According to statistics, Austin drivers lose around 32 hours to traffic each year, making it the 21st most congested U.S. city.
Austin, Texas is beloved by many. With its world-class barbecue, friendly locals, and warm weather, it’s no wonder Austin has been named one of America’s best cities to live. Despite its booming population and prodigious business growth, Austin does have a downside—bad traffic.
How bad is Austin traffic?
The numbers over the last couple of years improved due to COVID-19—but traffic seems to be steadily increasing in the wake of the pandemic, as drivers return to the office.
Why is Austin traffic so bad?
A city’s traffic is the result of several different factors, including the overall population, infrastructure, and driving habits of locals. Here are some of the reasons Austin suffers from such awful traffic.
Austin is the 11th-biggest city in the United States but only the fourth-biggest in Texas. Around 962,000 people live in the Austin metropolitan area—and pre-pandemic, about 83% of them drove to and from work each day. This factor alone contributes significantly to Austin’s traffic issue.
Booming cities like Austin weren’t created to sustain the current—and increasing—population. City planners did not predict the drastic growth, so Austin has only one major interstate running through it. To address the issue, toll roads like Highway 45 and 130 were built, but traffic will only continue to be an issue as Austin grows.
Austin’s population may be sizable, but the metro region spans 327 miles with just 3,214 people per square mile. This means Austin drivers must travel longer distances to get across the city, leading to more traffic. This tendency to drive farther causes major traffic congestion, as well.
How to navigate Austin traffic like a pro
Austin drivers aren’t destined to sit in traffic forever, though. Here are some tips to help you save time and money by avoiding Austin’s traffic:
Prepare for Austin traffic by updating your car insurance
Whether you’re heading to Austin for a trip or you’re one of the many daily commuters, it’s a good idea to double-check your car insurance policy to make sure you’re covered for any possible accident that comes along with Austin’s bad traffic.
Plus, Jerry users save an average of $887 a year. That’s way more than the average cost of sitting in Austin traffic per year!