9 American Cities with the Worst Traffic

worst traffic

I think it is safe to say that nobody likes traffic. Some people drive too fast. Some people must have gotten their license from the back of a box of cornflakes. But some cities have a different problem, traffic is at a stand still. Here are the cities that you should visit if you enjoy sitting in your car, going nowhere fast.


Texas is a big state so it’s hard to believe that they have so many traffic problems. Houston traffic can be three times as bad on a Friday evening, making a 5-minute journey into a 25-minute crawl. One of the worst spots is the 5 miles between the Buffalo Speedway and I-45 on the US-59. You had better bring something to do if you find yourself stuck here, you will be a while. In average conditions, it can take 15 minutes to complete this short journey.

Washington DC

The capital is the worst city in the US for congestion. It was reported that commuters wasted around 82 hours in 2014 because they were stuck in traffic. The I-95 is one of the worst roads for traffic. The 23 mile stretch between I-395 and Exit 148 can take nearly an hour and a half to drive down on a Friday afternoon. When there is no traffic, it only takes 25 minutes to get down this stretch.


Wednesday morning is one of the worst times to drive around Boston. The TRI-State area can be one of the worst areas for traffic. The I-93 between Exit 5 and Exit 15 is the worst place to drive on a Wednesday morning. The 10 mile journey can take up to 30 minutes during rush hour, but up to 40 minutes on a Wednesday morning. This adds up to nearly 65 hours a year of being stuck in traffic if you live in the city.

Los Angeles

Everyone knows that traffic in LA is crazy but how bad is it? On a Friday afternoon, it can take nearly an hour and a half to drive along the Riverside Freeway. Without any traffic, it only takes 20 minutes to drive along the 20 mile stretch of road. Commuters can waste around 80 hours a year stuck in traffic in LA. But that number can be even higher depending on the time of day that you travel.

San Francisco

During 2014 it was reported that the residents of San Francisco spend around 78 hours stuck in traffic jams. With all of those hills, I hope that people test their parking brakes on a regular basis. On the California Delta Highway, between Hillcrest Avenue and Somerville Road, traffic comes to a stand still. It can take up to 20 minutes to drive along this 3-mile stretch during rush hour. Really it should only take 3 minutes.

New York

Everyone knows that you can’t drive in New York, that is what cabs are for. But even with everyone using public transport and cabs, the city is still jam packed with traffic. The average New Yorker can spend around 74 hours of their year stuck in traffic. A stretch of road that normally takes 15 minutes with no traffic can take over an hour during rush hour on a Friday afternoon. It looks like the Big Apple isn’t big enough.

San Jose

Even the highways are packed in San Jose. If you live in the area you can expect to waste around 67 hours a year stuck in traffic. The traffic problems in San Jose have doubled since 2013 and show no signs of slowing down. It has also seen the biggest jump in the country for congestion. People lose around 67 hours a year sitting in the traffic around the town, that’s nearly three days!


Chicago is known as the Windy City, but not because of the traffic breezes through. It is not loved by commuters as they can spend twice as long stuck in traffic. The worst stretch of road is found on the 16 miles between I-294 and Exit 52B on Dan Ryan Expressway. On a Friday afternoon, there is no express service here and people can be stuck there for nearly an hour and a half. There are at least five roads in the city that are top offenders for traffic jams, and this number keeps growing.


There is more than one offending road for traffic in Dallas, there’s quite a few. One of the worst roads is part of the North Freeway. Between the 9 mile stretch of Exit 49B and Exit 58 commuters can sit in traffic for 40 minutes during rush hour. This small stretch should only take 9 minutes. In 2015 the levels of traffic continued to rise and trucks are thought to be the worst offenders for holding traffic up.

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