Lost time can mean lost money for truck drivers. Hours spent sitting idly in their truck seats in traffic jams can cause delays that result in increased fuel consumption and reduced efficiency that may impact their business relationships with clients.
Good loading and unloading practices and smart route planning can help, but the root of the problem is a dire need for new infrastructure in the U.S. The Department of Transportation reports that road traffic congestion costs the trucking industry around $27 billion each year in lost time and increased fuel expenses.
The DOT estimates that the annual cost of congestion, including delays for passenger cars, is around $1 trillion. This figure includes the higher price of products resulting from shipping delays caused by congested roads.
About 13,500 miles of highways across the U.S. regularly slow below posted speed limits, and about 8,700 miles often have stop-and-go conditions. Trucks.com says the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the U.S. needs about $1.7 trillion of infrastructure spending to alleviate congested traffic.
While you’re waiting on the government to start laying pavement and investing in IT solutions for traffic, these tips can help truck drivers avoid getting stuck in congestion:
- Learn the peak hours for traffic in cities you regularly travel through and try to avoid traveling there during these times. There are lots of great computer applications for monitoring urban traffic patterns. Take advantage of them.
- Make use of electronic on-board recording devices to analyze your personal metrics when driving and find ways to boost efficiency.
- Avoid getting road rage. An accident or confrontation with another driver won’t make traffic go any faster and will likely delay you further.
By planning your route carefully and staying cool in frustrating situations, you can reduce lost time and fuel costs caused by our increasingly congested highways.
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