The U.S. Department of Transportation monitors heavy commercial truck traffic on the nation’s highways for several reasons: planning for road repair, highway expansion, trade routing, as well as recognizing danger spots for families driving along in smaller vehicles alongside fully-loaded big rigs and semis on common roadways.
Just how much highway do we drivers share with commercial truck traffic, and what does the future hold?
From the federal estimates by 2035, long-haul commercial truck traffic traveling between two points at a minimum of 50 miles apart from each other will have “dramatically increased” on both the interstate highways as well as other major roadways across the country. These commercial trucks will be traveling 600,000,000 miles each day.
As the trucking industry grows, the agency predicts that traffic congestion problems will be worst on roadways routing near ports, airports, and border crossings. This is due to the skyrocketing growth of international trade using big rigs to transport goods — in the past 20 years, the amount of foreign product being transported by truck has doubled.
This isn’t just happening in the future. We’re already seeing more trucks on the roads, more foreign goods being hauled, and more profit expectations by the big trucking companies.
Which means that unless lots of folk are aware and careful, we will be seeing more serious injuries and wrongful deaths resulting from big rigs and semis crashing into vulnerable cars, minivans, and motorcycles driving along, sharing these increasingly congested roadways with these huge and heavy vehicles.
Be careful out there.