Just how much does sitting in DC traffic cost you?

If you’ve been thinking that traffic is getting worse in D.C., you may not just be imagining it.

“Washington, D.C. has seen a significant increase in congestion over the last year,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, which publishes the annual Global Traffic Scorecard. “It’s ranking eighth in the United States in terms of traffic.”



That’s up from 13th last year.

Ranking of traffic-congested cities in the U.S., according to INRIX. (Courtesy INRIX)

They also assessed just how much time you are losing while sitting in traffic. On average, D.C. drivers lost 83 hours to traffic congestion last year.

“That equates to nearly $1,400. This is taking the federal government’s value of time,“ Pishue said.

Making things worse is fuel costs, which have been up.

“What we figured is that the typical commuter spent $850 in fuel costs,” Pishue said, “That’s up from $650 in 2021, which overall means a little more than a $200 increase in commuting just due to the price of fuel.”

He said one good note is that the price of gas is going down, and those numbers should decrease this year.

Another side effect of the increased congestion is crashes. Pishue said the number of crashes is higher; but most seem to be fender benders, and they are less severe in terms of injuries.

Although congestion is worse, it’s not as bad as it was before COVID-19; it’s just rebounding after a few years of low traffic during the pandemic.

“D.C. has seen a comeback in that sense, and really, most of that is in the morning commute,” Pishue said.

You can see INRIX’s full report here.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Download the free WTOP News app for Android and Apple phones to sign up for custom traffic and weather alerts.

Michelle Murillo

Michelle Murillo has been a part of the WTOP family since 2014. She started her career in Central Florida before working in radio in New York City and Philadelphia.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up