InjuryRespect Series


Traffic jam with rows of cars

As Austin continues to grow, it seems there are more and more traffic jams. Traffic jams at odd hours: 5:45AM on a weekday, 2:00PM on a Saturday afternoon. Now I have to plan for the all too frequent bottlenecks. No longer can I time my departure for work, planning on a precise arrival. I have to give myself plenty of leeway. And often the delay is due to an accident. Sometimes a serious one. We’re all in such a big hurry. Did you know studies prove on average, that changing lanes and weaving in and out of traffic doesn’t get you to your destination faster? And it’s responsible for about 10% of collisions!

Here’s my Respect Tip of the Week (I’d like to start a respect tip of the week…we’ll see). Stay 3-4 seconds behind the car in front of you. That’s right, let others get in front of you if they want, and then drop back until you are 3-4 seconds behind the car in front of you again. And if you’re determined to changes lanes, then wait until there are 3-4 seconds of space in back of the car you’re getting behind in the new lane. Yes…even if that means you give the creep behind you a chance to speed up in order to keep you from slipping in front of him/her. This gives you that much more time to avoid rear-end collisions and road hazards.

The population in larger cities is growing, people are in a hurry, and many of them are bad, distracted, rude or just frustrated drivers like you and me. Don’t let it get to you. Listen to music or books on tape. Learn a foreign language. Check out  language tapes on Amazon. You can learn a foreign language without even opening a book or sitting down to a computer. Getting something else done (not texting) while you drive will not distract you and will give you peace with the frustration of the never ending traffic jam.

And remember…I’m giving you this tip because the results of car accidents are some of what I see in my office, not because I wanted to tell you about an interesting study, or scold you for bad driving. Plus I hope my kids are reading my blog.

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