The holiday season inevitably means congested roads and back-to-back traffic as Americans go about their holiday shopping, party hopping and trips home to family. But with the rising cost of gasoline, this hustle-and-bustle can come at a significant cost.
Why not try carpooling? According to this infographic from Carinsurance.org, just one day of carpooling can have an impact not just on your wallet, but also on the environment. Here are some highlights:
There are more than 250 million cars on the road in the United States, which is more than one per American adult.
The United States uses one-fifth of the world’s oil to fuel those cars.
Just 10 percent of Americans choose to carpool, saving a collected 85 million gallons of gasoline, avoiding 56,000 miles of traffic and saving $1.1 billion on gas and car costs per year.
For more carpooling facts, check out the full infographic after the jump.
“Over The River and Through the Wood” is a Thanksgiving song that many travelers will be humming if not singing in a couple weeks as they hit the road for holiday events. To keep the holiday mood light, many will turn to a variety of online and smartphone tools designed to make life on the road easier.
Sigalerttakes the California Highway Patrol definition of “any unplanned event that causes the closing of one lane of traffic for 30 minutes or more,” and turns it into data drivers can use to plan their trip. Complete with personalized routing and traffic alerts via email or text, a subscription version ($2.95/month) gives rich data, but just stopping by the Sigalert website reveals a quick, detailed snapshot of traffic right now.
Frixo.com specializes in giving traffic reports for UK motorways, updated every three to five minutes using sensors placed on motorways and common roads. Speed limits, traffic incidents, information motorists will see on electronic road displays, road work information and weather conditions that might affect a trip are also listed.At Traffic.com, U.S. drivers can check their drive time in a side-by-side comparison with delay time and average speed for a road trip from home to grandmother’s house. Traffic.com also invites visitors to visit NavteqMaps24.com where the future of mapping is happening right now.
At the top of the list of road trip guidance helpers is Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive, now part of mapping solutions company Navteq. Making revolutionary new maps that are as detailed and current as possible, this is the one we want along for the holiday ride or anytime, as we see in this video:
Everyone I know who has spent any time in Vietnam has bemoaned how challenging it is to cross the streets there. It’s like a game of Frogger, but the stakes are much higher. This time lapse shows just how chaotic and frenetic the streets of Ho Chi Minh City actually are. The number of motorbikes along is staggering. Add to that roundabouts, limited traffic signage and pedestrians and you have yourself some organized chaos. We recommend that you look both ways (heck, look up and down while you’re at it) before crossing the street.
Road signs are designed to be universal so that anywhere in the world drivers can be aware of local driving rules and potential hazards. Yet this sign in South Korea isn’t something you’ll see on most roads, setting the speed limit for trucks as well as tanks at 20 kilometers per hour. Flickr user BaboMike guesses it’s a remnant from the war, as tank traffic isn’t so common these days.
Back when I used to live in Los Angeles, the 405 was part of my daily commute, that 74 lane wide river of agony flowing across the backbone of urban sprawl. I hated every second of it, the loud, jaunty pickup trucks ambling through the dusty desert, the obnoxious Mercedes Benz with dealer plates. The 405 is a what makes visitors hate the city of angels, and though I wont blame my departure on it, it’s not a stretch to say that it was part of the problem.
From July 15-18th this weekend, the state of California is doing its part to alleviate some of that pressure, closing the thoroughfare to make some long needed repairs. But the travelers are going to suffer. In a city that’s already choked with nonstop traffic, taking one of the main arteries out of the network is going to mean chaos throughout the city, with supporting streets and surrounding highways falling into madness.
Over at Marketplace.org, commentator Kristina Wong has some insight into the whole looming disaster as well as some excellent advice for dealing with the confusion. Take a listen below: