One More Reason to Avoid Distraction

Researchers at Temple University have set out to understand what causes seemingly phantom traffic jams. When there is no construction, accident, or other impediment present, why does traffic, on occasion, slow or completely stop? Well, according to the data, the answer could be as simple as distraction.

Distraction causes erratic driving and, when attention returns to the road, breaking – however minor– is likely. This breaking, according to researchers, creates a chain reaction with each subsequent car in the chain breaking slightly harder to avoid impact until a wall of slowed or stopped vehicles is created. The next time you find yourself frustrated by traffic, perhaps use the time to reflect on how your own distraction may produce similar results and begin taking steps to improve your driving habits.

Of course, minor traffic irritations are far from the biggest threat posed by distracted driving. In fact, the NHTSA suggests that distraction plays at least some role in 80% or more of all traffic accidents. As we approach the New Year, perhaps it’s time to recommit to giving your full attention to the task of operating a vehicle every time you get behind the wheel – helping save time and perhaps even your life.


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