be prepared to stop

Dallas-Fort Worth drives onto list of Texas places for worst traffic congestion

Dallas drives to top of list of Texas places for worst traffic

Dallas, Interstate 75, traffic, traffic jam, congestion
Yep, we're among the worst. Texas Transportation Institute

Honk if you hate Dallas traffic! According to a new study, you’re more than justified in laying on the horn to express frustration over DFW's clogged roads.

The study, released by geolocation technology company TomTom, shows the typical Dallas-Fort Worth driver wasted 39 hours last year due to traffic congestion. DFW's traffic congestion rate was 17 percent. (This means average travel times in jammed-up traffic were 17 percent longer than they were in uncongested traffic.)

"In 2021, an increase in congestion levels was seen in Dallas-Fort Worth," the study says. "The data suggests the average travel time increased by 2 minutes per day."

According to the report, October 1 was the worst traffic day in DFW, with a congestion rate of 26 percent.

On the whole, DFW drivers experience 21 percent congestion during morning rush hour (6 extra minutes per 30-minute trip) and 35 percent during evening rush hour (11 extra minutes per 30-minute trip).

"How much extra time was spent driving in rush hours over the year? 67 hours = 2 days 19 hours," the report says.

Dallas-Fort Worth ranked fourth in Texas, 37th in the U.S., and 305th in the world for traffic snarls. Congestion was up 4 percent from 2020 but down 2 percent from 2019.

While those figures highlight the drive-me-up-a-wall status of DFW commutes, at least it's not Houston, where drivers wasted 46 hours in traffic last year.

According to the survey, Houston ranks first in Texas, 16th in the U.S., and 214th in the world for snarled traffic in 2021. The city's traffic congestion went up 4 percent compared with 2020 but went down 4 percent compared with pre-pandemic 2019.

“Bottlenecks around the state continue to waste time and money, further damaging the already fragile supply chain,” John Esparza, president and CEO of the Texas Trucking Association, says in a news release. “With the newly available federal resources for infrastructure projects, there’s no excuse — these bottlenecks must be addressed. A reliable and stable transportation network is essential to our economy — just like the trucking industry.”

Here’s how other major Texas cities fared in the TomTom study:

  • McAllen ranked second in Texas, 18th in the U.S., and 218th in the world for traffic congestion. Time wasted in traffic last year for a typical driver: 46 hours. Congestion rate: 20 percent. Congestion up 4 percent from 2020 and up 1 percent from 2019.
  • Austin ranked third in Texas, 21st in the U.S., and 221st in the world for traffic congestion. Time wasted in traffic last year for a typical driver: 46 hours. Congestion rate: 20 percent. Congestion up 2 percent from 2020 and down 7 percent from 2019.
  • San Antonio ranked fifth in Texas, 41st in the U.S., and 318th in the world for traffic congestion. Time wasted in traffic last year for a typical driver: 36 hours. Congestion rate: 16 percent. Congestion up 3 percent from 2020 and down 3 percent from 2019.
  • El Paso ranked sixth in Texas, 44th in the U.S., and 324th in the world for traffic congestion. Time wasted in traffic last year for a typical driver: 36 hours. Congestion rate: 16 percent. Congestion up 4 percent from 2020 and the same as 2019.

Not surprisingly, the TomTom study awards New York City the title of the worst-congested place in the country. In 2021, the typical New York driver wasted 80 hours in traffic, with a 35 percent congestion rate.

Racking up a congestion rate of 62 percent last year, Istanbul, Turkey, claimed the title of the world’s worst city for traffic. There, motorists wasted 142 hours in traffic in 2021.