Due to the economic downturn there was a two year drop in overall traffic congestion. It is thought as the economy rebounds so will our traffic problems. As traffic congestion grows so does the chance of being involved in a Fort Lauderdale car accident .
A published report from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University illustrates the changing congestion picture. Congestion contributes to a significant number of accident cases handled by personal injury lawyers in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
“This Urban Mobility Report begins an exciting new era for comprehensive national congestion measurement,” noted researcher Tim Lomax. “By combining the traffic speed data from INRIX with the traffic volume data from the states, we are now able to provide a much better and more detailed picture of the problems facing urban travelers.”
Highlights of the report include:
-Congestion costs continue to increase, from $24 billion in 1982 to $115 billion in 2009 as measured in 2009 dollars.
-Fuel wasted in 2009 was over 3.9 billion gallons. This amount equates to as much as the flow of Alaska Pipeline in 130 days.
-Commuter costs continue to rise from $351 wasted dollars per motorist in 1982 to $808 in 2009.
-The yearly traffic delay in 1982 was 14 hours; in 2009 it was 34 hours.
The study showed that for 2009 the congestion toll for Miami motorist was 31 extra gallons of fuel used and 39 hours of traffic delays. Compare these figures to when the study first came out in 1982; 7 extra gallons of fuel used and 10 hours of traffic delays.
“We have a great deal more confidence in the numbers we now have for the chaotic years of 2007, 2008 & 2009,” researcher Shawn Turner said. “Thanks to technology, we are using data that simply could not have been gathered a few years ago.”
Data gathering techniques have improved dramatically since the first published report in 1984. Access to hour by hour speed data has been the most important improvement to date.
“This year’s report is a remarkable game changer,” researcher David Schrank explained. “The new data address the biggest shortcoming of previous reports. The data show conditions for every day of the year and include the effect of weather problems, traffic crashes, special events, holidays, work zones and other factors directly impacting traffic flow.”
The 2010 report saw 11 new urban regions added and 3 new measures of congestion which include: Commute Stress Index (CSI), delays per commuter and delays per non peak motorist.
It also discussed how roadway operations and public transportation helped lessen the congestion problem. Both public transportation and roadway operations contributed to a $27 billion congestion cost savings.
“There is no rigid prescription – no ‘best way’ – to address congestion problems,” Lomax noted. “The most effective strategy is one where agency actions are complemented by efforts of businesses, manufacturers, commuters and travelers. Each region must identify the projects, programs and policies that achieve goals, solve problems and capitalize on opportunities.”
If you have been injured in an auto accident contact the Law Offices of Dean H. Freeman for a free consultation. Call 1-800-529-2368.