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The researchers at the Texas Transportation Institute have recently published new estimates of the effects of traffic congestion. Nearly 3 billion gallons of fuel is wasted each year due to traffic congestion. In 2007, the amount of wasted fuel declined slightly due to an overall decline in vehicle miles traveled when fuel prices skyrocketed. The wasted fuel amounts to 1.6% of total highway fuel use in 2007.

Total Fuel Wasted Due to Congestion, 1982-2007
Graph showing the total fuel wasted due to congestion for the years 1982 to 2007. Due to the decline in miles traveled in 2007 the amount of wasted fuel declined from the year before. For more detailed information, see the table below.

 

Supporting Information

Total Fuel Wasted Due to Congestion, 1982-2007
Year Billion Gallons of Fuel Wasted Wasted Share of Total Highway Fuel Use
1982 0.5 0.4%
1983 0.5 0.4%
1984 0.6 0.5%
1985 0.7 0.6%
1986 0.8 0.6%
1987 0.9 0.7%
1988 1.1 0.8%
1989 1.2 0.9%
1990 1.3 1.0%
1991 1.3 1.0%
1992 1.4 1.1%
1993 1.5 1.1%
1994 1.5 1.1%
1995 1.7 1.2%
1996 1.8 1.2%
1997 1.9 1.3%
1998 2.0 1.3%
1999 2.1 1.3%
2000 2.2 1.4%
2001 2.3 1.4%
2002 2.4 1.4%
2003 2.5 1.5%
2004 2.7 1.6%
2005 2.9 1.6%
2006 2.9 1.7%
2007 2.8 1.6%

Source: Texas Transportation Institute, 2009 Urban Mobility Report, July 2009.

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