Posts in driving
Why 4WDs Proliferate in Gridlocked Cities

Sick of wasting your life in traffic? At least you're not alone

If you spend one hour driving to work (much of it, stopped in gridlock) and one hour getting home, at the end of one year you have spent the same amount of time stuck in traffic as the average person spends awake in a month. It’s the textbook definition of wasting your life in traffic.

(Two hours per day equals 10 hours per week equals 480 hours a year with four weeks of annual leave. If you’re awake 16 hours a day for 30 days a month, that’s 480 hours too. It makes you think about all that commuting.)

See my report on peak-hour traffic absurdity, which ran live on Sydney radio 2UE, below. Bankstown to Sydney CBD, toll roads versus free roads.

Australia’s roads are becoming ridiculously congested. It’s obvious, right? Maybe this ‘escape clause’ is one of the reasons why an incredible one in three new-vehicle buyers are purchasing a 4WD vehicle of some description, be it a ‘proper’ 4WD (with real off-road potential), a so-called ‘soft roader’ (read: ‘light-duty 4WD’) or some form of 4WD ute. Perhaps the aspiration one day to escape the daily grind is strong when you’re paying through the neck to sit in peak-hour gridlock.

These people might own a 4WD to escape, but the chances are they probably drive overwhelmingly in congested, peak-hour conditions in big cities. Traffic jams are increasing, as the growth in city-based driving out-paces infrastructure investment, and while public transport fails to cope.

Here’s a snapshot of driving Down Under.

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