What do fleet managers need to know about the effects of traffic?

It's no secret that traffic is a continual hassle for fleet managers and their drivers to deal with. Whether it's stopping you from getting to work or keeping you from arriving home, there are few things that can ruin a day like road congestion. 

However, although most people will be aware of the general dislike for these events, how many have researched just how profoundly traffic can affect employee health?

While Australian cities continue to rank outside the global top 10 on TomTom's traffic index, it's not always smooth running at street level, creating stressful commutes for the nation's workers.

How does traffic affect motorists?

There are a number of health effects related to extended time spent in traffic, with the occurrences altering both the physical and mental health of drivers. 

According to a research paper published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the inactive nature of commuting by car has a distinct influence on physical well-being. The paper found that for every hour drivers spend in their vehicle, the chance of them becoming obese later in life grows by as much as 6 per cent. 

Thankfully, fleet managers can introduce ways to ensure their drivers stay fit and healthy. The same research revealed that exercise reduces the impact of sitting in traffic, so drivers can decrease their likelihood of gaining weight to the tune of 4.6 per cent per hour of walking. 

How bad is it in Australia?

International computing manufacturer IBM investigated the usual commute Australians face in its Commuter Pain Survey, discovering that the country's drivers are better off than many other cities around the world. 

IBM chose to spotlight Melbourne, which may be the next hot destination for drivers and their green cars, with the survey finding the city performed better than most of the international locales included. 

In fact, a third of drivers from Victoria's largest city believe they are completely free from travel stress in their journeys to and from work. This is was the highest proportion IBM recorded for a non-US location.

While only 16 per cent of international motorists stated there was nothing wrong with their commute, Melbourne again recorded a noticeably better response. In this case, more than a quarter (25 per cent) were comfortable in their drive to work. 

However, there is one fact that drivers from across the various regions could agree on, which is that traffic is getting considerably worse. Could autonomous cars take the stress off your drivers in the coming years?