Thursday, April 14, 2016

Avoid These Places if Your Kids Get Restless in Cars

I just heard that a friend told his family not to join him on an all-expenses-paid trip to Madrid, because he'd read that the traffic was bad... and knew his son hated to sit in a car seat.

An Infographic on global traffic congeston from the 2015 TomTom Traffic Index

Today's parents have too much information. As much as technology might liberate someone to try a risky adventure, it also limits them because they're so keen on avoiding hassles. Trust me, Madrid is worth a little traffic time... even a lot of traffic time. Thanks to TomTom, the source for technology services and GPS systems, here is some information that may prove useful to all travelers.

From their 2016 annual report detailing 295 cities in 38 countries on six continents with the most traffic congestion, we learn that in 2015, Mexico City had the worst traffic in the world.

Top 5 Worst Cities for Traffic (and Car Seat Tantrums)

Drivers in the Mexican capital of Mexico City can expect to spend, says TomTom, 59% extra travel time stuck in traffic any time of day, and up to 103% in the evening peak periods. Compared with cities where there is a free flow, or uncongested, situation, drivers and passengers in Mexico City will spend an estimated 219 hours of extra travel time in their vehicles over the course of 280 working days each year.

Next in the top 5 most-trafficked cities, measured by what percentage of extra travel time is needed:
2. Bangkok (57%)
3. Istanbul (50%)
4. Rio de Janeiro (47%)
5. Moscow (44%)

Traffic Congestion is Up, Globally

In its 5th year of publishing the Traffic Index, TomTom worked with 14 trillion data points accumulated over the past eight years. Interestingly, although traffic congestion is up by 13% globally since 2008, in 2015, North America’s traffic congestion rose by 17%, and Europe's by 2%. TomTom analysts say this may be attributed to Southern European countries such as Italy (-7%) and Spain (-13%) where there has been a marked drop in traffic congestion in the past eight years.

Ranking of the most congested cities globally in 2015 (Overall daily congestion level – extra travel time – population over 800,000):

6 Bucharest (43%)
7 Salvador (43%)
8 Recife (43%)
9 Chengdu (41%)
10 Los Angeles (41%)

Traffic Congestion in Europe

Ranking of the most congested cities in Europe in 2015 (Overall daily congestion level – extra travel time – population over 800,000). Please note that Madrid is not mentioned in this list!

1 Moscow (44%)
2 Bucharest (43%) 3 Saint Petersburg (40%)
4 Warsaw (38%)
5 Rome (38%)
6 London (38%)
7 Marseille (38%)
8 Manchester (37%)
9 Athens (36%)
10 Paris (36%)

Traffic Congestion in North America

Ranking of the most congested cities in North America in 2015 (Overall daily congestion level – extra travel time – population over 800,000):

1 Mexico City (59%)
2 Los Angeles (41%)
3 San Francisco (36%)
4 Vancouver (34%)
5 New York (33%)
6 Seattle (31%)
7 San Jose (30%)
8 Honolulu (29%)
9 Toronto (28%)
10 Miami (28%)

Don't Let Kids Get Stuck in a Car Seat!

Ralf-Peter Schaefer, VP TomTom Traffic, says: “We really want everybody to think about how they can lower the amount of time they waste in traffic every day – and to realize that we all need to play a part."

"If even just five per cent of us changed our travel plans," he adds, "we’d improve travel times on our major highways by up to thirty per cent (according to a recent study). Collectively, we can all work together to beat traffic congestion.”

Schaefer would like to see road authorities and local governments using TomTom’s traffic data to better manage traffic flow during the rush hour. Businesses can use it to plan smarter working hours to avoid rush hour, and drivers can use the real-time traffic information and smart routing to avoid congested roads.

Think your commute is worse than ever?

Discover where your home city traffic ranks, get helpful advice on beating traffic congestion, and review ‘Profile Cities’ who are working to improve mobility, at the the TomTom Traffic Index.

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