Interactive Map Of How Many Days Americans Waste Commuting Over A Lifetime

If you've ever sat in traffic doing wondering how much of your life is wasted commuting, or you've just taken a job across the country and want to know what you'll be facing on the freeways, look no further.

Using Census Bureau data for average daily round-trip commute times for almost 1,000 cities, the good folks over at Educated Driver have created a highly depressing interactive map. 


  • The average American worker spends 52.2 minutes a day commuting to and from work, or 4.35 hours a week. 
  • This translates to an average of 408 days of one's life commuting - and more in large cities

While residents of Jersey City spend 580 days of their lives commuting, those working in North Platte, Nebraska spend just 236 days in traffic - or nearly a year more of their lives with a difference of 344 days. Then again, 


Of course, if you're not really into Kansas, sunny San Diego's average lifetime commute time is just 395 hours


So, how did we calculate the number of days you can expect to spend commuting in your life in each city?

For the purposes of this study, we assumed the average person starts full-time work at 18 (some people start earlier, others a bit later). We also know the average retirement age is 63 in the United States.

That’s 45 years of working a full-time job.

We then worked from the assumption that most people work about 250 days per year, which accounts for 2 weeks annual vacation and time off.

That’s 11,250 days of working/commuting over a career.

From here, we simply used data from the US Census Bureau on average daily roundtrip commute times for nearly 1,000 cities and towns across the country and then did the math. -EducatedDriver