New Study Shows Effect of Traffic on Business Fuel

Sep 27, 2011


We recently looked at a new online tool to measure wasted fuel due to traffic. Now here’s some data to back it up! 

The 2011 Urban Mobility Report (UMR), published by the Texas Transportation Instituteat Texas A&M, studied the effects of traffic congestion on businesses and commuters in the U.S. in 2010.

The cost of congestion was more than $100 billion in 2010, which is nearly $750 worth of wasted fuel for every commuter in the U.S. Also, traffic congestion is growing beyond rush hour, with about 40 percent of the delay occurring in the mid-day and overnight hours, where rush hour can last for up to 6 hours. The report said this is creating an increasingly serious problem for businesses that rely on efficient production and deliveries. The time delay the average commuter experienced was 34 hours, up from 14 hours in 1982.

And sadly, things are only going to get worse as time goes on. The report says it expects the average commuter to see an estimated additional 3 hours of delay by 2015 and 7 hours by 2020. By 2015, the cost of gridlock will rise from $101 billion to $133 billion, which is more than $900 for every commuter. The amount of wasted fuel will jump from 1.9 billion gallons to 2.5 billion gallons.

The report recommends telecommuting and more flexible work hours as ways to alleviate the sting of congestion-related expense. As for a solution to the problem itself, the Texas Transportation Institute recommended coordinating traffic management, signal coordination, and rapid crash removal, along with better land use and development patterns.

What is traffic in your city like, and is your fleet taking steps to mitigate the delays? Let us know and leave a comment!

[via Business Fleet]

Photo courtesy of Oran Viriyinci and re-used under the Creative Commons license.