For a second, I was wondering if I was watching a Top Gear car vs plane race instead of Mythbusters.
As for drivers not paying attention to conditions, I still remember the time when I was coming off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and caught in a jam that was inching forward maybe a couple of meters per minute. The car in front of me was able to move forward a few meters before stopping, but I just stayed where I was, because it would waste more gas to keep accelerating for a few seconds and braking for a few seconds than just to wait until there was room to move forward more steadily. And the car behind me honked at me. Why? If I had moved ahead promptly, they only would've gained a few meters of headway, which was hardly worth honking the horn over. It wasn't as if my moving forward would make the hundred cars in front of me move forward. The instinct to deal with a traffic jam by crowding forward as much as possible and hungrily snatching every inch of progress at the earliest opportunity is counterproductive.
That's one of those "I just wanna feel like I'm making some progress" situations. It may be illusory but it makes me feel better. I'd honk at ya too.
In fact, I'd be checking the other lanes hoping for a way to get around you. Welcome to NJ!
The problem with leaving a big gap ahead of you is that other cars may weave in to try and get ahead of the traffic... at the expense of slowing down your commute since there are now more cars ahead of you and you haven't moved an inch.