Traffic congestion on U.S. highways cost the trucking industry $63.4 billion in 2015 due to lost productivity, according to new research by the American Transportation Research Institute released Tuesday.
The congestion costs for 2015 grew $13.9 billion from the congestion costs of 2014. ATRI used truck GPS data, along with data from the Federal Highway Administration, to determine that the trucking industry experienced more than 996 million hours of delays in 2015, which is equivalent to 362,243 truck drivers sitting idle for an entire working year. The average cost of congestion for the year was more than $22,000 for a truck that drove 100,000 miles or more.
The research group credits an increase in crashes in 2015 from 2014, including a 3.8 percent increase in police-reported crashes and a 7.2 percent increase in fatalities from crashes, as well as weather impacts, as the main drivers behind the congestion.
During the year, the first quarter had the lowest congestion, while the third quarter saw the highest congestion, ATRI’s report states.
At the state level, Florida and Texas accounted for the most congestion with each totaling over $5 million in total cost of congestion. The two states combined to account for 16.5 percent of the nation’s total congestion cost.
2016 set record for vehicle miles traveled, FHWA reports
The year’s 3.2 trillion vehicle miles traveled is 87.5 billion more miles than were traveled in 2015, FHWA reports.
Washington, D.C., had the highest cost of congestion on a per-mile basis due to the amount of congestion in a small amount of National Highway System miles. The cost-per-mile in D.C. was more than $1.1 million for the 59 miles in the district. New Jersey had the second-highest cost-per-mile at $483,970 per mile.
Only seven states experienced a decrease in overall congestion cost in 2015 when compared to 2014 – Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, North Carolina, Alabama, Nebraska and New Jersey.
Additionally, ATRI found that 91 percent of the nation’s congestion costs in 2015 came from metropolitan areas, with just under $5.8 billion coming from outside these areas. The New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area topped the list, accounting for nearly $4.6 billion in total congestion costs. The Chicago metro area followed, accounting for $2.1 billion.