Dealing with traffic jams
has become such an integral part of the lives of those in big cities
often don't even think about it. We have accepted it as a constant. We think nothing of a sixty to ninety
minute drive, one way, amid foul-smelling and tainted air
. My question is, does it really have to be this
The simple answer is no, it does not. There are a thousand little things
that individual drivers can do to
alleviate, perhaps eliminate, traffic jams.
Let's look at the reasons traffic jams happen and address each:
We all know they happen. And when they do, we all gawk as if we've never seen one before. Here are a few
things that would reduce the amount of accident-related traffic:
- Don't gawk at the accident. Period. Go home and watch Cops or some other equally ridiculous
"reality" show to get your jollies. There are people trying to get places and your rubber neck is in the
way. Also, while your eyes are roaming the accident site, guess where they aren't? That's right, on the
road. No need to belabor this point.
- Avoid the accident altogether. If you know there is an accident ahead, take a different route and save
yourself (and others) a headache.
- If you are involved in an accident, make sure everyone is OK and then (if you can) move your vehicle off
the road or into an emergency lane. There is some sort of rumor that you're not supposed to move a car
that's been in an accident. This is not true. Get that thing off the road so the road can do its
This is mostly due to people trying to get to and from work. Special events can also be the culprit.
Following are some ways to relieve this type of traffic:
- Let other drivers get in front of you. Bear in mind, most gridlock occurs as a result of people trying
to get on or off a highway, or at interchanges. The selfish nature of the average driver actually causes
delays that result in gridlock. If you see someone with their blinker on trying to get over into your lane,
let them. How much time did that cost you? A couple of seconds? You just saved them and the line of
cars waiting on them to get over some time. So you lost a second or two, but many others gained a
second or two. Do the math; it really works.
- Don't tailgate. This follows the last tip. The more space between cars, the easier it is for merging
traffic. Remember, gridlock begins where traffic merges. Keep some space between cars and allow others to
get in front of you.
- Avoid changing lanes to try to get in one that's moving faster. This never works. In fact, it adds to
overall delay. Change lanes only when you need to.
There is one final way to keep traffic jams down: Don't drive. =)