What is traffic like in Hawaii?

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What exactly is traffic like in Hawaii?
Where and when is the worst traffic in Hawaii?
Tips for avoiding traffic in Hawaii
Final word


What exactly is traffic like in Hawaii?

Traffic in Hawaii varies depending on which island you are on. Overall, though, traffic in Hawaii is not great by any measure. Hawaii was ranked 45th in the country for its traffic and infrastructure by a recent study.

This is, however, an improvement from more recent years. As recently as 2012, Hawaii had been ranked the worst in the country for traffic. So, the traffic situation is improving in Hawaii, just slowly.

Where and when is the worst traffic in Hawaii?

Not surprisingly, the Honolulu area has the worst traffic in the state. Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii as well as the most popular tourist area in the state.

Honolulu is also the most populated area in the state of Hawaii by a long shot. It has over seven times more people than the next most populated area in the state. The issue with traffic here is that many people do not live in the area where most jobs are located which is in the actual city of Honolulu. Most commute from neighboring areas, thus traffic can get very congested during rush hour.

Honolulu is not the only place in Hawaii that has substantial traffic delays consistently. Both Kahului and the Kailua – Kaneohe areas have legitimate amounts of traffic congestion as well. It is not nearly as much as Honolulu, but it is enough to inconvenience you on a consistent basis. Kahului is located on the island of Maui while the Kailua – Kaneohe area is also located on Oahu, making Oahu the worst island to drive on Hawaii because Honolulu is located on the other side of that same island.

Overall, these are the average annual driving delays per commuter in each respective area in Hawaii:

  • Honolulu – 64 hours
  • Kailua – Kaneohe 23 hours
  • Kahului – 23 hours

You can see that Honolulu is almost triple that of the next two highest areas on Hawaii’s list. Honolulu’s traffic delays actually measure up with that of Los Angeles and New York City. The traffic delays in the Honolulu area averages out to about fifteen minutes per day for each driver. The delays in both Kahului and Kailua – Kaneohe averages out to 6 minutes per day for each driver.

Tips for avoiding traffic in Hawaii

If you are driving in Hawaii and you want to try to avoid traffic, you can use the following tips:

  • Do your best to avoid rush hour – This is easier said than done for most people but if your job allows you the flexibility to come in earlier or later, we highly recommend that you do so.
  • Pay attention to traffic and weather reports – Be sure that you give yourself a few extra minutes before you leave for your commute to listen to the local traffic and weather reports.
  • Use a GPS traffic app – Waze is one of the most widely used ways that people avoid getting stuck in traffic that is too congested.
  • Avoid the major highways – Just as in other major cities, the brunt of the rush hour traffic tends to occur on major highways such as the H-1 and H-2 (both in the Honolulu area), so plan to avoid those if you can.


Final word

Traffic can be pretty bad in certain areas in Hawaii, namely Honolulu. But it does make sense for the large population that Honolulu has. However, the congestion has slowly been improving on Hawaii’s roads. Hawaii has moved down five spots on the list of the states with the most traffic in just the past several years. So, just be sure to plan your driving in advanced, and your drive time in Hawaii likely won’t be that bad.

Category: Hawaii Car Shipping.