Although we really (REALLY) like to bitch about the traffic around here, it turns out things aren't so bad--at least as long as you think globally. IBM punched a bunch of numbers into a computer and out came something called the commuter pain index (graph after the jump) which, if it's at all accurate, means that life in countries that are not this one is very painful.
Number-crunchers at IBM Research surveyed 8,192 motorists in 20 cities, and - no surprise - most of them think traffic has only grown worse during the past three years. More than half said gridlock has wreaked havoc on their physical or mental health. One-third said it is undercutting their productivity at work or school.
As IBM notes, mounting congestion is relatively new phenomenon in emerging markets where the economy is growing faster than the infrastructure. That stands in contrast to cities like New York, Houston and Los Angeles, where growth has occurred over time, allowing traffic engineers to at least try to keep up.
IBM used the results to compile a "Commuter Pain Index," which ranks the emotional and economic toll of commuting. The index is a measure of 10 criteria, from the amount of time spent sitting in traffic to the frequency with which people simply gave up and went home.