Honk if you don't love traffic jams.

Car and Driver's Csaba Csere (say "Chubba Chedda" I think) had a great collumn in the February 2004 issue on driving. Here's a quote:

The reaction to this frustrating semi-mobilization falls into two camps. The first ... are so frustrated they boil over at any perceived slight or inconvenience. They are so primed to explode that they can no longer concentrate on driving with any useful efficiency or cleverness. I call these drivers seethers.

The other group no longer cares. These drivers view traffic as a problem beyond any individual's control, so they resolve not to worry about it and simply allow extra time for each trip. This attitude is healthy to some extent, but it is frequently accompanied by a mental disconnection from the task of driving. I call these drivers soothers, and although none of them will likely curse you or flip you off, their utter lack of urgency won't help the flow of traffic, either.

My solution: Neither a seether nor a soother be. Instead, be a doer. Try to do the little things that can help traffic move, particularly when the roads are packed, because that's when a little proactive thinking can make the biggest difference.

He advocates an active participation in driving that looks for opportunities to improve traffic flow. Get moving when the light turns, get out of the way, think about how your actions effect other drivers, etc.

Drivers who do this are more likely to move shortly after a traffic light turns green. They will notice traffic has cleared enough to make a right turn on red. They will change into the correct lane sooner than 50 feet before their intended turn. They will deploy their turn signal before they apply the brakes for a corner rather than after they have already started twisting the steering wheel into the turn. In other words, they will drive as if they had a destination in mind, knew where it was, and actually cared about getting there in a timely fashion.

Excellent piece, go read it.

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