Texas equips truckers with free congestion alert service

The Texas Transportation Department is providing truckers with free, in-cab traffic alerts by drawing from real-time traffic data.
congestion alert on tablet
An alert about congestion displays on a tablet inside a vehicle. (Inrix)

Thanks to a new deal between the Texas Department of Transportation and the companies Drivewyze and Inrix, semi-trailer truck drivers in the state can now receive free, in-cab traffic alerts that use real-time traffic data to warn of sudden slowdowns or congestion.

To provide the alerts, the weigh station bypass network operator Drivewyze has integrated its connected truck network with real-time traffic data from the software firm Inrix. The announcement is part of a new Smart Roadways service from the state transportation agency. according to a news release.

The alerts are offered to the entire trucking industry at no cost through a service called Drivewyze Free, which, along with traffic alerts, also prompts drivers with advisories for high-rollover risk areas, low bridges and mountain alerts on telematics devices, smartphones or tablets.

The alerts appear on devices as visual messages such as “sudden slowdown ahead” and are paired with an audible chime. They are configured to allow ample time for trucks to slow down or stop, and while Tuesday’s launch includes coverage of 285 miles of Interstate 45 between Dallas and Galveston, the companies plan to monitor more than 3,000 interstate miles by the end of July.


By launching the system, Texas joins nine other states that have partnered with Drivewyze and Inrix in rolling out traffic slowdown alerts as part of their connected truck safety programs, the release said. The state has partnered with Inrix for several years to use the company’s data for identifying its most congested roadways and plan capital improvement projects, including a service called “trip analytics,” which was created to help transportation departments plan diversion routes and optimize corridor usage.

Despite the efforts, there were nearly 4,500 motor vehicle traffic fatalities and nearly 19,000 serious injuries in Texas in 2022, the news release said. And according to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, Texas had 806 fatalities in 2021 involving commercial trucks, which is the most of any state in the country.

“We must explore innovative strategies to mitigate crashes within our state. The integration of Drivewyze Smart Roadways with INRIX alerts has the potential to significantly enhance safety for truckers, aiding them in avoiding collisions,” Darran Anderson, the Texas Department of Transportation’s director of strategy and innovation, said in the news release.

“Given that large trucks traveling at highway speeds necessitate twice the stopping distance compared to passenger vehicles, it is prudent to provide targeted alerts tailored to truck drivers. These alerts empower them to anticipate road hazards that may not always be visible ahead. Our collaboration with Drivewyze is an exciting step toward making these alerts accessible to truckers across our state,” he said.

Keely Quinlan

Written by Keely Quinlan

Keely Quinlan reports on privacy and digital government for StateScoop. She was an investigative news reporter with Clarksville Now in Tennessee, where she resides, and her coverage included local crimes, courts, public education and public health. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Stereogum and other outlets. She earned her bachelor’s in journalism and master’s in social and cultural analysis from New York University.

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