Traffic Jam Facts

Some facts are self-evident. The sky is blue, water is wet, and traffic sucks. When you’re sitting in a line of cars that are moving at a snail’s pace, it’s easy to think that you’re experiencing the worst traffic the world has ever known. For residents of some cities, however, being stopped dead is the rule, not the exception. If you need a little perspective the next time you’re crawling along the roads, take a look at these facts about the worst commutes in the world.

Los Angeles

It may be the city of angels, but LA is also the land of intersecting freeways, substandard public transportation, and suffocating traffic. According to transportation analytics company Inrix, Los Angeles drivers spent an average of 102 hours in traffic jams during rush hour last year. It’s a long-held stereotype that Southern Californians are chill, but that much gridlock would test anyone’s patience.

Mexico City

With a population exceeding 20 million people and a rising number of car buyers, it’s not hard to see why Mexico City has a congestion problem. While the government has adopted a number of transportation policies designed to limit both traffic and emissions, the infrastructure is simply outdated. Navigation company TomTom estimates that drivers in North America’s most populous city spend 101 percent more time commuting in the evening than they should.


A combination of lax traffic enforcement and way too many cars have made Thailand’s capital a driver’s nightmare. TomTom ranks the city’s congestion rate at 61 percent. Even those who commute via motorbike end up bumper-to-bumper with other drivers. It’s not uncommon for a clogged intersection to hold cars up for hours. Thankfully, Thai drivers are notoriously polite, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with thousands of honks.


Despite its centuries-old roadways, Europe is actually not generally horrible for drivers, due to the quality of non-driving options. That’s not the case in Bucharest, though. With free city parking and a public transit system that’s a relic of communist inefficiency, drivers in Romania’s largest city have the worst commute on the entire continent.