If there’s one thing I hate more than being stuck in traffic its, well, not much really. Being stuck in a traffic jam is worse than finding a fly in your soup, worse than not being able to find a matching pair of socks and possibly even marginally worse than the in-laws unexpectedly turning up on a Sunday morning.
Yes, we all hate traffic jams. If you don’t believe me then go ahead and ask your friends whether they enjoy the experience of sitting behind the steering wheel of a motionless car while surrounded by a variety of other motionless cars. They don’t. The fact that typical traffic jam involves dozens or hundreds of silently fuming drivers all glaring at each other means that it is a horrible experience that we all try to wipe from our memories as soon as we reach our destination.
So how long do you think you spend in traffic jams over a year? A couple of hours? Maybe a day? You might want to put down that hot cup of tea and take a seat before you read this next bit…
More time than you spend doing most things
The average UK driver spent 10 working days of their year stuck in traffic last year. This is even more than we tend to spend eating, laughing, on the toilet or brushing our teeth in a year. 10 whole days. Good lord, just think how many lies you could have told on Facebook in that time or how many reality shows you could have silently stared at.
If that hasn’t depressed you enough then the even worse news is that traffic in cities across the country is getting worse. 1% worse, that is! Ok, so 1% isn’t a huge figure but if the trend continues then in a decade’s time I confidently predict that the situation will be a whole 10% worse.
What is the most congested city in the UK? Rather bizarrely, it is Belfast. I used to live here a few years back and I have to confess that I don’t remember being stuck in traffic all that much. Behind Belfast is, rather more predictably, old London town.
- How long do you spend in traffic jams? Got any tips for avoiding them?