BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Traffic congestion in Connecticut is at an all-time high. According to a new travel study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Inrix, Bridgeport and Hartford are on the top 10 list for annual traffic delays.
The study finds drivers lose 7 billion hours each year sitting in traffic, an average of 42 hours per commuter, causing drivers to burn more than 3 billion gallons of fuel. Even though prices are lower at the pump, sitting in traffic can burn a hole in your wallet.
“Congestion definitely takes a toll on your car especially if you are idling bumper to bumper on the turnpike or the parkway. Idling definitely wastes gas,” said Fran Mayko, spokesperson with AAA Northeast.
The study also blames the gridlock on the growing economy. The report shows that traffic congestion has returned to pre-recession levels.
“Most folks do not live close to their places of employment. They can’t afford to do it so we are in situations where rush hour traffic is sometimes 24/7,” Mayko added.
The slow-go also puts more stress on your car.
“You’re going 10 miles an hour back down to nothing, 10 back down to nothing, and it’s wearing a lot of the stuff out,” said Mac Macnamara of Megill’s Garage in New Haven.
Experts say make sure you keep up with your car’s regular maintenance. Have your mechanic check the belts, tires, fluids and brakes, as well as the cabin filters, fuel filters, hoses and battery.