Gridlock: Worst traffic in America

The states with the worst traffic congestion in the nation.

By Les Christie, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- If you've been finding yourself stuck in traffic lately, it's no wonder; about 52 percent of urban-area interstate roads now qualify as "congested."

According to an annual report from the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation, a libertarian policy research group, road congestion is on the rise nationwide.

10 Worst states
Where urban interstate congestion is at its worst.
State Percent of roads rated congested
California 83.3%
Minnesota 77.8%
New Jersey 73.4%
North Carolina 72.5%
Maryland 68.6%
Kentucky 67.0%
Connecticut 65.6%
Rhode Island 62.0%
Ohio 59.9%
Texas 59.7%
Source:Reason Foundation

"Gridlock is not going away," said David Hartgen, lead author of the study, "States are going to have to prioritize and direct their transportation money to projects specifically designed to reduce congestion if we are going to reverse this troubling trend."

The study reported that road conditions have deteriorated, adding to congestion. It estimated that nearly 6 percent of urban interstate were in poor condition in 2005, an increase of 16.3 percent from 2004.

Hawaii had the worst urban roads with 28.0 percent in poor condition, followed by Alabama with 18.2 percent. Ten states, including Georgia and Arizona, had no urban roads in poor condition.

It will come as no surprise to any visitor to Los Angeles lately that California has the worst urban-interstate congestion in the nation; the report deemed 83.3 percent of the roads in the Golden State as congested. Other gridlock centers were Minnesota (77.8 percent), New Jersey (73.4 percent) and North Carolina (72.5 percent).

Montana, where low volume and very liberal speed-limits result in high average driving speeds, had the most dangerous roads. For every 100 million miles driven, 2.256 people died. South Dakota had 2.215 fatalities per 100 million.

Massachusetts had the lowest fatality rate at 0.797 fatalities, followed by Connecticut at 0.865. Top of page