Things just went from bad to worse for Austin drivers. Monday was the first day of a lane closing on MoPac and to the surprise of no one, it was an unmitigated disaster. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) blames a wreck on I-35 and driver’s unfamiliarity with alternate routes, etc., and that in the coming weeks the traffic will be better. Personally, I think this is a dubious claim, but I also recognize that any changes to assuage the current (crappy) traffic conditions in Austin are going to come with their fair share of growing pains. Bottom line: it sucks. So while you’re sitting in traffic for your morning or evening commute, make sure you’ve got your podcasts lined up, or at least something that will keep you from scrolling through your text messages. Austin has been “hands-free” for over a year now, and the results of this new law have been coming in for the past few months. By the end of last year, Austin had issued over 5,000 tickets for violations of the law, and just as it said six months ago, the impact of the ordinance will take time to reveal itself. All of this news got me thinking about how traffic and new laws such as the “hands-free” ordinance can affect your freight shipping. It doesn’t matter if you’re shipping LTL or full truckload, both are subject to the evil whims of the traffic gods. Sure, Austin has bad traffic, but it’s hardly the only guilty party. And as the clock ticks closer to rush hour, that traffic is going to stiffen. When trucks get caught in traffic, pickups and deliveries can be delayed. Though carriers try to plan for these sorts of delays, it can be tempting to call the dispatcher and check and find where your driver is if they’re running a little late. To be honest, this doesn’t accomplish anything. Driver’s are hands-free all over the place, just like us! It’s not safe for them to be chatting on their cell phone while they’re operating huge trucks through terrible traffic. Some of the trucks employ GPS truck tracking, so the dispatcher may have an idea of the physical location of a truck, but not all carriers are going to have the tracking. When it comes to using their phones, driver’s are actually required to pull over to make or take calls. Obviously, this is not going to get your freight delivered any quicker. Though delays can be extremely frustrating (we get it), the best thing to do is try to be patient. Your broker and carrier are working to get your freight picked up and delivered as quickly as possible. Safety is going to be the number one priority with drivers on the road, and traffic is…well…traffic. CC Image Courtesy joiseyshowaa via Flickr
Logan is a Content Marketing Associate at FreightPros in charge of social media and content creation. He has a writing degree from the University of Oklahoma, but lives life on the edge and resides in Longhorn country. He loves Murakami books, Tarantino movies, and Vonnegut books. Lots of books. One day he will own a dog, but first he'll have to get a yard.
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