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Don’t get stuck in one of these cities during rush hour!  While the numbers change from year to year, in general, these ten cities have the worst traffic and frequently appear on top ten worst traffic lists, based on number of extra hours spent stuck in traffic and the average speed of traffic.  Learn which city has the slowest traffic, and what day of the week has the worst rush hour.

1.  Los Angeles

Los Angeles frequently tops worst traffic charts.  In 2009, drivers spent 63 extra hours per week sitting in traffic.  According to Forbes, in 2010, that jumped up to 85 minutes.  On average, traffic trudges along at a mere 14 mph.  Thursdays at 5:00pm is the worst time to be on the LA roads.  In 2006, 390,000 waited in traffic on I-405 alone.

2. Chicago

Chicago might be the Windy City, but you won’t feel any whoosh as the cars go by. In 2009, Chicago tied with Washington DC for longest amount of time spent in traffic, at 70 hours per week.  A year later brought no improvement: 83 hours per week, going at 11.1 mph on average (making it the slowest city), with the worst commute happening on Friday at 5:00pm.  Better just duck out early on Friday to avoid sitting in traffic!

3. Washington DC.

DC has a reputation for having horrible traffic, so it’s surprising that in 2010, Forbes reported DC drivers spent only 32 hours per week waiting for the traffic to move.  The average speed puts them at the middle of the road – 14 mph – and like many other cities, the worst time to drive is Friday at 5:00pm.

4. New York City

New York is making efforts to relieve congestion by converting sections of Broadway to walkers and bikers only.  Regardless of their efforts, NY still tops many charts for worst traffic.  In 2010, drivers waited a staggering 94 minutes in traffic – the most out of any other cities, and averaged speeds of 11.4 mph.  Just guess what the peak congestion hour was.  Yep – Friday at 5:00pm.

5. Dallas – Fort Worth

Traffic congestion isn’t limited to the east coast and California.  Texas has two cities on this list (scroll down for Houston).  In 2009, Dallas-Fort Worth tied with Boston for sixth place, at 48 hours per week in traffic.  Speeds in 2010 reached 20.1 miles per hour, making it one of the more faster congested areas.  Friday at 5:00pm is, of course, the worst time to commute.

6. Houston

If you live in Fort Worth and think it would be clever to move to Houston to avoid the traffic – think again.  Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation, and no, unfortunately that does not mean it’s large enough to hold more traffic.  Expect to wait 22 more hours per week, and inch forward on a snail’s pace at 13.2 mph.

7. San Francisco

Unfortunately you can’t escape LA traffic by moving north.  San Francisco still makes the top ten, with drivers spending 68 extra hours per week on the road.  Despite the time, at least the drive is moving in general, at 19.6 mph.  Apparently Fridays aren’t the worst in this city – the peak congested commute is Thursday, at 5:00pm. T

8. Boston

Boston has a long history, and has been a busy city since colonial times (many famous founders and politicians, like John Adams, hail from Boston).  Back then it might have taken Adams weeks to get home from Philadelphia.  Today, it might seem like you’re stuck in traffic for weeks!  On average, Boston drivers spend 43 hours per week stuck in traffic, and go about 16.7 miles per hour.  Hey, at least it’s faster than a horse and buggy.

9. Seattle

The rainiest city in America is also one of the slowest.  Speeds average a staggering 11.2 mph, putting it in second place for slowest out of these top ten cities, but only by .1 of a mile.  Friday is also the worst day for traffic, but it peaks at 4:00pm instead of 5:00pm.  Drivers will spend 44 hours per week stuck in traffic – hope you didn’t drink too much coffee!

10. Atlanta

Atlanta might have hosted the Olympics back in 1996, but the only records being broken here make running look like a faster option.  Atlanta drivers spend the most on gas – $5772 per year – and sit in traffic for an extra 44 hours per week.  Better make sure your air-conditioning works.

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