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Survey Finds Seattle Commute to Be One of the Worst in the USA

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on January 13, 2020

If you drive to and from work every day, then like us, you probably have first-hand experience with  mind-numbing Seattle traffic. In a recent survey done by MYNorthwest, Seattle was reported to have the fifth-worst traffic nationwide and is the only of the five worst cities to have less than 800,000 residents. Seattle topped the list of cities where workers say that their commute has gotten worse recently, and such terrible commutes are causing many people to change jobs to avoid commuting.

Seattle traffic is reportedly costing commuters over $1,400 per year on average, with the average commuter spending 78 hours per year stuck in traffic in 2017.

The risks of high traffic and long commutes

Anyone who is running late but stuck in Seattle traffic is bound to experience some kind of emotion, especially when they are in stop-and-go traffic after a long day at work. Multiply that out by thousands of cars on the road, and you see a much-increased risk of accidents due to:

  • Driver fatigue: Commuters who have to wake up very early to arrive on time to work, and those who spend hours driving after a long, hard day at the office are likely to feel fatigued on the road. When you’re tired, you have lowered awareness and lowered reaction times – greatly increasing your risk of accident, as well as the risk for those around you.
  • Road rage: In a national survey conducted in October of 2019, 82% of drivers in the US admit to having road rage or driving aggressively at least once in the past year. When someone is stuck in stop-and-go traffic and about to be late for their daughter’s birthday after working all day, the likelihood of that person being upset and aggressive on the road is pretty high. Being upset can easily lead to dangerous and aggressive driving, drastically increasing the risk of accidents.

The adverse effects of long commutes

In addition to creating dangerous driving conditions, being stuck in traffic is also just plain unpleasant. Countless studies have found that people become dissatisfied with their jobs, are late to work, feel negative emotions, get depressed, have financial concerns, and feel stressed by their job – all because of a long commute to and from work.

So, what do I do about it?

Some good ideas to reduce your commute are:

  • Support any traffic initiative to reduce congestion and improve the speed and flow of traffic
  • Take public transportation
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Take a taxi
  • Work with your employer to have a different schedule, allowing you to commute during non-peak times
  • Work from home

Regardless of what you do, you must find a way to either avoid the long commute or make it as pleasant as possible. If your commute is unavoidable, then do whatever you can to stay focused on the road and happy. One woman started listening to podcasts while commuting in Los Angeles (another one of the top five traffic cities) and reported that it greatly eased the stress and boredom of being stuck in traffic.

What do I do if I’ve been in an accident?

If you’ve been involved in an accident, the best thing to do is to contact a good auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Follow the standard procedure for any accident (get medical help, exchange information, etc.) and then get legal counsel. At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we give a no-fee guarantee to all of our clients – we don’t get paid unless we win. Contact us today at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation.

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