Measuring aggravation: The Congestion Index identifies the world's worst roadsNewsBy Nick Vivion | April 5, 2013Share This article was originally published on Technology has long been heralded as the salve to the festering wounds of the world's worst roads: Nightmarish commutes, hours wasted idling, soul-draining hours stuck behind slow moving masses of gas-belching vehicles.While self-driving cars may banish this reality forever, smaller technological wins can deliver temporary salvation from these interminable road delays.For example, GPS navigation provider TomTom can divert customers around any congestion, eliminating wasted time and fuel resources and all the related aggravation. Given the trove of data that the company has around the world's congestion, TomTom has created the Congestion Index, chronicling the world's congestion.The company explains the technological genesis of the Index: It is our mission to get drivers to their destinations faster, safer and greener. Over the years we have invested in new ideas and technologies with the aim of bringing significant benefits to drivers, businesses and society as a whole. In 2007 we started a groundbreaking initiative that helped us to understand how we could guide drivers in a better way. We set out to build a more precise view of traffic flow over the entire road network to enable us to give drivers more exact route information and arrival times. With the support of millions of TomTom customers we have captured anonymous travel time information in all the territories where we are active. Rather than relying on theoretical models, we are now able to understand real-life driving patterns by time of day, day of week, time of year and around special eventsShare this quote Using technology to track these sorts of patterns is a fantastic way to harness data for revelations into human behavior and nationwide travel trends.The methodology is to compare traffic during non-congested times to congested times. The difference is expressed as a percentage increase in travel time - a useful measure for anyone considering how peak times affect road travel.So where does the world get stuck the most often? Read on to find out what the technology says!North AmericaThe Top Ten Most Congested Cities are not that surprising. Ranked by overall congestion level: Los Angeles (33%)Vancouver (32%)Honolulu (30%)San Francisco (29%)Seattle (26%)Toronto (25%)San Jose (25%)Washington (25%)New Orleans (25%)Montreal (25%) Houston, Seattle and Tampa increased the most in congestion, while Edmonton, Birmingham and Pittsburgh dropped the most.In graphical format:Download the full report here, which includes a fascinating city-by-city breakdown of day-by-day congestion patterns and trends.South AfricaWhile not as expansive as some of these other geographic regions, South Africa has its congested spots as well. Johannesburg (30%)Cape Town (26%)East Rand N (25%)Pretoria (24%)East Rand S (23%)Durban (18%)Only two cities are seeing increased congestion in South Africa: Durban and Cape Town. East Rand and Johannesburg are also enjoying less traffic this year.Download the full report here.EuropeThe Top Ten Most Congested Cities in Europe: Moscow (66%)Istanbul (55%)Warsaw (42%)Marseille (40%)Palermo (39%)Stuttgart (33%)Paris (33%)Rome (33%)Hamburg (32%)Brussels (32%)Leeds, Istanbul and Moscow lead the pack as far as increasing congestion, while drivers in Bern, Malaga and Warsaw are enjoying less congestion.Download the full report here.Australia and New ZealandThe most congested cities in Australia and New Zealand are: Sydney (33%)Perth (30%)Auckland (28%)Melbourne (28%)Christchurch (28%)Adelaide (28%)Brisbane (25%)Wellington (24%)Canberra (18%)Drivers in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are unsurprisingly seeing more congested, while the smaller cities of Auckland, Christchurch and Brisbane are seeing fewer taillights.Download the full report here.NB: Beijing traffic image courtesy Shutterstock.