Being stuck in rush hour traffic isn’t just aggravating. It’s expensive. According to the Center for Transportation Excellence, rush hour costs the average United States driver $1,160 annually. For drivers in New York, that figure’s even worse.
Rush Hour Costs the Average U.S. Driver $1,160 Annually
The Center for Transportation Excellence didn’t offer much commentary on their findings that the average U.S. driver burns 99 gallons of fuel and losses $1,160 per year while sitting in rush hour traffic. They didn’t need to, though. Anyone who commutes to and from work during rush hour knows first-hand the aggravation and expense of sitting in traffic.
While the cost of rush hour is almost a universal norm among drivers in the U.S., it’s particularly hard on New Yorkers — who have higher-than-average costs.
Rush Hour Costs the Average New York Driver Even More
The center took many factors into account in order to arrive at their $1,160 figure. Nevertheless, two main expenses that contribute to this total are the cost of gas, and costs associated with the wear and tear that vehicles sustain. New York drivers, as anyone in the state will tell you, have it especially bad in both of these areas.
In New York, gas prices regularly run higher than the national average. Sometimes, they’re just a few percent higher than the national average. Other times, they’re as much as 14 percent, or more, higher. They’re virtually never equal with the national average.
Paying up to 14 percent more on 99 gallons of gas might not seem like a lot when it’s factored out over each day. The cost adds up, though — especially when fuel prices are high.
New York is also one of the states that use salt on its roads (seemingly almost every month of the year). This makes any driving, even idling behind another car, especially hard on vehicles in the state. After all, once the car ahead of you starts going (if they ever do), their rear tires will spit snow, dirt and salt up at your vehicle.
It’s hard to calculate just how much more expensive these two costs make rush hour for New Yorkers, since gas prices fluctuate, and wear and tear varies from one model to the next. It’s clear, however, that rush hour is more expensive for New Yorkers than for other drivers in the U.S.
The Worst Part of New York Rush Hour is It’s New York Driving
Worst of all, the biggest hidden cost of New York rush hour is largely unmeasured. Unlike drivers in other states, New York drivers to sit in rush hour with, well, other New Yorkers. No one, not even Mas*holes drive quite like New Yorkers. At least some people seem to think that a yellow-and-blue license plate is a license to cut anyone they like off — while giving them the one-fingered Yankee salute.
Who knows how this translates to dollars, but every New Yorker knows how it feels when you’re behind the wheel, and looking for parking in New York.
It’s Just Life in New York
Of course, drivers could adjust their schedule so that they aren’t sitting in the midst of rush hour. That’d help reduce the cost of sitting in rush hour traffic, as well as taking a NY Defensive Driving Course.
No matter when you’re on the road, though, there’s virtually always someone stopped in front of you, salt underneath your car and someone pulling up beside you waving with one finger. Those are just signs that you’re driving in New York, and most drivers learn to live with these aggravations.