You’re Not Crazy: Traffic Is Actually Getting Worse

You are not imagining it: you are getting older. Your metabolism is slowing down by the hour. Your wrinkles are showing. You’re not sleeping enough. And your commute to work is genuinely getting longer.


If you tackle the commute day by day, it doesn’t seem so long, but when you start adding it up it becomes scary. That’s The Washington Post did, only to find that we Americans are spending more time stuck in traffic than before:

The Census’s 2015 American Community Survey data, released last fall, show that the average American commute crept up to 26.4 minutes in 2015, or about 24 seconds longer than the previous year. Multiply it all out — 24 seconds per commute, twice a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year — and in 2015 the typical American could expect to spend about three hours and twenty minutes longer getting to and from work than in 2014.

Three hours and twenty minutes! That’s valuable time I could have spent watching The Fellowship of the Ring! (Extended edition, please. What, you think I’m some kind of filthy casual?)

There are a lot of reasons for this, with the age-old push into suburbia, growing populations and rising housing prices in metropolitan centers included.

A likely result from this is that employees are starting to push more for work-from-home days and remote positions. According to a recent Gallup poll, over half of the workers surveyed said that they would switch jobs for one that would offer them flextime:

The modern workforce expects autonomy, and many employers have taken note. An increasing number of companies offer work-from-home and flexible working arrangements for their employees. According to a 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) benefits survey, 60% of companies offer their employees telecommuting opportunities — a threefold increase from 1996.


While having an office to go to is extremely nice, it’s also nice to know that sometimes you can work from home, where you can actually be more efficient with your time because it’s not being burned in the commute.

Actually, I don’t know why any of this matters. Everything sucks anyways. Go back to bed.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.


Ash78, voting early and often

I work from home a large company, doing a job that I would absolutely NOT do if I had to commute into an office. Anecdote aside, employers should take note: People will accept (and remain in) a wider array of jobs when allowed to telecommute. If you hire the right people — those without Jalopnik accounts — they will be far more productive because commuting time is converted into work time.