So, I stole this link from a friend's blog. It is about highway driving behavior.
However, I woke up and upon entering my car decided this would be a fun commute because I could try this theory out. However, I found three reasons this does not work in the real world:
1) That gap you leave in front of you is just asking for people to cut you off (or merge in front of you) In fact, merging is not factored into this theory at all.
2) It is hard to determine the average speed of traffic as a whole from the few cars you can see (and the average speed is sometimes slower than your car goes without doing anything. And even if you go the average speed of traffic, there is always the guy who will tailgate you to go faster or be pushed off the highway.
3) It doesn't work if "traffic" is due to an accident :-P