If there’s one thing all drivers have in common, it’s that most cannot stand having to sit in traffic. Most people either have a destination they are trying to get to and don’t have the time to sit in bumper to bumper traffic or are impatient and cannot stand waiting for the flow of traffic to pick up. Unfortunately, traffic congestion is something we can’t seem to get rid of no matter how hard we try. Not only does it contribute to more drivers becoming inconsiderate and reckless, but it also leads to drivers having to spend more money in gas each year for the time they are stuck sitting on the road.
Did you know that the “average commuter in the U.S. sits in traffic for[ more than] 40 hours each year and wastes $1,4000 on gas from idling,” according to Esurance?
Now, although most people assume that traffic congestion only builds up when roadwork is being done or an accident has occurred, there are actually other factors that play a role in causing a vehicle jam on the roadway. Two of those factors are shared below.
- There are too many cars and not enough road. Have you ever found yourself traveling on the highway only to come to a stretch of road where one lane drops off, requiring all other vehicles that had been traveling in that lane to merge into other available lanes? If so, then you likely found that all the vehicles around you began to slow down in order to accommodate the vehicles that had to merge. When this happens, it sometimes causes a chain reaction and more and more vehicles approaching the congested area are also forced to slow down. In return, this can cause vehicles to back up for miles, hence, you get a buildup of traffic.
- You get stuck in a phantom traffic jam. “Phantom traffic jam” is a term used to refer to those times you get stuck in traffic only to find a clearing and no valid reason for why traffic was backed up in the first place. These generally occur when one car is forced to hit their brakes, and then the person behind them does the same, and so on and so forth. For example, let’s say you were driving on the highway only to come up behind a vehicle that was traveling extremely slow. You decide to quickly merge into the lane next to you despite the fact that there is a vehicle that is quickly approaching which then causes them to have to hit their brakes. This, in turn, causes the vehicles behind them to do the same and before you know it, everyone on the roadway is having to slow down.With more and more drivers pushing on their brakes, it eventually leads to traffic becoming congested.
Traffic is not only frustrating for many but it can also lead to more accidents occurring. Many drivers oftentimes become frustrated and annoyed when they get stuck in a traffic jam and will begin to drive carelessly just to get around the slower moving vehicles. And when they do this, they increase the chances of rear-ending the car in front of them or merging into a lane where other vehicles are currently driving. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take your time when you see cars beginning to slow down on the highway and refrain from getting upset or angry. Instead, just take your time and be patient as the last thing you need is to cause a crash simply because you didn’t want to wait.
Now, if you have been involved in a wreck in Houston, TX while you were stuck in traffic, be sure to take down all the information you can so that you are able to file a claim for your damages. If you find that the other driver is attempting to hold you liable for the wreck although you know you weren’t responsible for causing it, consider contacting a Houston, TX accident lawyer who can help settle the dispute. USAttorneys.com works closely with accident attorneys in Houston and nearby cities and can connect you with a legal professional who is available to assist you with the matter.