The Killer Commute

by Tillie

Hi Coco,

This post is for Jen, who sent me this excellent graphic months ago and I have only just properly sat down to craft it into a blog post (sorry Jen!)

Readers, in case you ever wake up thinking “I want to hang out in traffic today!” you may want to bookmark this page to remind you why driving is oh-so-bad for your health. I am especially concerned by the impact of traffic on your mental state illustrated by Jen’s team. I used to drive in Sydney peak-hour traffic, and suffered terrible road rage as a result. Selling my car was the best thing I ever did – so much so that I had a party.

Farewell Car party, 2007

After four years in London I was so in love with public transport and so out of the habit of driving that moving to the States has been quite an adjustment. It’s amazing how just having access to a car shrinks your perception of distance. We used to think nothing of a 15 minute walk to the Tube, but now we’re likely to get in the car to travel the same distance to the shop.

As of next week I’ll be commuting two hours a day (one hour each way) to university (for lack of alternatives) and I am all too aware of how this will affect my health. I’m currently looking into how I can keep my bike to campus so I can redress the balance. Luckily for me, getting stuck in traffic shouldn’t be a problem, but I am certainly concerned about other hazards such as fatigue, snow and wayward deer.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences about the impact of traffic on your health – share your stories in the comments!