Almost 20 million Germans commute to work every day. And they lose large amounts of precious time in traffic jams. A recent study has compiled concrete figures and identified the cities with the biggest traffic jam problem. But be careful! For the sake of fairness, here is our spoiler notice: The information will not necessarily put you in a good mood. Particularly not drivers in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg.
According to ADAC, 19.6 million people commuted to work in Germany in 2020. And, as tagesschau.de reports, around 3.4 million commuters work in a different state than their place of residence. You don't have to be a psychic to work out that millions of Germans spend a lot of time in traffic jams every year. After all, even in the coronavirus year 2020, around 1,400 traffic jams occurred every day.
Coronavirus determines how people move
Inrix, a provider of traffic analyses and connected car services, has now looked at more closely and analysed anonymised data from a wide range of sources, such as data sets from telephones, vehicles and cities. The traffic jam study identified and assessed traffic and mobility trends in more than 1,000 cities in 50 countries in 2021. The result was "precise calculations", which offer exciting insights into the suffering endured by commuters.
"The pandemic also determined when, where and how many people moved in 2021," summarises Bob Pishue, Transport Analyst at Inrix. "However, traffic increased considerably once again compared to 2020: The time German drivers spent in traffic jams in 2021 increased again by 54%".
That's a big number: An average of one working week per year in traffic jams
On average, German commuters spent a complete working week (40 hours) in traffic jams. That's 14 hours more than 2020, but six hours less than 2019, i.e. before coronavirus.
However, the higher volume of traffic compared to 2020 cost not only valuable time, but also money: The costs incurred through the loss of time in traffic jams totalled an average of 371 euros per driver in 2021, 136 euros more than 2020.
Traffic jam capital Munich
Munich was the city where commuters lost the most time in traffic jams. The time lost there per year was an astounding 79 hours, followed by Berlin (65 hours) and Hamburg (47 hours). So it's no surprise that Germany's section of road with the biggest traffic jam problem in 2021 was in Munich with the 'Middle Ring'.
But even the 79 hours that commuters have to waste in Munich every year are nothing compared to the situation in London. Drivers in the British metropolis have to endure the longest times in traffic jams in the world at 148 hours per year.