Next time you find yourself stuck in a traffic, be grateful if you are not in Istanbul, Turkey: according to a recent study reported in CNN, that city has the worst traffic in the world, at 125 hours annually!
This is based on research by TomTom, the GPS maker, which took 9 trillion measurements from its widely used products to gather the data. So the results are likely pretty accurate.
The runners up were Moscow and St. Petersburg, both in Russia; Mexico City, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world; Chongqing, China, another massive and fast-growing city; Recife, Brazil; Bucharest, Romania; Rio De Janeiro; Shenzhen, China; and finally – and unsurprisingly – Los Angeles.
The pattern shows that most of the worst affected areas are populous, sprawling, and fast-growing metropolises in the developing world; in other words, places adjusting to more economic and population growth, which together put more cars on the road.
As urbanization rates continue, and contemporaneously more people owning cars, cities across the world — especially newer ones — will have to find ways to improve infrastructure, public transportation, or planning to accommodate the growth in traffic. Congestion is not only an inconvenience, but it contributes to a lot of psychological stress, eats into personal time (and thus mental wellness), and contributes to pollution.