Trucker 6242 121417tomtomcongestionatjf

Traffic congestion in five biggest U.S. cities cost fleets $1.7B a year

Dec. 14, 2017
Congestion on roads and highways in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Seattle and San Jose ranks the worst in the country, increasing travel times by 39% or 150 extra travel hours a year per vehicle.

Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and San Jose are the United States’ top five traffic congested cities, and cost local businesses and service fleet operators $1.7 billion annually -- or $7.71M per day -- in productivity, according to research by TomTom

“Traffic congestion is a fact of life for every driver, in every city, with certain US cities ranking near the top,” said Torsten Grunzig, director of Sales for TomTom Telematics North America. 

The United States’ top five cities rank among the 65 most congested cities in the entire world.  Los Angeles, which tops the list for the most congested city in the U.S., is the 12th most congested on Earth. 


Congestion Level

Extra Travel Per Year (Hours)

No. of Commercial Vehicles

Cost to Business

Los Angeles




$1.36 B

San Francisco





New York










San Jose





“The problem of congestion directly and negatively impacts the productivity and efficiency of local businesses and service fleets,” Grunzig said. “Traffic congestion in the U.S. is costing business owners and fleet operators 241,100,653 lost hours per year. Overcoming the congestion challenge and recapturing these lost hours is a major challenge for fleet operators."

Traffic congestion increases the probability of a driver becoming stuck on the road, wasting billable time, burning fuel, increasing emissions and potentially disappointing customers, Grunzig added. 

“Fleet management solutions can help businesses to overcome these issues, as they help drivers navigate around traffic jams," he said. "Not only can a fleet tracking solution help to ensure drivers receive the better available route, based on anticipated congestion spots and collected data from other devices, they can also enable the back office to better plan around congestion, and keep customers alerted as to a drivers’ ETA."

The TomTom Traffic Index measures congestion on the road networks of 295 cities around the world. The TomTom Traffic Index gives drivers detailed information on the impact congestion has on their city's travel times. Road authorities can use the TomTom Traffic Index to measure the performance of their network and pinpoint areas where traffic flow can be improved.

Over the years TomTom has built up a database with 14 trillion historical travel time measurements and we provide detailed and accurate traffic updates for drivers in 50 countries.

About the Author

American Trucker staff

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...