If your commute is getting longer, you’re not alone as The Washington Post is reporting the average American commute reached a record high last year.
Citing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the paper says the typical one-way commute took 27.1 minutes in 2018. That’s up two minutes from 2009 and this means drivers are stuck in their cars an extra 20 minutes a week.
While that doesn’t sound like much, commute times have increased almost annually since 1980. As a result, Americans now spend an average of 225 hours commuting back and forth to work every year.
The news sounds bad, but the publication says the increase is largely due to a handful of workers making extremely long commutes. As they noted, nearly ten percent of people had a one-way commute of 60 minutes or more last year and that’s up about two percent from 2010. Furthermore, there are an additional one million people with commutes of 90 minutes or more than there were in 2010.
Other issues blamed for increasing commute times are a lack of affordable housing in urban areas which has pushed workers to live in the suburbs. Many cities also haven’t invested in improving their infrastructure as their populations have grown and this has increased congestion.
Unsurprisingly, long commutes have a number of negative side effects. Among the issues cited are higher levels of obesity, divorce and worker absenteeism for people with long commutes. Needless to say, long commutes also burn more fuel and this increases emissions.
The news isn’t all bad as a number of automakers are working on autonomous driving technology. Fully autonomous vehicles are still a ways off, but modern systems can making commuting safer and less stressful.
H/T to Autoblog