Not only will carpooling reduce your accident risk, it also offers a number of other benefits that could keep you in the money and even increase your overall health, according to a recent study on traffic congestion.
Although the average American spends about 34 hours each year waiting in traffic, carpooling has inexplicably been in a downward trend for several decades. Today only one out of every ten commuters carpools to work; in 1970, the number was one in five. The study indicates that carpooling still offers several potential benefits, including:
- Lower crash risks. Accidents are both deadly and costly for drivers and passengers. Riding together (up to four to a vehicle) can reduce traffic-related accidents by 22,915 per year, saving Americans nearly $850 million in property damage and medical costs.
- Faster drives. Fewer accidents causing delays and fewer cars on the road add up to a much faster drive to work, decreasing the time of your commute and lowering stress levels for people who drive to work every day. In cities with dedicated high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, carpoolers can navigate the traffic much more quickly than solo drivers.
- Fuel and repair savings. Researchers estimate that gas and car repair savings for carpooling commuters would total $15.8 billion, with an added $11.6 billion in lowered congestion costs, and almost another $2 billion in reduced road infrastructure costs.
- Environmental benefits. Ridesharing could significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the road, causing carbon dioxide emissions to fall by up to 9.1 million metric tons per year, meaning savings of up to $338 million in repair and outreach costs.
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