A study by navigation systems producer TomTom reveals the very worst delays for drivers faced with a 30 minute commute in free-flowing traffic. Istanbul and Mexico City came out on top – drivers in both cities have to contend with 110 hours of delays every year during their 30 minute commute.
Russian workers aren’t much better off – commuters in Moscow and St. Petersburg have to deal with 109 and 104 hours of traffic delays every year respectively. Romania’s capital Bucharest comes joint fifth with Recife in Brazil. Indeed Brazil is well represented in this ranking with Rio de Janeiro and Salvador joining Recife in the top 10. Los Angeles is the only U.S. city to make the list with 95 hours lost to gridlock every year.
According to “PsihoTrafiQ” Psychology and Traffic Safety Association, the gridlocks in Bucharest are due to the high number of vehicles compared to the population. National Institute of Statistics reported that in 2014 there were 924,213 vehicles registered in Bucharest at a population of 1,883,425, meaning a car for two inhabitants. Their solution for free-flowing traffic is that people should opt for alternative transportation.
According to PsihoTrafiQ, most Bucharesters think they could gain time if they travel by their own car, but this is wrong, as the residence time in traffic is higher than they would go by other means of transportation (…) Romanians also tend to make a splash by buying and displaying the value of their car. In Western Europe, people would choose balance, they understood that if the entire population used their cars as the only solution, practically the big cities would paralyze. Westerners have also understood that the car is not the fastest means of transportation in a big city, but on the contrary. In most cases, you go faster by bike or motorbike. At the same time, the subway is a very good solution to avoid urban jam.
The association also says that the gridlocks are increasing the drivers’ nervousness and aggressiveness, with these factors prompting to car accidents.
Experts recommend drivers to respect traffic rules, to avoid getting to overcrowded crossroads and to avoid using their cars at rush hours (at the beginning and the end of the week, in the morning between 7 to 9 a.m. or between 4 to 6 p.m. when people go home from work.