Traffic Jams Cost Commuters 55 Hours of Sleep Every Year

Being stuck in traffic can be extremely frustrating, but for commuters, it has more marked negative effects, new research has shown.
Traffic jams cost commuters 55 hours of sleep a year, lots of frustration and decreased productivity 7 photos
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Polling agency Walnut Unlimited conducted a study on behalf of Go-Ahead Group, one of the largest public transport providers in the UK, with the goal of showing how traffic congestion affects commuters. The results are dire, though not entirely surprising, Motors reports.

A commuter in the United Kingdom loses about 55 hours of sleep every year, because he or she has to wake up earlier every morning to get to their job in time. The study reveals that commuters usually wake up about 13 minutes earlier than non-commuters, which totals 55 hours a year. That’s time that commuters would otherwise use sleeping in.

The ironic part is that, with all this, commuters are still late to work. They lose sleep and they spend more time stuck in traffic, so they’re almost always not on time. About 40 percent of respondents were late to work because of traffic jams, while 4 percent of them admitted to arriving late to job interviews for the same reason.

In short, traffic jams suck. Speaking in more diplomatic terms, they cause more than frustration and irritability: they also translate into a loss of productivity, which leads to an overall decreased loss in profits on a national scale.

For instance, the Center for Economics and Business Research estimates that, by 2030, traffic congestion could cause the UK economy losses of £300 billion.

“Traffic congestion causes frustration, anxiety and inconvenience. It hurts Britain’s productivity as well as affecting quality of life,” Martin Dean, managing director of bus development at the Go-Ahead Group, says of the findings of the study.

“Public transport can be a part of the solution to that problem – a fully loaded double decker bus can take as many as 75 private cars off the road, easing congestion and improving air quality,” Dean adds. “This study shows the true impact traffic jams have on peoples’ lives. It’s in everybody’s interests to get the country moving more quickly.”
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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