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Believe It: Slower Can Be Faster
Vanderbilt says a recent experiment in the Colorado mountains found that the majority of jams and crashes were the result of people driving into slower traffic too fast. When police paced drivers at 55 miles per hour (instead of the usual 70 or 75) they discovered everyone moved faster. Luxury car companies have developed systems that regulate speed and interval to the car ahead, and some, like Mercedes, are working on a technology that would allow vehicles to communicate with one another about upcoming traffic and road conditions. These systems will likely trickle down to the nonluxury sector (just like power locks, power windows and heated seats did). In the meantime, try to use your cruise control when possible and don't tailgate, which researchers have found not only increases your risk of hitting the vehicle you are following but also being struck by the car behind you, says Vanderbilt.