Highway congestion caused Americans to avoid 47.5 million auto trips in 2018—costing nearly $30 billion in travel spending, enough to support 248,000 American jobs.

New research analyzes the time Americans spend driving between major U.S. cities under three conditions:

  • Ideal: driving with no congestion
  • Summer: driving during the most congested conditions in the summer
  • Peak: driving during the most congested conditions during all of the study period

The data reveals trips are being extended by hours due to congestion—the equivalent of adding many more miles to the trip, effectively pushing cities further apart.

The added time to get between cities is leading to Americans canceling trips. Last year, nearly a third of all auto travelers avoided at least one day trip by car and almost a quarter avoided at least one overnight because of the likelihood of road congestion.

View more findings from the report.


Research, News and Commentary on Congestion Is Pushing Our Cities Farther Apart