial today to learn more. 


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