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Does a traffic jam increase the risk of a collision?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2021 | Car Accidents

Can you remember the last time you were in a traffic jam? It was probably frustrating. People creep along in their vehicles. Some of them weave in and out of the lanes while trying to figure out how to get out of the traffic jam or in an attempt to cut in front of others.

People become impatient during traffic jams. It’s not surprising that there is a risk of getting involved in a crash in one.

Sudden traffic jams may increase the risk of a high-speed collision

A sudden traffic jam may increase the likelihood of a high-speed collision. For example, if you see that traffic is coming to a stop ahead of you, you’ll start slowing down. Imagine what would happen if you were able to stop safely but the driver behind you wasn’t paying attention? Instead of slowing down, they’d hit you at the speed at which they were traveling. On a highway, that might be 55, 60, 70 or 75 mph, if not more.

Slowdowns cause irritation and may lead to road rage             

Another thing to think about is how slowdowns may lead to irritation and road rage. Some people will get angry that they can’t get home, to work or to school. You might see them revving their engines or creeping up to tailgate other vehicles. They may try to push into the lane instead of waiting for an open spot.

This kind of behavior is dangerous in a traffic jam, because no one has anywhere to go. That driver may end up causing a rear-end crash or cause others to collide because of their behavior.

Stuck in traffic? Stay calm and alert

If you get stuck in traffic, don’t panic. You may notice some other drivers are not being safe, so do whatever you can to help minimize your involvement. If they want to get into the line of traffic, let them over. If you notice someone approaching quickly, try to get out of the way. If you cannot and you’re involved in a rear-end crash, then call 911 to have the police and emergency team come to the scene. Remember, you can hold others accountable for their bad behavior on the roads. After you get medical attention, you should look into your legal options.