Making Roads Better Together: Braking Alternative
I drive over an hour every day for my commute. Others drive double that, and a few spend their entire day driving. We all have to drive for the most part especially if you live outside a decent sized city, or if local transit just doesn’t cut it. Why then, does it seem like everybody is out to get each other? Like it’s all a big race down the highway to end up at the same traffic light? Weaving through traffic, cutting each other off, getting frustrated – it doesn’t need to be this way. There are simple practices that we can do to keep the roads flowing smoothly and the aggression and heart rate down. The biggest problem is lack of awareness and understanding that these little bad habits people have add up. A lot of these subjects I’ll bring up are going to be obvious for many of you, but I know for a fact there are people who don’t know these things. So spread the word, let’s make roads better together.
In an age where standard transmissions are disappearing as an option in newer models, there are more and more automatic cars hitting the streets. This is convenient as the larger population have never learned to drive stick, or have cared to. It makes driving in traffic a lot nicer than having to work the clutch for hours. Unless that’s your only workout during the day (which sadly is mine most days). The major downfall to this is that there are a bunch of drivers out there who only think there are two options when it comes to pedal work. Yes there is no clutch like in a manual car, but there is a third option.
You have an accelerator and a brake pedal, but what happens when you take your foot off both of them? You coast, letting the transmission, gravity and other factors gingerly slow you down. This is more apparent in a manual transmission and a lot more effective as you can manually leave the clutch engaged slowing you more than an automatic. However it still is something you can do, along with leaving adequate spacing between you and the fellow in front of you in case he slows slightly. Doing this keeps your foot off the brake and keeps your car’s taillights from sending unnecessary warnings to drivers behind you. This is turn keeps the flow of traffic moving, and doesn’t start a chain reaction leaving cars a few kilometres back at a dead stop for literally no reason. Wouldn’t that be nice!
Unnecessary braking, causing a chain reaction resulting in slower traffic flow.
Leave adequate space between you and the car ahead of you. Less use of the Brake, and most coasting.