Tailgating Is What Causes Random Slowdowns On The Road

December 19, 2017

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Are you a driver that drives closely to the car in front of you? A bumperstalker perhaps? In other words, do you tailgate?  You may be responsible for the mysterious slowdowns that doesn’t seem to have an apparent cause. MIT found that not only does tailgating not get you anywhere faster, it actually creates traffic jams that shouldn’t exist. Not only is the practice unsafe, it's delaying your arrival.  In order for traffic to move as fast as possible, vehicles need to be evenly spaced on the road. When you tailgate, you remove your ability to slow down gradually in the event a car up ahead reduces its speed. So you are forced to slam on your brakes, which causes the cars behind you to do the same.  Now for you to resume the speed you once were at takes time. By then a ripple effect of slowdown has already occurred. While the scientist are doubtful their findings will cause tailgaters to think twice about the practice, they hope that cruise control technology will eliminate phantom traffic jams and they estimate drivers may even be able to get somewhere nearly twice as fast. Until then, give yourself plenty of space between you and the car ahead as best you can. It benefits everybody on the road.

SOURCE: Lifehacker

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