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The researchers at the Texas Transportation Institute have recently published new estimates of the effects of traffic congestion. The trend toward increased congestion eased in 2008 at the beginning of the recession with the downturn in the economy but began to rise again in each year since. In 2011, 2.88 billion gallons of fuel were wasted due to traffic congestion. This equates to approximately 19 gallons per commuter in 2011.

Total Fuel Wasted Due To Congestion, 1982-2011
Graph showing the total fuel wasted due to congestion from 1982 to 2011. See table below for more detailed information.

Note: The methodology for the gallons of fuel wasted was changed for the 2012 report. The historical values back to 1982 were revised to the new methodology in order to be compatible.

Supporting Information

Total Fuel Wasted Due To Congestion
Year Fuel Wasted
(Billion gallons)
1982 0.53
1983 0.58
1984 0.65
1985 0.75
1986 0.88
1987 1.00
1988 1.15
1989 1.28
1990 1.36
1991 1.41
1992 1.50
1993 1.57
1994 1.64
1995 1.78
1996 1.90
1997 2.02
1998 2.12
1999 2.28
2000 2.39
2001 2.51
2002 2.67
2003 2.83
2004 3.02
2005 3.17
2006 3.20
2007 3.23
2008 2.76
2009 2.81
2010 2.85
2011 2.88
Source: Texas Transportation Institute, 2011 Urban Mobility Report, December 2012.

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