More cars will get through a junction when the lights are green if each driver is alert and ready to go when they get the signal.
Traffic at a roundabout moves more efficiently when drivers waiting to get on the roundabout are ready to take the opportunities that gaps in the traffic give them.
And at our local skate park, children get the maximum number of rides on their scooter in the time allotted if they calculate when the particular ramps and jumps they want to use are free from other traffic, and then go for it.
In all the above situations, if you wait too long – not enough people get to move. If you don’t wait long enough there will be a crash.
It’s like when you’re making a big decision in your life. Timing is everything. Do you go with your gut early and risk making the wrong decision or do you risk missing an opportunity by waiting too long?
My answer? Well – if the children in the skate park can manoeuvre their way around the complex circuit without crashing or falling, simply by looking around, taking in all available evidence, and then trusting their instinct to make the correct decision at the right time, so can you.