Traffic congestion over the next 17 years is set to give the U.S. and the biggest economies in Europe a $4.4 trillion headache, according to a U.K.-based economic consultancy firm.
France, Germany, the U.K and the U.S. will face a combined toll of $200.7 billion in 2013 across their whole economies and that figure is expected to rise to $293.1 billion by 2030, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
This would mark a 46 percent increase in the costs imposed by congestion and is calculated from direct costs, like fuel and wasted time, as well as indirect costs like the inflated household bills passed on by idle freight traffic.
"This report shows that advanced economies could be heading for 'car-maggedon'," said Kevin Foreman, the general manager of geoanalytics at INRIX who provided the data for the CEBR.
"The scale of the problem is enormous, and we now know that gridlock will continue to have serious consequences for national and city economies, businesses and households into the future," he said in a press release on Tuesday.