Traffic Control

Essay by John CollierHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 1994

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Traffic Control: The Need For Change

As the population of the United States dramatically increases and the number of vehicles on the nation's roads and highways skyrockets, new methods of traffic control and organization have become necessary, by utilizing new methods of transportation or by revising the current system. In the past 15 years, the number of vehicles on American roads has increased 41.9%, the number of licensed drivers has increased 29.3%, but the size of the general population has only risen 15.9% (Clark 387-404). Between the years 1975 and 1985, the number of miles driven by Americans rose 34.6%, but the number of miles of roads increased by only 4.4% (Doan 64).

Cars and other vehicles are an enormous cost to society, costing between $300 billion and $700 billion per year. These expenses are caused mainly by traffic accidents, traffic jams, and the environmental hazards created by the large number of vehicles on the road.

Traffic accidents account for one of the major reasons that the current techniques of traffic control need revision. Traffic jams, along with broken cars and the lack of alternate routes, account for one half of the traffic congestion in the United States (Clark 387-404). Although the number of traffic accidents in the United States has slowly decreased over the past several years, it is still alarmingly high. In 1990, approximately 7 deaths occurred for every 10,000 people in the United States due to traffic accidents (Wallich 14).

In addition, traffic jams also demonstrate the need for better methods of traffic management. Due to both the increase of women in the work force and the expansion of businesses to the suburbs, traffic jams have increased dramatically over the past few years (Koepp 55). As a consequence of traffic jams, the American population was delayed 722...