If you live in a major metropolitan area and own a car, you're already familiar with the frustration of sitting in traffic jams. It's incredibly aggravating to inch along on the highway, stuck in a sea of brake lights with no end in sight. It's especially bad around rush hour, which unfortunately is the time most of us need to travel between home and work — a real catch-22. In many cases, traffic eventually clears up, only to reveal that the slowdown was caused by rubberneckers looking at someone changing a flat tire on the shoulder.


For all these reasons, it's worth doing your best to avoid traffic during your everyday commute. However, during an emergency bug-out situation, the degree of traffic will increase exponentially as cars flood the roads trying to get out of Dodge. As we always say, the time to prepare for this is now — when there's an emergency and you're trying to evacuate in your vehicle, it may be too late to find an alternate route.

While traffic can be a problem in most cities, some states have it much worse than others. This can be measured by the congestion index, a ratio of the number of registered vehicles to the number of miles of public roadway within a state. The math is simple: more vehicles on less asphalt equals higher traffic. Some states (like Texas) have lots of vehicles, but also a huge network of roads, so their congestion index is just slightly above average.

The following infographic from TitleMax shows the data for all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., so you can check the statistics on how your home state fares. This info can come in handy when you're planning a bug-out strategy, but be sure to compare it with what you've observed in your local area during rush hour. Click here to download a full-size version of the graphic.

Infographic worst congestion traffic car truck road 1

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