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4/22/2014 - Traffic congestion increases in 2013

Entrepreneurs can help through indirect strategies by reducing their company's carbon footprint.

For more than 30 years, Earth Day has been celebrated worldwide by those who want to live in an environment that's as clean and as free of pollution as possible. While many significant strides have been made since 1970 - such as carmakers reducing the amount of toxic emissions released into the air through various technologies - bumper-to-bumper traffic is one of the leading causes of air pollution. And in 2013, the roads were heavily packed with automobiles, according to newly released data.

After declining for two years, congestion on the world's roadways recently increased - and at a faster pace than gross domestic product, international driver services company INRIX reported. For example, the U.S. GDP rose by about 2% last year, but congestion grew in the nation by about 6% versus 2012.

Bryan Mistele, president and CEO of the Kirkland, Wash.-based traffic information firm, noted that while on one hand this is a good thing - suggesting the economy is moving along - it can set some of the advances made in reducing pollution back.

"If we're to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economies, we must invest in intelligent transportation systems and connected car technologies now," said Mistele. "It's too late to build our way out of congestion - we've learned there is no such thing as 'shovel ready projects.'"

He added that one of the best ways to make the nation's highways less stressed is through the optimization of road networks.

Business owners can play a role as well. In addition to direct ways - such as recommending that workers carpool or use public transportation - entrepreneurs can help through indirect strategies by reducing their company's carbon footprint. Selective makes this easy through its GreenPac® enhancement to business insurance plans. After sustaining a loss, this package provides one's company with the green or sustainable equivalents to replace what's been damaged.

For more details on GreenPac®, be sure to speak with a Selective agent.

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