5 Interesting Things About Traffic That You Probably Didn't Know

Updated Nov 12, 2019 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Here Are 5 Facts and Trivia about Traffic That You Probably Haven't Heard of.

Whenever we hear the word traffic, the first thing that comes to our mind is the long line of vehicles stuck in a road for a long period of time with a very slow flow. Most of the time, we experience traffic congestion and it causes us inconvenience but what we don't know is there's a lot of interesting things about traffic that we're not aware of.

traffic facts

Here are some of the interesting things you probably don't know about traffic

1. Busses are underrated

Often times, we see busses as the greatest contributor of pollution and traffic jams in our roads and the only redeeming attribute of busses is accommodation. What we didn't know is that busses can actually help lessen traffic when utilized properly. Busses can carry the same number of passengers like that of 30 cars.

The size of the bus can occupy three cars when it comes to road space. Imagine how light the traffic will be when we replace 30 cars with just a single bus. Not to mention that bus seats are a lot more comfortable and spacious than those of public utility jeepneys.

Philippines busses

Imagine if more people will be using busses than private vehicles, there would be fewer cars, therefore minimizes traffic

It will also help decrease stress that will result to reduced number of road rage and possibly fewer car crashes. In relation to that, fewer cars will mean fewer pollutants and will help promote cleaner air. There are a lot of personal benefits too.

You can save money by riding a transit compared to using your own personal car, not to mention that the price of fuel is drastically increasing. It also avoids the hassle and cost of parking. So don't underestimate transit busses.

>>> Related traffic update: Provincial buses line now banned from loading and unloading along EDSA

2. Billboards are bad for drivers

Billboards are used for promotional ads and often placed in places where people can easily see them mostly along the roads and buildings. While billboards are effective eye-catcher, it is bad for the drivers on the other hand. It tends to divert the driver's attention from the road to the billboards. It is somewhat a distraction especially those digital billboards that serves as on-road giant TV.

While billboards can be a positive way to entertain commuters being stuck on traffic, certain studies have shown that it doesn't aways cause the same effect among the drivers. 

highway billboards

Billboards are used for promotional ads and often placed in places where people can easily see them mostly along the roads and buildings

Studies also show that billboards and its content greatly affect the driver's driving mood. According to the reports of the University of Granada, there's a big chance that last billboard you see before passing through a yellow traffic light can influence on your decision to stop or continue driving.

On the contrary, billboards with positive and blithesome content will more likely to beat the red traffic light.

>>> Read more:

3. Traffic congestion may last for days

The longest traffic congestion ever recorded (in time length) happened on August 2010 in Beijing, China. It is a 62-mile traffic congestion that lasted for 12 days in Beijing -Tibet Expressway. It took almost 3 days for the drivers to finally pass through the congested expressway with a speed of two miles per day. So the drivers have to buy foods from peddlers to survive while being stuck in that traffic.

One of the main reasons for the traffic congestion in the Philippines is the volume of cars and trucks carrying constructions materials using the same route. Ironically, the said construction materials will be used on the same highway to decrease the traffic congestion.

traafic congestion in Manila

FACT: Metro Manila has the 3rd worst traffic in Southeast Asia as of 2017

4. Painted Center Line Idea

Ever wonder whose idea is the painted center line that we see in our roads today? And how that idea was created? It is none other than Mr. Edward N. Hines (January 13, 1870 - June 4, 1983) known as one of the great innovators in road development.

He got the bright idea from a leaky milk wagon. The spilled milk left trails down the street and that's where the idea to paint a line in the middle of the road originated that separates the traffic in opposing directions that is still being used up until now. Because of his outstanding contribution to the highway progress, he received various awards including the George S. Bartlett Award in 1935 the Paul Mijksenaar Design for Function Award in 2011.

painter centerline

Edward N. Hines was also induced into the Michigan Transportation Hall of Honor in 1972

5. Traffic Light Origin

Did you know that traffic lights already existed even before automobiles were invented? The idea of developing the traffic light signals began in the 1800's. The first traffic light was gas-powered and is manually operated. It was installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London to control the traffic of horse carriages in the area.

From gas lit traffic lights to electric traffic lights developed in the early 1900’s where cities become more crowded due to growth of industrialization. Furthermore, the increasing number of automobiles led to a development of a better traffic signal system. The idea behind the electric traffic light is American police officer named Lester Wire.

>>> Worth to note: A drivers' guide to the traffic signal lights in the Philippines

traffic lights

The first electric light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio on August 5, 1914 at the corner of the 105th street in Euclid Avenue

Originally, the colors of the traffic lights were "RED" that means possible danger, "GREEN" that stands for caution and "WHITE" that means go. However, it is decided to take the WHITE out of the mix for it was easily overlooked during the day. They settled for the red, green and yellow traffic lights that we're still presently using.

There's a continuous development of traffic signal light up to this day. It plays an essential role in the flow of traffic as it serves as the coordinator of the road that controls the flow of cars. It also prevents accidents when followed properly.

6. Final Say

Since traffic is inevitable. Traffic for most of us is a negative word that means inconvenience and problems that results to aggravation, annoyance and frustration, when in fact it simply means “all vehicles that are moving along the roads in a particular area”. When you think that you know all there is to know about traffic think again.

There's a lot of interesting things to know about traffic that we don't have any idea about so Philkotse.com suggests that whenever you got stuck at a traffic jam again, try reading interesting facts and things related to traffic and tips on survive driving in the Philippines to better understand it and also to pass the time.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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