In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as traffic jams. How nice it would be if everyone always drove at consistent speeds and arrived safely to work or play. It would make everyone’s lives easier, but bad traffic and car accidents it causes are unfortunate parts of everyday life.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, over the last 15 years, 220,316 more miles were added onto our nation’s public roads. There are more drivers on the roads than ever before, and new roads are not being built fast enough. Supply is not keeping up with the demand. Volume-related traffic can be typical when driving through certain areas during rush hour.
This begs the question: why do traffic jams also occur on highways with four or five lanes? There is always a root cause. Traffic can get congested near on-and off-ramps as vehicles enter and leave highways. Traffic jams can also be started by one vehicle slowing down or braking, creating a domino effect. The vehicles behind that car all must slow down, and the congestion can travel backwards, like a wave.
Rubberneckers and Lane Changers
Traffic jams are also caused by random events. Accidents obviously cause traffic problems, and their aftereffects can stretch for miles on both sides of the road, when other drivers rubberneck. This is when they slow down and turn their heads to look at what happened. This can cause additional accidents when drivers are not paying attention to what is in front of them.
Reckless drivers also contribute to traffic disturbances. When someone changes lanes too quickly or is speeding, other drivers may slam on their brakes or slow down abruptly. This also affects the other drivers nearby and can lead to a chain reaction of slowing and stopping.
Becoming Better Drivers
Aside from writing to state officials about insufficient highways, the only way most people can combat traffic jams is to look for alternate routes and prevent traffic disturbances. The following are a few tips:
- Do not use a cell phone while driving. This includes texting and talking, since both take a driver’s attention away from the road.
- Avoid other types of distracted driving, including looking at a GPS, smoking, eating or drinking, and grooming.
- Do not drive while intoxicated or when tired.
- Aggressive and erratic driving is dangerous. Running red lights, speeding, and unsafe lane changing can lead to accidents. Drivers should strive to remain calm and focused.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Victims of Traffic Jam Wrecks
Not all motor vehicle accidents are preventable, and if you were involved in a traffic jam or any other type of car accident, we can help. Reach out to a knowledgeable Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for a free case consultation today. Call us at 866-881-8623 or submit an online form.
We proudly serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.