This is pretty much the textbook definition of looking for a silver lining.  Yes, the recession has had an impact on every single person in this country.  Yes, it's wreaked havoc on all of our jobs.  Yes, it's hurt countless people's lives.

But when it comes to TRAFFIC . . . my God, it's never been better.

 According to a new study from the Texas Transportation Institute, in 2008 and 2009, the U.S. saw a HISTORIC drop in traffic jams.

Traffic jam data goes back to 1982.  Every single year since then it has either stayed the same or gone up.  Until the recession.  Then the roads cleared out, and the amount of time people lost to traffic jams went down 13%.

Nationwide, in 2009, the average driver wasted 34 hours in rush hour traffic.  That dropped things all the way back to 1996 levels.

 David Schrank co-authored the report.  He says, quote, "The economy is so tied to transportation.  When jobs go away, bottlenecks on the road disappear and things ease up."