The Cost Of Highway Congestion

Packed highways are more than just a nuisance, especially for trucking companies. Learn about the cost of congestion on U.S. highways:

In 2014, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) researched the amount of delay the trucking industry experiences on U.S. highways. It found congestion on highways added more than $49.6 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry. For trucks that travel at least 150,000 miles annually, that equals an average congestion cost of $26,625 per truck. Think about how many trucks are in your fleet – that adds up to a lot of money wasted!

The report also found there were 728 million hours of lost productivity in 2014 because of highway congestion. That equals 264,500 truck drivers sitting idle for one working year. Many drivers have come to accept packed roads as the norm, but these stunning numbers show just how much busy roads are costing business.

Congestion costs come from more than just monetary sources like wages and wasted fuel. The cost of congestion also includes lost time and delays in deliveries. Ultimately, the costs make it more expensive to move goods.

Why are the roads busier than ever? According to a report from ABC News, the number of licensed drivers in the U.S. has increased by 64 percent and the number of registered vehicles has grown by 90 percent since 1970, but the total number of road miles has only grown by 6 percent. This means there is significantly more traffic on virtually the same amount of roadway.

The Federal Highway Administration has made solving highway congestion a top priority. They are implementing real-time traveler information, traffic incident management measures, traffic signal timing and more to help solve the issue.

For now, truckers will have to accept busy highways and plan accordingly. Check out our tips for safe driving on busy roads.

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