Traffic slowdowns can cause injuries in a number of ways.
For example, drivers may seek to make the most of a slowdown and engage in distracting behaviors, such as reading, texting, or making phone calls.
The stop-and-go pattern of a traffic jam can lead to rear-end accidents, as one car piles into another due to inattention.
Tempers can flare as drivers lay on the horn, and people get mad at one another for cutting in front and other aggressive behaviors.
When it is rush hour, drivers may take chances they should not take as they rush and hurry to be to work or get home on time. When drivers are in a hurry to get somewhere, congestion can be particularly hazardous.
What Causes Congestion?
These are the main factors that cause congestion:
Demand caused by population growth. There are more drivers and not enough roads to absorb them all. Commutes between suburbs and inner cities are particularly prone to this. Overall, infrastructure has not kept up with demand across the United States.
Surprises can make it difficult for drivers to make intelligent decisions. Accidents, unexpected construction, lane closures, an animal running across the road, and other factors can slow everyone down and lead to traffic jams.
Drivers often feel helpless in the face of these unpredictable delays. It is possible, however, for drivers as a whole to take action that will help.
Drive with Care
Our society is constantly addressing safety issues that affect everyone. Campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, speeding, drowsy driving, and similar have all reduced unnecessary deaths and serious accidents.
Studies are showing that distracted driving, including driving while texting, eating, changing the radio station, personal grooming, disciplining the kids, and similar, seriously injures or kills as many people as drunk driving does.
The next time you are in a traffic jam caused by an accident, realize that distracted or inattentive driving is the root of many crashes.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving when you should have pulled over to rest are also areas where drivers can act to improve things.
Maintaining calm can go a long way towards preventing accidents, in especial when driving in heavy traffic. Road rage and aggressive driving only increase the chances of causing accidents and building up congestion on already crowded roads.
It is impossible to prevent highway congestion, but there are a number of things drivers can do to cope with it. Before you get on the road, it is always good idea to check traffic reports.
If your normal route is particularly problematic, you may want to take an alternate route, which will not only help to lessen the congestion, but also to help you drive a less potentially aggravating roadway.