Interesting Facts of the Frustrating Traffic Jams

Have you ever encountered in a frustrating traffic jam, having no clue about what’s the cause? Sometimes you may experience the vehicles slow down and stops completely in a traffic, and sometimes later suddenly vehicles start moving fast. The road clears, just like that. No accidents, no mangled cars, no idea to conclude what causes the traffic.

Well, Yes, this kind of traffic jams can occur quite often and they’re called Phantom traffic jams.

How phantom traffic jams occurs

Phantom traffic jams will occur due to the bad driving practices on the crowded roads.

If a car in the crowd hits the brake to slow down, the car behind that will hit the brake bit harder to avoid a collision. It grows like a chain with the cars behind it and eventual braking gets amplified until traffic gets completely stuck. It forms a wave of self-sustaining traffic jam and all the vehicle behind will pass through this wave.

Experiment shows how phantom traffic jams occurs

The occurrence of the phantom traffic jam is due to the fact that people drive faster and stop suddenly. This driving behavior causes a rippling wave of traffic for longer distance. The longest observed phantom traffic jam was about 50 miles long.

However, traveling at a constant speed avoid causing this effect. Straight roads are less likely to form phantom traffic jams, as drivers can most likely to travel at a constant speed and won’t do much braking. Maintaining the constant distance with the vehicle traveling front and back causes less likely to hit the sudden brake.

The future of driving can be replaced by the self-driving cars which can manage speed better than humans and communicates effectively with other vehicles will completely vanish the phantom traffic jams.

Good driving practices will reduce the adverse effects on the roads. Drive well and stay safe.