Saturday, January 12, 2008

Road Rage, What Causes It?

I drove into Toronto and last night around midnight and traffic was about how I expected except for about a ten mile stretch through Oakville and Mississauga.

There were three cars driving close to the speed limit in three lanes of the highway basically parked next to each other in a way that nobody could safely pass. After a few miles, there were probably twenty cars and two big trucks all bunching up closer and closer to each other but not able to break through.

It was almost like an experiment to study road rage. In the next couple of miles, before the "gauntlet" was penetrated. There were a couple of cars really impatiently jumping lanes trying to weave their way through the blockage.

Where the "road rage mentality" kicks in is when there is a huge gap of at least a half mile stretch in front of this pack of cars but still no one can get past to exploit it.

Finally, a break. It's like the start of the Indy. All of the aggressive drivers jockeying for position to get through the small gap that opened in the slow lane.

No road rage "incident" developed that I saw, although under the streetlights I could see the shadow of some hand gestures to the middle car as one of the racers flew by.

There were so many examples of following too close along this stretch that if anything did happen at the front of the pack, I bet twenty cars would have introduced themselves to each other in mere seconds.

TWO or THREE seconds between each car. That's all you need to multiply your safety zone exponentially and maybe you'll be reporting a pile up instead of being in it.

More space between cars also makes it much easier and safer for traffic to blend letting faster drivers filter through the slower ones more safely.

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