How Bad Is Jacksonville Traffic?

Jacksonville is a sprawling city that is ranked as having the 45th worst traffic in the US.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
According to a recent study, the average Jacksonville driver lost 53 hours to traffic in 2019. Congestion in Jacksonville ranks 45th in the nation, but it’s generally thought to not be too terrible considering its size. 
Jacksonville, Florida
is a sprawling metropolis in the northern end of the Sunshine State. How sprawling? As of 2020, Jacksonville was the most populous city in Florida, and also the largest city by area in the continental US. Warm summers and an abundance of gorgeous coastlines make Jacksonville a destination for many people to live, work, and play in—which can lead to quite a bit of traffic. 
If you’re looking for more details on Jacksonville traffic, you’ve come to the right place. Insurance super app
is here to break down everything you need to know about getting around in The Gateway to Florida. 

How bad is Jacksonville traffic?

According to the
2021 Global Traffic Scorecard
, a massive international study of traffic trends, Jacksonville traffic is the 45th worst in the United States. It’s estimated that between lost time and wasted fuel, the average driver in Jacksonville loses $448 and 21 hours annually to traffic congestion. 
While these numbers represent a steep drop-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be safely assumed that increasing traffic will be accompanying decreased restrictions. 
Hours lost to congestion
53 hours
21 hours
no data
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The general consensus seems to be that while there can certainly be some traffic issues in Jacksonville, it’s really not that bad for a major city, and the infrastructure is pretty good and allows things to keep moving. 
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Why is Jacksonville traffic so bad?

The traffic patterns in any one city are often as unique as the city itself and are made up of a lot of different factors. Here are a few reasons why traffic in Jacksonville is notable.

Population size 

Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, with more than 950,000 people calling it home. Not only that, it’s ranked #12 in population as far as US cities go, and it’s the most populous city in the Southeast. Simply put, that’s a lot of people hitting the road at any given time!

Major chokepoints

The I-95 is Florida’s busiest freeway and it runs right through the city, so you can definitely expect to see congestion there—especially during peak hours. Combined with I-295, these highways make up the bulk of Jacksonville’s rush hour traffic, and they connect to nearly every other road in town at some point. 
The Buckman bridge area and the Arlington Expressway are also frequent spots of slowdowns and are best avoided during rush hour. 

Urban sprawl

Another noteworthy feature about Jacksonville is its sheer size—at a whopping 875 square miles, it’s the largest city by area in the continental US. While this may mean that there’s plenty of room to spread out, it can also mean that it takes quite a while to get from point A to point B. 
MORE: The best type of car insurance to get if you commute long distances
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How to navigate Jacksonville traffic like a pro

Traffic congestion means more than just lost time and
thinning patience
—it also means more traffic accidents. 
Although most sources rate Jacksonville traffic as not too bad, there are reports that it’s getting worse, and
traffic deaths are on the rise
as well. Even small accidents can be a real pain and might cause your
car insurance premiums to rise
That being said, it’s still possible to navigate Jacksonville traffic and keep both your car and your wallet intact. Here are a few tips on how to do it:
  • Steer clear of rush hour if possible. Jacksonville’s two rush hour times run from about 7 am to 8:30 am and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. 
  • Take back roads when you can. I-95 and I-295 see a lot of use and if you can find a surface street or a back road that avoids them, it will often save you a nice chunk of time.
  • Use a traffic app or GPS.
    ’s traffic app provides information about closures, accidents, and real-time updates.  
  • Stay calm. If you do find yourself going nowhere fast, resist the urge to drive aggressively or allow yourself to get distracted by your phone or loud music. Keeping a cool head means you will get there safely and ticket-free!

Prepare for Jacksonville traffic by updating your car insurance

One more thing before you toss your flip-flops in the trunk and head off to Jacksonville—take a minute to make sure that your
car insurance
is ready for whatever the road may bring. 
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For a city of its size, Jacksonville is not too difficult to drive in. Avoid peak hours and use a GPS to find the best routes in and around the city.
Jacksonville has two rush hour times—one in the morning between 7 am and 8:30 am, and one in the afternoon between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm. Avoiding the roads during those peak hours will enable you to get through town a pro.
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