The Effects of Traffic Congestion
If you live in a large city or any area where there are lots of commuters on the road, then you are probably familiar with the effects of traffic congestion. What you may not realize is the extent of the effects heavy traffic congestion can have. This gridlock can have a tremendous impact on your personal life, career, your future and even your safety. Finding a solution to traffic congestion could mean a vast improvement in the quality of life in your area.
The first thing many people think of when it comes to congested roadways is the delay. During the morning commute there is additional stress because delays caused by traffic can make people late for work. And at the end of the day, the afternoon rush hour is again a frustrating time because the workday is done and people want to get home to relax, and traffic is preventing it. These delays are the effects most people feel because they are universal to everyone who has to maneuver through congested roads.
“Just In Case” Time
A secondary effect of traffic congestion related to delays is the inability to estimate travel times. Those who regularly travel congested areas know approximately how long it usually takes to get through a particular area depending on the time of day or the day of the week. These experienced city drivers have to build in time “just in case” the traffic is bad. This takes away from leisure time and time to do other tasks throughout the day. Also, on a day when the traffic is unusually light the built in extra time may be of no use and the person arrives too early.
Fuel Consumption And Pollution
The stopping and starting in traffic jams burns fuel at a higher rate than the smooth rate of travel on the open highway. This increase in fuel consumption costs commuters additional money for fuel and it also contributes to the amount of emissions released by the vehicles. These emissions create air pollution and are related to global warming.
Road rage is a senseless reaction to traffic that is common in congested traffic areas. If someone is not driving as fast as the person behind him thinks he should, or someone cuts in front of someone else it can lead to an incident that is dangerous to the offender and those around him on the road. Road rage often manifests itself as shouting matches on the road, intentional tailgating, retaliatory traffic maneuvers and mostly a lack of attention being paid to the traffic around the people involved. It is basically a temper tantrum by frustrated drivers in traffic.
When you dial 911 and request a police officer, an ambulance or a fire truck and the emergency vehicle is unable to respond in an appropriate amount of time because of traffic congestion it can be a danger to you and your property. Systems are available that help alleviate the problem by allowing the emergency crews to automatically change the traffic lights to keep the line moving.