Tailgating Can Cause Traffic JamsMay 2, 2018
Getting stuck in traffic can be extremely frustrating, especially if you are in a rush or running late for an appointment. When traffic begins to move, drivers will often tailgate the car they are following, thinking it will make up for some of the time lost sitting in traffic. According to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the opposite is true. When motorists stop tailgating and keep an equal distance between the car in front and the car behind – also known as bi-lateral control – it can cut the journey time almost in half.
Avoiding the urge to tailgate also has other benefits. Tailgating is one of the main causes of rear-end car accidents, so if there is less tailgating, there will be fewer accidents slowing traffic. In addition, maintaining bilateral control reduces the amount of fuel being burned and released into the atmosphere. According to a 2012 report, 11 billion liters of fuel are wasted and an additional 25.4 billion kgs of CO2 are emitted into the air, which costs the United States approximately $121 million each year – all due to congestion. This simple change in the way we drive can also avoid the need to build new roads or make other costly infrastructure changes.
MIT Professor Berthold Horn recognizes that drivers are unlikely to change their driving behaviors overnight. With that in mind, he suggests that car companies equip their vehicles with updated adaptive cruise-control systems and install sensors to the vehicle’s rear and front bumpers. Horns believes that even if only a small percentage of cars were equipped with these updated systems traffic would improve.
Research Inspired by Flocks of Birds
Horn and his research team were inspired by the way flocks of starlings move in tandem, and the way they pay close attention to the birds around them, and not just the one flying in front. One approach proposed is “platooning,” which would connect vehicles together electronically to control the distance between each vehicle. By maintaining an equal distance between the cars, it can cut down on traffic caused by an individual car changing speeds. Since this would require a huge network of connected vehicles, the CSAIL team suggests an approach that will only require new software and hardware updates.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Victims of Tailgating Accidents
If you have been injured in a car accident involving another driver who was tailgating, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and determine who is responsible for your injuries. Our experienced and dedicated team will ensure you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.