It may or may not come as a surprise that Austin is basically one of the worst cities when it comes to traffic congestion. In fact, it is ranked thirteenth worst for traffic congestion in the United States and eighteenth in North America. However, this is not news to commuters as they are used to sitting in the rush hour traffic day in and day out. According to commuters, rush-hour traffic is at its worst in the evenings. Thursday evenings are reported to be the worst when more than sixty percent of the road is congested. So, what implications do traffic congestions have on the health of motorists?
It’s true that no one enjoys being stuck in traffic, however, thousands of people in Austin have to go through this on a daily basis. Traffic congestions affect more than just your mood; it affects your health as well. It also increases your blood pressure and increases air pollution levels.
Air pollution has been known to contribute to asthma, lung cancer, and various other respiratory diseases. In addition to that, it also increases risk for heart disease and stroke—conditions that are potentially fatal. According to reports, the amount of pollution that gathers inside your car during traffic jams far outweighs that found in moving vehicles.
In another study, it was found that hearing damage can occur by listening to daily traffic sounds. Another interesting fact is that rush-hour traffic sounds exceed ninety decibels. Therefore, it can be concluded that if you continue to sit in traffic congestion day in and day out, you run the risk of permanent hearing damage.
According to recent studies conducted by Texan cities, longer daily commutes lead to high blood pressure as well as a larger waistline. In addition, it can also lead to further problems that increase chances of chronic diseases. It is also true that people spend long times in commute are less active.
Blood pressure also appears to be more sensitive when it comes to commuting distance. For example, people who had a commute of twenty miles round-trip, had an increased risk of elevated blood pressure or hypertension.
Additionally, Austin roads are hazardous because the congestion leads to an increased number of accidents, especially during peak hours. Extended time in traffic jams and stand-stills is conducive to distracted driving, leading to more fender benders and reckless driving.
So, when you look at all the research and statistics pointing to the congestion on Austin roads, no one can deny it is a health hazard. The only question is how you can try and beat the traffic congestion. The short answer is that unless funding is given and infrastructure improved, there’s probably little that you can do with regard to the traffic situation since you have to use the roads.
However, you can try some things that can probably make the commute a bit easier on you. For example, if your employer offers flexible hours, try choosing shifts that start early in the morning and finish in the afternoons to avoid the rush hour traffic. If you haven’t tried it already, public transport could be a good solution. Sharing rides or starting lift clubs are a great way to decrease the number of vehicles on the road. If you are on the road in your vehicle, keep your windows closed as this would reduce your exposure to the loud noise and polluted air.
If you have implemented all of the above suggestions and you still find yourself in a sticky situation due to other drivers that don’t care to be considerate or cautious then you need to contact an Austin car crash lawyer, who will assist you further.