Worst Highways For Traffic In North America

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There is no doubt about it; some of America’s highways are dreadful to drive on, especially when you’re in the middle of a long haul. The high traffic hours make it more difficult to drive safely or to make it anywhere in time. Not to mention, the anxiety the highway already brings to some truckers only increases when traffic becomes a bother.

Most Trafficked Highways In North America

In North America especially, there are some highways that are not even worth traveling on unless there isn’t an alternative route. The following are some of the busiest highways in the continent, as well as a few routes to get around them:

  1. New York: Cross Bronx Expressway
    Alternative Route: The Cross County Parkway runs north to south

  2. New York: Van Wyck Expressway
    Alternative Route: Yes, depending on where you are headed, however most alternative routes in this area are generally also pretty busy. Check a traffic app with live updates (like Waze) before you hit the road in this area

  3. California: San Diego Freeway
    Alternative Route: US Route 101 (A coastal highway)

  4. California: Riverside Freeway
    Alternative Route: Magnolia Avenue

  5. New York: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
    Alternative Route: Grand Central Parkway/ Astoria Boulevard

  6. California: Santa Monica Freeway
    Alternative Route: Century Freeway

  7. Illinois: Dan Ryan Expressway
    Alternative Route: Yes, depending on where you are headed. You can take the South Shore train out of East Chicago.

  8. New York: Long Island Expressway
    Alternative Route: New York State Route 906A and New York State Route 906B

  9. California: Santa Ana/Golden State Freeway
    Alternative Route: State Routes 22, 57, 91 and I-605

These roadways are considered the top ten most congested highways in all of North America. The San Diego Freeway happens to be listed twice, once for northbound and once for southbound, and overall the State of California has the most congestion on their highways. It’s believed that the more populated areas where people need to commute longer distances to the city for work are where the highways tend to be most congested.

If you wish to avoid traffic at all costs, you can easily look for alternative routes through a GPS or even online. These alternative routes are only a few of the alternatives that you might have, but unfortunately, not everyone will have an alternative. Many of the highways with the most traffic are the only practical ways to reach a destination.

To figure out which highways have the most traffic, the INRIX (a company that creates mobile apps for those who want to avoid traffic) measures the real-time traffic while creating reports to analyze. They then determine the causes for the traffic, as well as how and when to avoid them at their busiest hours of the day.

Know a freeway not on our list? Share your thoughts on the most congested areas you’ve come across and we’ll provide alternative routes for future readers.


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