Whilst I was cycling home from work today, I spent a fair bit of the commute time in slow-moving traffic.
I started to think about how much time we lose being stuck in traffic when we’re going somewhere, so I decided to crunch some numbers to get a rough idea.
I’m trying to provide a conservative estimate with these calculations and I do have to admit that I could be providing quite incorrect figures.
To work all of this out, I’m going to use a total time of fifteen minutes to thirty minutes per day spent being stuck in traffic during peak hours.
I’m also going to use the amount of days worked per year as based on a five day working week, taking away annual leave and sick leave, so a total of two-hundred and thirty-one days per year worked.
Per year, you would be looking at three thousand, four-hundred and sixty-five to six thousand, nine-hundred and thirty minutes, or almost fifty-eight to one-hundred and fifteen-and-a-half hours, or almost two-and-a-half to almost five days.
Assuming that you work for forty-five years for your life, that’s about one-hundred and eight days to about two-hundred and sixteen-and-a-half days of being alive that would be spent stuck in traffic.
I think that, on average, it might be significantly more than that.
I’m very aware that, for plenty of people, this is unavoidable due to distance between home and work (as well as other reasons that can be considered an inhibitor to alternatives). For people who can walk, or cycle, why are you spending so much of your time on the road? Stop driving and using public transport for short distances (an hour walking to a location counts as a short distance and will, in a number of cases, end up taking only a little longer than using a vehicle). Also, it would mean less traffic on roads, allowing people who need to use them due to distance the ability to get to their places of occupation much faster.
It’s a fair bit of life lost spent doing very little (aside from, if you’re on public transport, allowing you to do reading, among other things) and I find it really concerning.