The Science That Can Help You Avoid Traffic Jams

Be part of the solution.

No matter how great your commuting playlist is, nobody likes getting caught in traffic jams. Sure, walking or biking to work is a great way to avoid the highway entirely, but it's not always feasible depending on weather, bike path availability, or length of the commute. 

The severity of the traffic congestion varies from city to city, but drivers all over the United States spent over 8 billion hours trapped in gridlock in 2015, according to INRIX. That's 8 billion hours of cars and trucks idling on the road, doing nothing but spitting carbon dioxide out into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. 

Thankfully, it doesn't have to be that way. There's a scientific way we can all help make rush hour a little less terrible. 

As AsapSCIENCE points out, bottlenecks due to highway interchanges and periodic construction can make these pileups impossible to avoid, but there are times when traffic slows to a crawl for no real reason at all. 

Understanding why these slowdowns occur gives us the opportunity to help prevent them. It might seem like one person in one car can't make much of a difference in a stream of tail lights that goes for miles, but we each have more influence than we realize.

Learn how to help fix traffic jams here:

If you're really committed to making the road a less congested place, sharing this video with others is a great place to start!

Cover image: Shutterstock