Bad traffic is not merely a frustrating experience for drivers. The American Highway Users Alliance points out that it also affects U.S. economic competitiveness. The group estimates that $39 billion in wasted time could be saved in the span of 20 years if the country’s 30 worst bottlenecked traffic areas were fixed.
During summer, the problem gets worse. There are more people traveling — especially in a time of lower fuel prices — and more road work getting done. Until a larger solution is put in place to ease congestion, fleets need to use all resources possible to avoid getting stuck in a traffic jam.
Know what’s ahead
Current technology, used wisely, already allows fleets to keep up with traffic reports, be aware of road construction on planned routes, and find usable alternate routes in minutes. Real-time traffic data is collected and disseminated via highway signs, dedicated radio channels, smartphone apps and GPS devices. And don’t forget about sharing information from your own drivers.
Study routes and times
Spending some time analyzing various routes could lead to surprising conclusions. It’s easy to fall into a regular habit of taking the same roads all the time because it’s the way that you know. But data from telematics can show where vehicles are likely to get stuck, at what times and for how long. It can show alternate routes that may save time and money because they are less congested, even if they seem more circuitous.
If all else fails, communicate
Sometimes, all the planning and double checking won’t matter, and your driver will get stuck in traffic. No customer wants to get the call that your company’s representative is going to be late. But getting that call is a lot better than hearing nothing at all.