10 Cities With the Worst Rush-Hour Traffic

Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read | Flickr

By Jim Gorzelany

Better make sure your next car has a comfortable interior, a killer audio system and a cupholder large enough to handle a Big Gulp if you live in Los Angeles. That’s because commuters in the City of Angels suffer the nastiest evening rush hour congestion among major U.S. cities, according to the annual traffic index conducted by navigation system maker TomTom in Burlington, Mass.

TomTom’s experts found the average overall level of congestion is hovering at 30 percent, which is a five percent increase over 2012’s results. In the cities facing the most arduous evening commutes, roads tend to be 66 percent more crammed with cars compared to times (whenever they may might occur) when traffic is flowing freely.

And for motorists trying to decide which day of the week would be best to play hooky, consider taking a Thursday off, which found to be the most congested day of the week. On the other hand, if you live in Honolulu or New York, feel free to extend the weekend, as the report determined commuters living there face the worst evening traffic on Fridays.

10. Chicago, IL

Average evening congestion level: 59 percent. (Photo: Daina | Flickr)

9. Atlanta, GA

Average evening congestion level: 59 percent. (Photo: AP)

8. Austin, TX

Average evening congestion level: 61 percent. (Photo: micklpickl | Flickr)

7. Portland, OR

Average evening congestion level: 61 percent. (Photo: brx0 | Flickr)

6. San Francisco, CA

Average evening congestion level: 68 percent. (Photo: David Madison)

5. Houston, TX

Average evening congestion level: 68 percent. (Photo: TexasDarkHorse | Flickr)

4. Honolulu, HI

Average evening congestion level: 68 percent. (Photo: AFP)

3. Seattle, WA

Average evening congestion level: 74 percent. (Photo: Randy Wick | Flickr)

2. San Jose, CA

Average evening congestion level: 75 percent. Photo: Richard Masoner | Flickr)

1. Los Angeles, CA

The City of Angels tops the annual TomTom traffic index for having the worst evening commute in the U.S. (not to mention the worst traffic overall), with an average p.m. congestion rate of 80 percent. (Photo: Neil Kremer | Flickr)

The fine print: TomTom’s Annual Traffic Index analyzes the average delay a driver in a given city faces during peak times of traffic congestion in the typical morning and evening commuting hours and compares this to free flow traffic to determine the true impact for the average commuter. Complete data and individual city reports can be found at www.tomtom.com/trafficindex.

Full story: Cities With the Worst Rush-Hour Traffic

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