The Dreaded Traffic Jams

By: Brenda Williams

No one likes to sit in traffic jams. However, if you live anywhere near a metropolitan or city type area, traffic jams aren t just inevitable; they seem to be part of your daily routine. Recently, I moved into a new apartment in a different town. Since moving, I have had several appointments in the city that required me to travel during morning rush hour. Normally, it wouldn t have been a problem; but I had forgotten that I had moved. Having said that, I failed to take into account the fact that the traffic might be different since I was now living in an entirely different area.

Sure enough, once I was on the road, I sat in traffic for an hour. In that entire hour, I only traveled two miles! Two miles! Anxious to know what the problem was, I found myself fighting back the urge to become angry out of frustration or worse to perform an illegal driving maneuver in order to get through the traffic more quickly. Instead, I decided to patiently (as patiently as was possible) wait out the traffic jam and see what the cause of all the backed up traffic was. Do you know what I discovered after sitting in traffic for what was easily over an hour by that point? I discovered that the cause of the traffic jam was merely due to the fact that there were too many people on the road at one time.

Still, I couldn t help but think to myself: Even if there are all of these people, why should the traffic have been as backed up as it was? Shouldn t it have been able to run smoothly? There is a theory that I have in which I believe that traffic jams can be avoided simply if people leave enough room in between their car and the car in front of them. Think about it. If you know that there is someone in front of you in their personal vehicle, why would you drive in such a manner that the front bumper of your car is almost touching the rear bumper of the car in front of you? For some people, I think that driving this way is a way for people to convince the person in front of them to move faster. But how can you move faster when there is nowhere to go?

Traffic jams don t have to be as bad as they currently are if everyone were to drive in a more cautious and responsible manner. For instance, many traffic jams are caused when there is construction in which people have to merge into one lane or a different lane. The same is true of highways in which there are entrance and exit ramps and cars are trying to merge into or out of traffic. The problem lies in the fact that if people would allow others to merge more seamlessly, then traffic could keep moving. Additionally, people who are trying to merge into traffic need to be aware that if they do not merge at a certain speed and with a certain accuracy, that they will only be contributing to massive traffic jams.

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