Traffic is a silent killer, and if Congress wants to save lives and bolster the economy, reducing traffic is a way to do both of them at once.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) compiled and analyzed data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and found some interesting details on the effect that ground vehicle congestion has in all of our lives.
While 2020 was a different year marked by more speeding than traffic jams, 2019 data was a more typical year for traffic data. 2019 was the year ARTBA used as the foundation for its data. Here is what they found:
- The U.S. economy lost $42 billion in 2019 due to trucks in traffic.
- Total hours lost approximated 648 million, pinning the cost of waiting in traffic for a single truck to be $64.81 per hour.
- 648,000,000 hours is equal to about 75,000 years, or around 1,000 lifetimes. While people rarely die due directly to traffic, the total time we all experience sums to a large amount.
- Major bottlenecks included New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and Atlanta,
- The state-by-state lost economic value closely resembles a population map, which makes sense as an increase of people tends to bring more road congestion.
There is not much that an average American on his own can do to mitigate this problem. At most, they can stay home or take alternative routes after reading about traffic conditions before leaving in their car. Ultimately, however, the best course of action truckers can do is to call on Congress to increase infrastructure spending on new roads, as well as adding additional lanes and space to those that already exist.
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