Study projects how much time, money is lost being stuck in Atlanta traffic

A new report from Inrix says Atlanta drivers wasted more than 70 hours stuck in traffic in 2022.

The report’s author says Atlanta has not reached pre-pandemic travel levels, yet, which likely means that time stuck on the road will get even worse in 2023.

Steve May has lived in Atlanta most of his life and has seen first-hand the trouble on the road.

"I've gone from commutes taking an hour and 20 minutes to come from downtown to Sandy Springs," he said.

The report says drivers in Atlanta on average spent 74 hours sitting in traffic in 2022. That is more than three days of staring at brake lights.

"Traffic delays are up 40% over last year," said Bob Pishue, a Transportation Analyst at Inrix.


Atlanta ranked 10th in the country for traffic congestion, behind cities like Chicago and New York.

Pishue is the man behind the report. He says while traffic delays are up in Atlanta since 2021, it remains 10% behind the pre-COVID high with some people still working from home.

"There is a silver lining to this. It's that the commute signifies that a lot of our areas are getting back to normal," he said. "People are doing things and they're getting there by bus, by car, whatever means."

According to the report, the bumper-to-bumper delays cost Atlanta drivers more than $1,200 in lost time last year. With Inrix expecting congestion to increase in Atlanta in 2023, some drivers are worried about what this means for the roads.

"I'm concerned about the infrastructure being able to accommodate and handle the amount of traffic that we have," said Robert Pope. "Of course, we have more people who have moved here now."

Inrix says two of the big trouble spots in metro Atlanta are on the north and east sides of Interstate 285.