United Arab Emirates is the world’s most congested country with an average of 553 cars for every kilometre of road. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
United Arab Emirates is the world’s most congested country with an average of 553 cars for every kilometre of road. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

It may not seem like it when you’re stuck in soul-destroying traffic, but a new study from confused.com reveals that SA is the ninth least-congested country to drive in the world, with only 9.1 cars per kilometre of road.

The UAE is the world’s most congested country with an average of 553 cars for every kilometre of road.  

Hong Kong, with 390 cars per kilometre, is second, and Singapore, with 192 cars per kilometre, is third. Turkey (171 cars/km) and Bulgaria (160 cars/km) are close behind in fourth and fifth position, respectively.

The study by confused.com, a UK-based financial services comparison platform, calculated the total number of vehicles within each country and divided it by the size of the road network for 64 of the world's major economies, to reveal which countries drivers are most likely to experience congestion on the roads.

Europe and Asia dominate the top 20, with Mexico and Egypt the only countries to feature from other continents.   

SA is number 56 for traffic congestion of the 64 countries studied. Picture: SUPPLIED
SA is number 56 for traffic congestion of the 64 countries studied. Picture: SUPPLIED

Russia ranks in 33rd position with 38 cars per kilometre of road across its total road network that spans 1.2 million kilometres. China ranks 37th position with 32 cars/km of road, and the US just makes the top 50 in 47th place, with 18 cars/km of road, across a total network of 6.6 million kilometres — the longest road network of all countries analysed.

As the world opens back up again and commuters return to the office, the study also looked at pollution levels. Egypt is the world’s 14th most car-congested country but, with an average of 87 micrograms of air pollution per cubic metre of air (µg/m³), it has the highest air pollution levels, with Norway the lowest at six micrograms and SA at 25 micrograms. 

The full study is here

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