Seattle commuters might find this difficult to believe, but when it comes to traffic, it could be much worse.
In fact, there are 22 cities worldwide where drivers spend more time than people in Seattle do clenching their steering wheels and laying on the horn. Even with the tech boom bringing in a crush of new residents — and their cars — Seattle ranked 23rd for congestion globally in a comprehensive new study from Kirkland, Wash.-based traffic technology and data firm INRIX.
According to the report, Seattleites spent 13 percent of their driving time in traffic in 2016, amounting to 54.8 hours. And while that’s enough time for a quick trip to the San Juans or a ski weekend at Stevens Pass, allow the City of Angels to offer up a little perspective: L.A. topped INRIX’s list, with a cool 104.1 hours spent in traffic.
Things get a little closer when we narrow the scope of INRIX’s study. In the U.S. Seattle ranks 10th for congestions out of 240 major cities. Out of the 310 biggest cities in North America, Seattle is No. 11.
Each year, INRIX crunches the numbers from its vast database of drivers using the company’s traffic-based in-car services to create a Global Traffic Scorecard. The latest report found congestion cost U.S. drivers nearly $300 billion in 2016, averaging out to about $1,400 per driver. INRIX studied driving patterns in 1,063 cities across 38 countries worldwide for the report.