How can fleet drivers better manage traffic jams?

As the modern era sees the growth of bustling cities and increasingly dense populations, it also witnesses congested traffic jams. Fleet drivers often have to spend many hours stuck in traffic in the major cities of Australia. In addition to costing time, this is also hugely expensive for car fuel consumption

Indeed, in the city of Melbourne alone, the annual costs of congestion range from $1.3 billion to $2.6 billion, according to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission. What's worse is that this is likely to double by 2020. 

This is an international problem. According to the INRIX Traffic Scorecard, which measures the levels of traffic congestion globally, commuters in the top 10 traffic-jammed cities of the U.S. spend an average of 42 hours sitting in traffic each year. INRIX estimates this equals around 2.9 billion gallons of gas burned while simply sitting in a gridlock. 

So, what steps can be taken by fleet managers and drivers to better manage time and fuel during a traffic jam?

Invest in app technology that reports on traffic conditions 

Prevention is better than cure. Mapping a journey that avoids the most congested areas will save time and fuel.

There are several apps on the market offering up-to-date traffic information. One example is Waze, a mobile crowd-sourcing application that collects data from real people in your area. This ensures any events that may block routes or regional conditions affecting traffic are reported using an alert. 

Use the time productively

When there is no escaping the jam, use the time to read the car's manual. This will inform drivers of the optimum times for changing their fuel. The more they know about the make and model of the car, the better equipped they are to deal with any problems that may arise. 

This time can also be used to schedule any work related phone calls between fleet managers and drivers. Using hands-free technology would be the safest plan, ensuring that attention is still on the road ahead. 

Manage stress levels 

Many psychological studies have found that being stuck in traffic is one of the most stressful experiences for people. Fleet drivers can manage the tension through slow breathing exercises, and stretching their arms and torso. Opening up the window to let some fresh air in is also a good plan. 

For broader benefits, fleet management software can help to monitor and dispatch vehicles for the most efficient and time-saving results. By calculating the most optimum routes, this innovative software can make and operational and strategic decisions to minimise the time wasted in traffic jams.