How Bad Is Miami Traffic?

Miami has an average traffic congestion rate of 28%.
Written by Joshua Levy
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The average traffic congestion level in Miami throughout 2021 was about 28%, meaning a one-hour drive would take almost an hour and twenty minutes. Depending on the time of day, Miami drivers may face congestion levels of up to 48%.
Miami is one of Florida’s biggest cultural hubs. Featuring thriving nightlife, unbelievable food, and consistently sunny weather, Miami is a staple stop for anyone looking to vacation in Florida. Unfortunately, Miami’s traffic situation can quickly put a damper on even the best of days.
Getting stuck in traffic can be extremely frustrating, but try not to worry. The
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How bad is Miami traffic?

According to the
TomTom Traffic Report
, Miami has an average congestion level of 28%, with peaks around 55% throughout the average week. While there are plenty of places with worse traffic around the United States, you shouldn’t underestimate Miami traffic.
TomTom’s traffic analysts have calculated that Miami drivers spend around 106 hours in traffic over the course of a year. Of course, the specific number varies from year to year, but most drivers can expect to spend a substantial amount of time sitting in traffic. 

Why is Miami traffic so bad?

Every city has its own reasons for traffic congestion, ranging from oversized populations to poor infrastructure—and Miami is no different. Here are some of the biggest reasons for Miami’s traffic patterns. 

Poor public transportation 

Public transportation in Miami is practically non-existent, so cars are more of a necessity than an option. Since most people hit the road at the same time for morning and afternoon commutes, driving is almost impossible at those times of the day.  

Inadequate lanes and construction

Highways in and around Miami are already too small for the population they support. But Miami is also consistently packed with street construction projects. As a result, lanes are often closed off, bottle-necking areas that are already too small and congested.

Unhelpful traffic lights

The traffic light situation in Miami is abysmal. Most of them switch too quickly, which prevents more than a few cars from passing through each light at a time. Others pass too slowly, keeping cars stuck in a single spot for minutes on end. 
Some lights are so bad that you may be better off walking to your destination than waiting for them to change. 
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How to navigate Miami traffic like a pro

Avoiding traffic is about more than getting home on time, it’s about safety and financial security. Heavy traffic situations can be extremely stressful, subsequently increasing the potential for accidents and
road rage
Finding ways to manage and navigate traffic safely is key to ensuring you make it home in one piece—both mentally and physically. Of course, traffic is sometimes unavoidable, so it’s best to enter the fray with a set of management strategies.
Here are some of the best ways to avoid or deal with traffic in Miami:
  • Skip rush hour. Miami’s morning and afternoon rush hour traffic (which runs from 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm) is the worst time to hit the road. While you can’t always avoid it, consider driving to work earlier in the morning or hanging out in the city until rush hour ends. Waiting to head home can be frustrating, but it’ll probably feel more manageable than sitting in heavy traffic.
  • Stay off the freeway. Major highways like I-95 and the MacArthur Causeway get severely backed up almost every weekday. And once you’ve entered the flow of traffic, it can be difficult to get out. Consider mapping your route ahead of time, so you can work your way around the major roads.
  • Use a traffic app. While most people use traffic apps like Google Maps that point them in the same direction, you may be able to avoid more congested areas by using alternative traffic apps like
    . Since fewer people use apps like Waze, there may be fewer people using the routes they recommend.
  • Prep entertainment materials. If you do end up stuck on the road, you can make your time worthwhile by using it to pursue your interests. Consider downloading audiobooks or soundtracks ahead of time that you can use on the road. It won’t make the drive any shorter, but it can make it far more worthwhile.

Prepare for Miami traffic by updating your car insurance

If you’re planning on driving through Miami, you’re probably going to hit some traffic. And the best way to prepare is by finding the right car insurance policy with
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Miami is a fairly complicated city with tricky lights, congested roads, and ongoing road construction. In short, yes, it’s a tricky city to drive in. But don’t let that stop you from trying! So long as you take your time and stay alert on the road, you should be fine.
If you want to avoid as much traffic as possible, you should hit the road before 6:00 in the morning, or after 7:00 at night. Otherwise, you may find yourself in some pretty heavy traffic.
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