The best way to avoid traffic...

The best way to avoid traffic... ABAX Fleet Control.

Traffic – is there anything more frustrating? There is never a good time to get caught in congestion or tied up in tailbacks. The average UK motorist spends 30 hours every year sat idle in traffic jams. If you drive in London, that figure rises to over 100 hours per year, significantly more than Los Angeles (81 hours), Washington D.C. (75), or New York (73).

With Government figures confirming that more vehicles are now driving on British roads than ever before, topping 31.7 million in 2016, the problem could we be set to worsen. Congestion is a major contributor to Transport for London submitting a £4 Billion road modernisation plan.

Of the 31.7 million vehicles on UK roads, nearly 1 million account for company car drivers, 5.5 million are commercial vehicle drivers and almost 3 million are vehicles from overseas. With the above drivers hitting traffic as part of their daily jobs, the UK economy can be seen to be losing 8.5 billion hours every year to traffic jams.

The ability to put an accurate price on this is well beyond this blogger. But even if we just assume an average salary of £10 per hour, we could be looking at a staggering loss of £85 billion per year.

What I can offer though is some great advice on how to help businesses avoid traffic.

How do I avoid traffic?

1 – Timing. Adjusting the hours of operation to avoid the AM and PM rush hours. 9am meetings are great for office-based staff, but those ‘on the road’ will tell you that have to add a significant amount of time on to the journey to account for the traffic.

2 – Use TMC traffic functions on your radio or sat nav. Local radio stations issue regular live updates throughout the day. Having these updates play across your favourite stations can be irritating – but they provide valuable information as to the potential trouble ahead. Most modern satellite navigation units now come with a traffic feature as standard.

3 – Install and learn to master GPS telematics – Don’t think of this as tracking. The data supplied within a telematics system can provide some of the most valuable insight as to where efficiencies can be increased. The data runs deep – become a master.

How does GPS telematics help avoid traffic?

ABAX customers receive some of the most in-depth but usable information from their telematics reports. On average, customers see a 20% reduction in the running costs of their fleet. To see what has happened and ask the question ‘how can we improve this’ is driving customers forward into the modern age.

But for a fleet manager or ABAX customer, it isn’t all about looking back at what has happened. People should be able to look ahead and take decisive actions. ABAX work with closely with Google to provide a pinpoint accurate, live-map telematics system that incorporates Google’s live traffic data.

By using a simple colour overlay for the road network in the UK and Europe, fleet managers can see delays well before their vehicles hit trouble. This gives the ability to contact the driver quickly and directly from the tracking system, advising drivers of an alternative route.

How does Google predict traffic?

Business Insider recently released a video of how Google Maps predict traffic. If you have an android phone or an iPhone with Google Maps open and location services enabled, the app anonymously sends real-time data back to Google.

This information is used to calculate how many vehicles are on the road and how fast they are moving. The more people using the app, the more accurate the traffic data. The nature of the system makes it incredibly good at detecting traffic quickly. As traffic builds, speeds reduce, drivers bunch up allowing Google’s algorithms to detect a lot of GPS data being transmitted from a particular area.

Google keeps a history of traffic patterns on specific roads so it can predict what traffic will be like at a specific time and maps will tell you why it gave you a specific set of directions to help develop your trust in the app.

Don’t get caught in a jam – contact ABAX today to see how we can help your business navigate the problem.