Poll: Traffic in the United States

There are roughly similar levels of interest in short-term car rentals -- membership services that rent cars by the hour. A quarter of Americans say they'd be interested in replacing their main car with this kind of service; 32 percent say they might use it to replace a second car. The numbers who are very interested, however, are again much lower -- 8 percent and 10 percent, respectively.


A word about numbers: While this analysis refers to averages (meaning the means) for results such as driving and commute times, they also can be computed as medians -- the midpoint of responses. Medians, while less inclusive of the full range of responses, mitigate the effect of the extremes.

It can make a difference. Americans say they spend an average of 87 minutes a day in their cars, but a median of 60 minutes. Commuters say their average commute takes 26 minutes; the median is 20 minutes. Their worst commute can take an average of 46 minutes, but a median of 30. The amount of time they estimate traffic adds to their commute averages 15 minutes, while the median is 10.


It is, finally, close to another national holiday -- President's Day, Feb. 21. Get ready for traffic: Fourteen percent of Americans say they'll be traveling by car on a special trip during the upcoming holiday weekend -- translating to nearly 30 million cars on the road.


This ABC News/Time magazine/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Jan. 26-31, 2005, among a random national sample of 1,204 adults, including 750 commuters. The results have a three-point error margin for the full sample, 3.5 points for commuters. Sampling, data collection and tabulation was done by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

Click here for PDF version with full questionnaire and results.

You can find more ABC News polls at our Poll Vault.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
A Gilchrist county sheriffs car sits at the end of a trailer home where 7 members of a family were slain by their grandfather in Bell, FL, Thursday, Sept., 18, 2014. The grandfather, Don Spirit, pictured, also killed himself.
Phil Sandlin/AP Photo | Gilchrist County Sheriffs Office
St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church in Ecorse Michigan
PHOTO: Phoenix police officers escort Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer, to the 4th Avenue Jail following his arrest, Sept. 17, 2014 in Phoenix.
The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski/AP Photo