Honk! Beep! Let’s Go!
Now there’s a reason besides stress (if that weren’t enough!) to avoid traffic jams. A recent study showed that pollution levels inside cars stopped in traffic or at red lights are up to 40 percent higher than in moving vehicles.
According to the WHO, air pollution is one of the top health risks and is associated with about seven million early deaths each year. The good news: closing your windows and turning off the vents—using any setting that re-circulates air rather than drawing it in from outside—while sitting in traffic can reduce your exposure to toxic fumes by about 76 percent.
In densely populated areas—cities with high-traffic volume, for example—air pollution may contribute to more deaths per year than car crashes. This study also showed that pedestrians at traffic lights are at increased risk as well from air pollution and vehicle exhaust.
Image Credit: Thinkstock