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As we kick off Infrastructure Week, Americans For Modern Transportation (AMT) presents the first day of our “By The Numbers” series, a daily feature of key data points that show the growing urgency to modernize America’s transportation system. As a broad set of industries committed to moving goods across the American economy, we continue to support policy upgrades and infrastructure investment to meet the demands of modern businesses and consumers. Together, we can move America toward a safe, efficient, and sustainable future.

No one likes sitting in traffic. Congestion restricts the amount of time we can commit to other activities and limits our fuel efficiency, costing us more every time we fill up at the pump. These costs add up. INRIX, a global transportation analytics firm, found that congestion costs U.S. drivers nearly $300 billion – or $1,400 per driver – in 2016. Home to 11 out of the top 25 congested cities worldwide, America’s transportation system must improve.  

Not only is traffic congestion affecting our personal commutes and wallets, it’s taking a toll on the American economy. Congestion costs the trucking industry, which is the primary transporter of goods, $49.6 billion in operating costs. That consists of 728 million lost hours of industry productivity, which is the equivalent of 264,500 truck drivers sitting still for an entire year (ATRI). Combine this with the 6.9 billion hours the entire population lost in traffic delays (ASCE), and it is clear our economy is failing to reach its full potential.

To reduce congestion, we must invest in infrastructure and support policies that will allow for the most efficient moving of goods. New technologies like platooning and efficiency gains such as widespread use of Twin 33 trailers will move us toward a modern system that will meet the demands of our modern economy.