Data concerning lost productivity owing to traffic congestion increased in significance with the emergence of remote work in 2022. Millions of Americans who have either returned to the office full-time or as part of a hybrid model have spent more hours, and consequently lost more money, in traffic congestion compared with 2021. While the correlation between time in traffic jams and costs remains subject to other economic factors, analysts expect the numbers to increase during 2023.
Multiple factors contribute to hours behind the wheel
In 2022, the typical driver in the United States lost 51 hours to congestion, 15 hours more than 2021. Well below the numbers at the end of the previous decade, the numbers reflect not only the switch to telecommuting but also higher gas prices. The numbers also reflect the renewed increase in use of public transportation and downtown travel for reasons other than work. The range in hours and costs per commuter annually among the top cities—from 155 hours at $2,618 in Chicago to 105 hours at $1,773 in Miami. New York ranked third with 117 hours at $1,976.
Mixed data for New York City and Brooklyn
The data for accidents citywide and in Brooklyn shows conflicting developments comparatively for 2022 and 2023. According to the City of New York Police Department, motor vehicle accidents declined by more than 17% when comparing July of 2022 and February of 2023 in Brooklyn, less than the 20% decline citywide. Fatal accidents in Brooklyn, however, have increased significantly this year over the same period in 2022.
Whether commuting to work or traveling for pleasure, a motor vehicle collision remains increasingly likely. Economic forces and workplace changes have reminded travelers about the excitement and fears of life on the road. Attorneys with experience in the causes and consequences can offer guidance.