DC Friday Afternoon Commutes Rank Among Worst In Nation

A study confirms that driving home on Fridays takes longer than commutes during the rest of the week.


A recent study confirms what Washingtonians have long known to be true—Friday afternoon commutes cause more headaches than your average drive home.

A study conducted by an outside traffic research firm for Governing.com shows that Friday afternoons are the worst time to drive in nearly three-quarters of metro areas nationally, including Washington, DC.

DC ranked as the ninth worst metro area for Friday afternoon delays of the 100 cities included in the data, according to the report. The average Friday afternoon delay in the region clocked in at 7.47 minutes for a 30-minute commute. Monday through Thursday, the data shows the average delay to be about 5.94 minutes for a half-hour trip.

Washington ranked just below Portland, OR, at eighth worst, and just above Chicago at 10th worst. Los Angeles topped the list for worst Friday afternoon commutes, with an average 13.17-minute delay compared to a 10.29-minute average delay Monday through Thursday.

For a smoother end-of-the-week trip home, consider a move to Melbourne, FL. The city showed the least Friday afternoon delays of all the cities studied, with commuters tapping the brakes for an average of 24 seconds.

Friday morning commuters in DC actually run into less delays than any other time during the week, the study found, possibly because of federal workers who work from home that day. But delays later in the day may be attributed to drivers heading out of town.

Metropolitan regions with a large number of workers who live far outside the city can also see delays when many employees leave work early on Fridays.

How bad is your Friday afternoon commute? Do you alter your commute time, take public transportation or work from home on Fridays to avoid delays? Tell us in the comments.


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