Truck Traffic Contributes to Congestion
Trade has grown significantly in recent decades. Most commercial cargo traveling less than 500 miles is currently moved by trucks, which share public roads with private vehicles. While economic growth and increased commerce are good things for the state of Texas and the country as a whole, the resulting truck traffic increases traffic congestion, pollution and safety risks for travelers. The volume of truck and private vehicle traffic in many areas has grown faster than our transportation infrastructure was designed to handle.
More trucks on the roadways mean more time spent sitting in traffic, and that in turn means more pollution from idling vehicles. And more vehicles—especially large trucks with heavy payloads—mean increased safety risks for all drivers. These problems are most evident in metropolitan areas, at border crossings (where security checks occur), and in and around seaports and major intermodal cargo hubs.
More Traffic, More Pollution, Less Safety: More Costly
More traffic on our roadways results in problems costly to society in a number of ways.
- Auto exhaust—particularly what contributes to increased emissions in congested urban areas, such as during rush hour—increases air pollution, resulting in worsening pulmonary health and rising societal health care costs.
- Road wear from more tires on the road—especially those of heavily laden commercial trucks—shortens roadway lifespan. Maintenance is more often necessary to repair our overburdened roads, and those costs are passed along to taxpayers.
- Accidents are the tragic, natural consequences of more vehicles on our roadways. Add the ongoing maintenance issue associated with road wear, and our roads simply aren’t as safe as they could be with less vehicles on them.
- Truck drivers are seeing their costs of doing business rise as the requirements of just-in-time delivery, fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, and the constant consumer demand for lower prices intersect.
- Lack of truck and equipment capacity in some regions makes delivering goods to local markets not only costly, but in some cases cost-prohibitive.