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Car drivers fed up with congestion worldwide

April 23, 2020 Statistics & Trends No Comments
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Due to the current pandemic, most roads around the world are nearly empty. But under normal circumstances car drivers in the Americas, Europe, and Australia are not at all satisfied with the traffic flow in their countries. Nearly 70 percent are especially unhappy about congestion in city centers during rush hours. The top three negative effects people complain about: the environment and air quality suffer, travel times rise, and stress levels increase. These are findings of the “Kapsch TrafficCom Index.” 9,000 citizens representative of the population in 9 countries have been surveyed by a market research institute in the USA, Argentina, Chile, UK, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, and Australia.

The citizens most concerned with air quality and the environment are located in Spain and Chile, where more than half of the survey participants say the impact of road congestion is very negative in this respect. With the exception of the United States and Australia, where stress levels and travel time bother drivers most, air quality and environmental degradation is the number one negative effect cited in all other surveyed countries.

However, the harmful impacts of congestion do not necessarily lead drivers to change their habits in order to bring down pollution: when asked about their preferred routes, most drivers want to shorten travel time rather than finding an option with the lowest environmental impact. “When I drive, I prefer a route that has the shortest travel time,” claimed more than 60 percent of surveyed drivers. In the US, Austria, and Argentina more than 40 percent are strongly convinced that saving time should be the primary consideration in choosing a route.

“Public authorities play a key role in traffic management of the future,” says Georg Kapsch, Chief Executive Officer of Kapsch TrafficCom. “The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the discussions on the future of mobility all illustrate the need to balance personal and community interests. The Kapsch TrafficCom Index shows us that drivers want to be more eco-friendly but need direction to help to counteract negative mobility effects for themselves and their communities.”

Cities like Buenos Aires, Dallas, and Madrid already use digital technology to fight urban road congestion. With new traffic light control systems that automatically adapt signal timing to the current road situation, traffic jams can be reduced by around 25 percent. Kapsch TrafficCom has already installed such smart signal control systems in major cities around the world.

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