Using Telematics to Beat the Nation’s Top 10 Traffic Hotspots

An effective fleet management program supported by telematics can help to reduce the costs associated with heavy traffic and other delays.

One of the main priorities of successful fleet managers and owners is route optimization. When preparing for routes, your drivers should be kept informed of high traffic areas that can be problematic or cause delays. Incorporating telematics into your fleet management plan is a great way to save time and money by minimizing the setbacks that come with traffic congestion and route delays. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), truck drivers spend about 42 hours stuck in traffic annually, which costs the industry $160 billion in lost fuel and delays. Being proactive and prepared using fleet management tools can create the difference you need to ensure you keep your trucks moving. 

The Cost of Heavy Traffic

The costs associated with road congestion and other conditions that may cause delays for your drivers are significant. Your fleet management strategy should be fully informed about how to plan routes to avoid or minimize these associated costs. Here’s a list of the various costs that are caused by delays due to road conditions:

  • Fuel Costs
  • Truck/Trailer Lease Payments
  • Repair & Maintenance
  • Truck Insurance Premiums
  • Permits & Licenses
  • Tires
  • Tolls
  • Driver Wages
  • Driver Benefits

Using GPS Trackit’s Fleet Pro helps to reduce the costs associated with route delays. This fleet management tool used automated technology to make planning, simplifying and adjusting driver routes a much easier task to tackle. Fleets using Fleet Pro have seen as much as a 1400% ROI when using the system for route optimization

Top 10 Traffic Hotspots

The USDOT has identified the top areas where traffic and road conditions consistently create delays for drivers. They are mostly major international trade gateways and hubs, such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, and major distribution centers such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Columbus (Ohio), and Portland (Oregon). Here’s a more detailed list of traffic hotspots, ranked by level of congestion and delays, your drivers should be aware of while on the road:

  1. Fort Lee, NJ: I-95 at SR 4. This traffic hotspot is ranked highest due to having a relatively low average speed throughout the day. The most congested time of day for this area is from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  2. Atlanta, GA: I-285 at I-85 (North). This stretch of road experiences significantly reduced average speeds during rush hour times. The best time to travel through this area to avoid delays is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  3. Nashville, TN: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East). This area experiences significant traffic during rush hour times. The best time to travel this road is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  4. Houston, TX: I-45 at I-69/US 59. This route has delays during rush hours and is best travelled after 8 p.m. and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  5. Atlanta, GA: I-75 at I-285 (North). This area can be cleared quickly by drivers after 8 p.m. and between 10 a.m. and 4p.m. 
  6. Chicago, IL: I-290 at I-90/I-94. This area experiences significant traffic throughout the day, beginning at 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. The best hours to travel this road is between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  7. Atlanta, GA: I-20 at I-285 (West). Traffic on this road is pretty robust throughout the day. Delays are pretty much consistent between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The best time to travel in this area is between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  8. Cincinnati, OH: I-71 at I-75. This area experiences delays mostly during the afternoon between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  9. Los Angeles, CA: SR 60 at SR 57. This road experiences consistent delays throughout the day, between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. Things speed up between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  10. Los Angeles, CA: I-710 at I-105. The worst traffic for this road occurs in the morning, between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. to avoid traffic in this area, it’s best to travel between 8 p.m and 5 a.m.

Route Planning with Telematics

An effective fleet management program supported by telematics can help to reduce the costs associated with heavy traffic and other delays. One of the issues that affects traffic and route delays for drivers is the condition of the roads. Your telematics software should be able to take into account heavy traffic, road conditions and any other data that can affect the time it takes to travel through an area. Here are industry best practices to follow to optimize the routes taken by your CMV operators:

Plan the Best Routes. Optimizing routes effectively with telematics means that you can plan them taking into account all road conditions that may occur. This means planning for road construction, traffic jams and other issues in real-time. Using GPS tracking software can also help you to receive alerts when conditions change suddenly. Routes can be updated conveniently using mobile alerts to your driver’s smartphones or tablets. 

Aggregate and Consolidate Shipments. Being able to plan the placement of cargo shipments is important to effectively manage your fleet. Aggregating shipment orders and strategically planning multiple shipments to single customers can help reduce costs, preventing less-than-truckload (LTL) routes. 

Keep Trucks Moving. Reducing idle time and empty miles is also important to route optimization. Effectively managing the movements of drivers between manufacturing plants, suppliers, distribution centers and customers can help to reduce fuel, equipment and time costs. 

Review and Refine Routes. Using a GPS-based telematics system to manage your fleet means that you will have access to a wide range of data to inform route planning. Telematics software allows you to store data indefinitely should you need to access it. 

Using GPS Trackit’s state-of-the-art fleet management system can help your fleet immensely with route optimization. It’s important to the future of your fleet to support your drivers using telematics that incorporates a variety of data to plan routes to be as cost-efficient as possible. Speak to a Fleet Advisor today or schedule a free demo to discuss the details on how a telematics-based fleet management program can benefit your business.