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Beating Traffic Congestion on Perth Roads

Let’s face it, no one likes sitting bumper-to-bumper in traffic watching the minutes go by. Unfortunately, as our beloved Perth roads become more and more congested, it’s a reality many of us face on our daily commute. While our road network is constantly evolving in an effort to tackle the traffic crisis, we are seemingly spending an increasing portion of our day behind the wheel.

If you’re ready to hit the brakes on finding yourself stuck in traffic, read ahead to find out how you can beat traffic congestion in Perth.

Causes of traffic congestion

Traffic congestion on Perth roads can be caused by a number of factors including hazards, accidents, construction work, bad weather and of course, the dreaded morning and afternoon rush. Often, by the time traffic has begun to move again, the cause itself will have long cleared, remaining a mystery to the many held-up motorists. There are two common factors however, that may explain why Perth roads are prone to traffic congestion:

1. Saturation

One major cause of traffic congestion in Perth is saturation, when a city grows faster than its infrastructure leading to an excess of vehicles on roads not designed for those volumes. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Western Australia’s population grew by 17.8% in the year to September 2021. Unlike other cities, Perth tends to grow outwards to accommodate the rising population, resulting in one of the largest urban sprawls across Australia. With those in the outer suburbs left with no choice but to drive due to inadequate public transport, and Covid concerns causing those in the city to shy away from using public transport, our roads are more saturated than ever.

2. Construction

While improved infrastructure may relieve congestion in the longer term, the resulting construction often has the opposite effect. Construction work typically disrupts the flow of traffic, leading to vehicles banked up in the area. The Western Australian State Government has committed to delivering $11.7 billion worth of infrastructure within the next four years, posing risks to worsening traffic congestion in the meantime.

When is Perth’s rush-hour?

As many motorists would have already noticed, Perth traffic congestion is at its worst during the typical morning commute and afternoon exodus. Analysis of 10 of Perth’s major city-bound roads by Fairfax Media found traffic to be worst between 8am and 9am. Despite morning being crowned the busiest time on Perth roads, the Insurance Commission of Western Australia found most accidents to occur during traffic peaks between 3pm and 6pm, with Thursdays and Fridays the worst. As expected, ICWA data showed crash frequency decreases significantly on the weekend, pointing to reduced traffic on these days.

Perth’s congestion hot spots

In a report released by Infrastructure Australia, Kwinana Freeway was crowned Perth’s most congested major road and even made number 9 in the nation. The report also predicted that Perth would become Australia’s most congested city by 2031, tipped to have seven of our major roads make the top 10 list. The Mitchell Freeway also received a special mention following closely behind Kwinana Freeway, and joined by Tonkin Highway, Graham Farmer Freeway/Orrong Road/Welshpool Road East and Marmion Avenue/West Coast Highway.

Negative effects of traffic congestion

1. High risk of accidents

Driving in congested traffic can put motorists at a higher risk of having a car accident, particularly as high-traffic conditions require drivers to pay attention to several factors at once. Research by Budget Direct found that 21% of motorists who often drove in congested conditions had been in 3 or more crashes, while this figure reduced to 14% for drivers who rarely drove in heavy traffic. If you find yourself contributing to this statistic, you’ll need smash repairs – ideally through an insurance claim.

2. More frequent car servicing

When stuck in a traffic jam, most drivers leave their car running despite being stopped, which is called idling. While idling isn’t inherently bad for your vehicle, if done too frequently or for excessively long periods of time, idling can damage your vehicle’s engine and exhaust system. This damage can mean your car will need servicing more frequently or risk a major issue arising. Ensuring your vehicle is maintained according to its logbook with the required car service will minimise the risk.

3. Drain on time

Quite simply, there are many other things people would rather do with their time than spend it stuck in traffic. With only 24 hours in a day already cut short by work, personal commitments and everyday life, a longer commute is the last thing on everyone’s wish list.

Solutions to beat the traffic in Perth

1. Carpool

Carpooling to destinations with your co-workers, friends or family can help to reduce the volume of traffic on the roads as well as providing some quality bonding time that you might otherwise miss out on.

2. Taking public transportation

While convenient public transportation is not accessible to everyone, it’s always a great idea to check your alternative transport options before driving. Riding the bus or train to your destination not only reduces traffic on our roads, but also helps you avoid rising fuel prices, and allows you to catch up on your to-do-list while you ride.

3. Map alternative routes

Mapping alternative routes is particularly great for commutes you make often, so that you can switch between routes according to current traffic conditions. Prepare for your journey ahead of time by reviewing maps and planning out several ways to get to your destination.

4. Check traffic reports

Listening to traffic reports on the radio, using an app on your phone, or even using a GPS device with a live traffic feature is a great way to anticipate traffic jams. Receiving a traffic update will be no use however if you aren’t willing to adapt your route, so this is when plenty of alternatives will come in handy.

Car Service Specialists

At RENEEW, while we can’t magically clear Perth’s infamous traffic jams, we can take one less worry off your mind by providing regular and reliable car servicing and safety checks. Enjoy the ride no matter the traffic conditions with a quality and professional mechanical service at our Fremantle-based workshop.

Contact our friendly team today to learn more about car servicing at RENEEW’s, and how you can receive a lifetime guarantee on all works performed.


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