Nobody else is going to do it. Just me and you and anyone else we can find. That’s why it is so important for YOU to teach the people that YOU know. Teach people how to quit having traffic jams and road rage that is.
For those of us that have to drive in a major city everyday, it’s very frustrating because so many drivers are ignorant of what really causes traffic jams. If only everybody knew!
There would never be another traffic jam or road rage story!
The cure for road rage is simple; Teach everyone how to prevent traffic jams.
You see we were never taught how to prevent traffic jams. And so, everybody has a different idea as to how to deal with it. Many people think they have to “keep up” with traffic. So they wind up following too close, so that nobody can cut in front of them, and that’s not safe. And then this person will get mad at the driver in front of them if they too are not tailgating.
Not only is this not safe, tailgating is one of the main causes of traffic jams! And of course accidents too.
Then there’s the people who think they are “avoiding” a traffic jam by going around it and cutting in front at the last second. But, in reality they are the cause of the “bottleneck”. And they might not do it if they simply knew the definition to the term “bottleneck”. ( A traffic jam that occurs when two or more lanes merge, and, too many vehicles try to fit into too small a space).
The important thing to learn is to merge sooner rather than later. Try to merge into a space big enough to accommodate your vehicle without making anyone step on their brakes. And always leave enough room in front of your vehicle- enough room, so that a truck could cut in front of you without slowing you down.
It doesn’t matter if you are five feet or a hundred feet from the car or truck in front of you. Your not going to get where you’re going any sooner if you get closer. So why even take the risk? And letting someone go in front of you doesn’t slow you down (unless you are tailgating).
Teach people to look at the “big picture”. They should be looking well ahead instead of concentrating on the car that they are following too close to. It’s easy to see the big picture if you are not tailgating. When you tailgate, all you see is a back door of the truck ahead of you.
Things like this are what city drivers need to understand to begin to see the big picture.
I’ve seen traffic jams occur in the middle of nowhere because so many drivers don’t see the big picture and they try to drive faster than the flow of traffic.
So, if you know somebody who drives like Mr. Magoo, give them a copy of this newsletter. Or buy them an Audio Book- Ten Keys to Safe City Driving. Or at least explain to them how to prevent traffic jams rather than cause them.
How to merge, is probably the most important thing people need to learn, in most of the big cities. Too often they try to drive faster than the flow of traffic. And they even tailgate while merging. And when traffic is already going slow these people are still trying to cram their car into a space that doesn’t exist.
When you merge it is so important to go the same speed as the people you are merging with.
While you are still on the ramp, NEVER go faster than the flow of traffic. That’s why they put those traffic lights on entrance ramps. Because it makes all the cars bunch up on the ramp and it causes the highway to stop.
The trick is not to stop. If you stop on the highway you are causing a traffic jam.
It doesn’t matter if traffic is only averaging two miles per hour, just don’t stop. Slow down enough where you don’t have to come to a complete stop. It’s easy to do if you are not tailgating. It’s the tailgaters and the people who try to go faster than the flow of traffic that cause people to stop. Remember, when you stop, it is by definition- a traffic jam.
Let’s take the “stop” out of “stop and go” traffic.
Driving in a big city is not very easy. In fact it’s rather complicated. You didn’t “learn how to drive when you were sixteen”. You just STARTED learning. I’ve been driving for over thirty years and I am still learning. S
ome people are hard headed. And some are open minded. If you think you know it all, then you are done learning. You have reached your limit as a human being.
Understanding traffic jams will reduce road rage for sure. Please learn that. And tell everyone you know who has to drive in a big city.
As soon as we teach everybody this, we can begin to enjoy a future without road rage and traffic jams. And practice patience. Patience is a skill. Much like playing piano or learning ballet. You have to practice if you ever want to get good at it.
Ken Skaggs is a 30-year veteran trucker and safety professional, who has always been a writer, and an entrepreneur at heart. Since 2000, he’s had 150+ articles published by Ten-Four Magazine, Careers in Gear, Driver Story Magazine, and dozens of websites.