A study showed that worldwide traffic congestion dropped last year, mostly because of slowing economies in major countries.
Inrix, a US based provider of traffic information and driver assistance services, said traffic congestion declined 30 pc in 2011. Moreover, 70 of the 100 most populated cities in the US showed less congestion than the year before.
Road congestion in large urban areas is a major driver for the development of new telematics-based navigation solutions that help drivers find the fastest routes to their destination.
With more people moving to large urban areas, experts believe road congestion will rise sharply in the next 20 years.
The "Traffic Scorecard" drawn up by Inrix annually looks at traffic congestion in 100 US cities. This year, it also analyzed nationwide US and European traffic flows.
"The declines in traffic congestion across the US and Europe are indicative of stalled economies worldwide,” said Inrix CEO Bryan Mistele. In the US, he added, "Americans are driving less and spending less fueled by gas prices and a largely jobless recovery.”
Inrix said the 2011 decline follows two years of small increases in traffic congestion; 1 pc in 2009 and 10 pc in 2010.
Cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu, where gasoline prices exceeded the national average, showed the biggest drop in congestion.
On the other hand, cities such as Tampa, Houston and Austin, where job growth exceeded the national average, saw an increase in traffic congestion.
The top 10 worst congested cities in the US are: Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Bridgeport, Washington, Seattle, Austin, Boston and Chicago