Traffic congestion has become one of the biggest challenges facing the modern day man, most especially in big cities. Traffic situation can be so bad that it affects both the environment and the human health.
Causes of traffic range from bad roads and drainage, poor road networking, accidents, bad driving. Most times, causes of traffic are beyond the control of the common man that plies the road, so even though he doesn’t play a part in the cause of the traffic, he partakes in it and the effects of traffic in the human body are detrimental and may over time can lead to serious health challenges.
- Over exposure to car exhaust fumes may also injure brain cells and synapses key to learning and memory. On the subject of effects of traffic on the human body, The Wall Street Journal reported that “Children in areas affected by high levels of emissions, on average, scored more poorly on intelligence tests and were more prone to depression, anxiety and attention problems than children growing up in cleaner air“. This is very worrisome, because a lot of children sadly also suffer from traffic jam on a daily basis.
- Exposure to air pollution caused by traffic can be linked with respiratory ailments, asthma, impairment of the lungs, cardiovascular mortality. It is particularly dangerous to those already from any of these ailments. It may also lead to adverse outcomes for pregnant women.
- According to Leon James, a professor of psychology and co-author of “Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: “It’s easy to get lost in a cycle of emotions where you’re talking to yourself and ruminating about traffic situations”. Psychologically, Traffic can lead to depression, anger, resentment especially when they feel disrespected, abused or cheated by bad road commuter and these feelings if not properly manages can lead to breakdown of the body through stress.
In as much as causes of traffic jam are way out of our control, there is need to try our possible best to stay away from traffic, maybe leave the office earlier, and if you cant afford that, It is advisable you wait till it subsides; This is because the effects of traffic jam on the human body is not palatable. However, it is understandable that for some people, maybe due to their schedule and distance from place of residence to work area, traffic is inevitable.
Here are a few tips to help minimize your risks:
- Use other alternatives instead of driving your vehicle: There are mass transit buses, ferries around that can aid your transportation around. Although with buses, you most likely will still be stuck in traffic, the difference is that this time around, you would be free of the stress of driving. You would also help reduce the vehicles on the road at least by one. Now imagine if just a quarter of the drivers of private vehicles on the road choose to take a bus instead, the intensity of traffic on our roads would definitely be lesser.
- If you must drive, ensure your car is well maintained. Cars in bad condition put both the driver and other commuters at risk of air pollution and accidents. Be a good road commuter, Obey traffic lights and traffic officials. Try leaving home early, 5 minutes can make a lot of difference.
- Tune into traffic radio stations/programs, and subscribe to traffic channels. This can help you stay ahead of traffic. Wind up your windows: This is to protect you from air pollution, theft.
- Do something fun while in traffic: In traffic you can read a book, chat with a friend, read blogs or other fun sites, listen to good music, listen to a radio show or anything other fun stuff. It must be safe especially if you are driving. For instance, it is NOT ADVISABLE to drive while talking on the phone. These fun activities are to act as a form of relaxation especially as there is often tension among commuters, everyone in a rush to get to their destination.