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Does Weaving in Traffic Actually Get You There Faster?

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Photo by Dan Wuh via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by Dan Wuh via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
NPR's Weekend Edition on Sunday broadcasted a story on how Dangerous Drivers' Worst Habits Might Be Yours. Cell phones? Yes. Hands-free devices? Yup.

Then the interview with Don Redelmeier of University of Toronto took a turn when the topic of weaving came up. "Does changing lanes make any difference in whether or not you actually get to where you're going faster?" asked Liane Hansen.

Sure, said Redelmeier, when you're approaching fixed objects. When it comes to weaving in congestion, however, it might not matter.

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"Under congested roadway circumstances, all sorts of visual illusions are created, so it makes it seem that the next lane is going faster than the driver's current lane, even if all the lanes have the same average speed," he said. "Congested roadway circumstances are so erratic and so frustrating and so difficult to predict that those are probably the times when your eyes are playing tricks on you."

Of course, there are exceptions to the case, but this is something we definitely witness daily here in the city.