The 10 Most Congested U.S. Cities

Do you take local traffic conditions into consideration when choosing trip destinations? Maybe you should.

The U.S. is the world’s most congested country, with drivers spending an average of 41 hours a year in traffic during peak hours. That’s an average, mind you; in some cities, it’s worse. Much worse. In Los Angeles, the worst of the 1,360 cities evaluated worldwide, drivers spent 102 hours stuck in traffic during peak travel times.

That’s according to the latest study by INRIX, “a global leader for transportation analytics.” The company’s annual traffic scorecard is intended to serve as a guide for governments and organizations looking to improve urban mobility. And there’s plenty of room for improvement in the U.S., which accounted for four of the ten worst cities for traffic congestion across America and Europe.

The six non-U.S. cities among the top 10 were, from most to least congested: Moscow, Sao Paulo, Bogota, London, Magnitogorsk, and Yurga. The latter two cities are both in Russia (I had to look them up), so, including Moscow, Russia accounts for three of the top-10.

Which U.S. cities were the worst? Led by Los Angeles, the ten most congested American cities, and the number of hours spent in traffic, were as follows:

  1. Los Angeles – 102
  2. New York City – 91
  3. San Francisco – 79
  4. Atlanta – 70
  5. Miami – 64
  6. Washington, D.C. – 63
  7. Boston – 60
  8. Chicago – 57
  9. Seattle – 55
  10. Dallas – 54

For travelers, there’s a clear link between the most congested cities and the most popular tourist destinations. Bottom line: Travelers visiting car-choked cities should expect to spend some of their precious vacation time sitting in traffic alongside commuting locals.

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.