LAS VEGAS -- The average automobile commuter in the Las Vegas metro area wasted 44 hours in traffic in 2011, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute reported Tuesday.
That squandered time was enough to tie Las Vegas for 17th worst in the nation among 498 urban areas studied. Washington, D.C., topped the list with 67 hours wasted per commuter.
The university's annual Urban Mobility Report also calculated that Las Vegas congestion cost motorists $906 each, 23rd highest in the nation.
Among other findings:
* Traffic caused Las Vegas motorists to use nearly 21.5 million gallons of excess fuel, 24th highest nationally.
* Congestion in 2011 cost Las Vegas motorists $931 million total, 29th highest in the nation.
* For what would normally be a 20-minute trip in light traffic, Las Vegas motorists were advised to set aside nearly 63 minutes if they wanted to be late to their destination no more than one day a month.
* Las Vegas motorists stuck in traffic produced an additional 417 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per commuter in 2011, enough to rank 17th highest nationally.
The institute recommended that Las Vegas could reduce its congestion by using more freeway ramp metering, doing a better job of managing freeway incidents, and improving arterial street signal coordination and access management.
"We all understand that trips take longer in rush hour, but for really important appointments, we have to allow increasingly more time to ensure on-time arrival," institute researcher and report co-author Bill Eisele said. "As bad as traffic jams are, it's even more frustrating that you can't depend on traffic jams being consistent from day to day. This unreliable travel is costly for commuters and truck drivers moving goods."