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Date: 05/20/10 01:33 PM

59 Responses to How Does Freeway Traffic Happen? [Pic]

  1. Profile photo of fancylad
    fancylad Male 30-39
    18835 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm
    Link: How Does Freeway Traffic Happen? - If you drive, and think you`re ever going to spend any time in traffic, maybe this infographic will settle your madness.
  2. Profile photo of Learjetguy
    Learjetguy Male 18-29
    29 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm
    The truck at 2 is the real #%$&er since he slowed down without any obstruction ahead in his lane. @$$hole.
  3. Profile photo of littlepete50
    littlepete50 Male 18-29
    1358 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm
    i`ve heard these called "phantom jams" before. absolute bastards!
  4. Profile photo of Rick_S
    Rick_S Male 40-49
    3282 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm
    I`ve always known this. It`s a basic principal of physics. If you have a pipe, and you`ve got water coming out of it at a certain speed, and there is a "pinch" in the pipe, the water speeds up at the pinch, which allows the water on both sides of the pinch to continue at a constant speed. If you reduce the number of lanes on a highway, you need to increase your speed through the restricted part to maintain speed outside of the restricted part. But, for safety sake, we reduce the speed, and that causes backups.
  5. Profile photo of TheSharpest
    TheSharpest Male 18-29
    1767 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm
    Wow Husani, did you really need a funnel to figure that more cars equals more traffic? What a keen dude.
  6. Profile photo of Valynn
    Valynn Female 18-29
    71 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm
    I`d hate to be in the car behind a mack truck stopped on a slope like that.
  7. Profile photo of davymid
    davymid Male 30-39
    12140 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    Nonlinear dynamics is a bastard. Damn you chaos theory!
  8. Profile photo of PayN8tention
    PayN8tention Male 18-29
    907 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm
    I understand the domino effect, but why is the speed reduction greater and greater with each preceding car? I mean, why does the car behind car number 2 feel the need to slow down to a speed that`s slower than 45 mph? I`m assuming that all these cars aren`t tailgating.

    These aren`t rhetorical, `see my point?` questions btw. I very well could be understanding this all wrong.
  9. Profile photo of domisgood
    domisgood Male 18-29
    4868 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    "Traffic Planners" is a synonym for virgin if anyone was curious
  10. Profile photo of LazyMe484
    LazyMe484 Male 18-29
    10441 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm
    I took a course in transportation engineering... so this wasn`t new.
  11. Profile photo of moscoworbust
    moscoworbust Male 18-29
    159 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:30 pm
    this is why when they shut down two lanes on a motorway, and everyone is at 70 mph, everyone meeds to speed up to 210mph to have no traffic effect.
  12. Profile photo of outdoorMINER
    outdoorMINER Female 18-29
    934 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm
    They call this a "shockwave"; I call it boring.
  13. Profile photo of msieg007
    msieg007 Male 18-29
    2035 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm
    "I`m assuming that all these cars aren`t tailgating."

    Well, there`s your problem.
  14. Profile photo of duffytoler
    duffytoler Male 40-49
    5195 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm
    Why do freeways come to a stop? Because I said so. Bitch.
  15. Profile photo of imbored454
    imbored454 Male 18-29
    51 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm
    "I understand the domino effect, but why is the speed reduction greater and greater with each preceding car? I mean, why does the car behind car number 2 feel the need to slow down to a speed that`s slower than 45 mph? I`m assuming that all these cars aren`t tailgating."

    When the first car slows down, the car behind it is initially still going the same speed. In the moment it takes for the second car to slow down to the first car`s speed, he has closed the gap between him and the first car. Now he must slow down more in order to drop back to a reasonable following distance.
  16. Profile photo of ZackDark
    ZackDark Male 18-29
    299 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    @PayN8tention: It occurs probably because of the lag between the event happening and the driver reacting (reaction time).

    It is not 0, thus the car has to slow down more in order not to hit the next, increasing the amount of `slowing down more` until they are all going a lot slower than the first one to slow down.
  17. Profile photo of cobrakiller
    cobrakiller Male 18-29
    7470 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm
    or because of an accident or construction or many other reasons.
  18. Profile photo of darkgear6
    darkgear6 Male 70 & Over
    1378 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm
    old
  19. Profile photo of ShadowRyder
    ShadowRyder Male 18-29
    2127 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm
    It all happens cause one dick screws up for no apparent reason.
  20. Profile photo of Nidonemo
    Nidonemo Male 18-29
    9308 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm
    I always thought it was because there was an accident and people were rubbernecking...
  21. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    32823 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 4:02 pm
    It`s also called the "reverse catterpillar" it looks like a catterpillar crawling the wrong way down the freeway (from the air, over time).
    There`s often no "cause" for it, it just happens in heavy traffic, eh?
    Otherwise... zzzzzzzzzzz
  22. Profile photo of simim23
    simim23 Female 18-29
    1427 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm
    "I always thought it was because there was an accident and people were rubbernecking..."

    Agreed.
  23. Profile photo of MauserTM
    MauserTM Male 18-29
    1222 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 4:29 pm
    It happened because the yellow car wasnt in the "getting the fck off the freeway" lane.
    Probably a woman.
    Women should not drive.
  24. Profile photo of Fatninja01
    Fatninja01 Male 30-39
    25420 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm
    Its all becasuse of old people drivers :p
  25. Profile photo of Hemtroll
    Hemtroll Male 18-29
    363 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm
    I thought it was because of accidents too.
  26. Profile photo of OverTheMoo
    OverTheMoo Female 18-29
    460 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm
    I have a huge fear of driving up/stopping on really steep hills. Well drat, now I`m going to have nightmares because of this picture.
  27. Profile photo of howlingwolf
    howlingwolf Male 18-29
    1351 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm
    Well at least we know why traffic stops in Cleveland:

    The roads are freakin roller coasters...
  28. Profile photo of panth753
    panth753 Female 18-29
    9237 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm
    "Its all becasuse of old people drivers :p"

    Ditto.
  29. Profile photo of FeistyAni
    FeistyAni Female 18-29
    106 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm
    Its basically just because people are idiots and one fxup screws traffic for miles.
  30. Profile photo of deltaumarcus
    deltaumarcus Male 18-29
    1958 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm
    It`s because PEOPLE DON`T KNOW HOW TO TO DRIVE!!!
  31. Profile photo of aseirinn
    aseirinn Male 70 & Over
    877 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm
    old...news
  32. Profile photo of Ani187
    Ani187 Female 30-39
    4448 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm
    I agree with Delta here. LEARN HOW TO DRIVE YOU ASSHATS!
  33. Profile photo of Lionhart2
    Lionhart2 Male 40-49
    8306 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm
    @Delta

    Sadly no, its because everyone is a perfect driver. Just ask any particular one of them.
  34. Profile photo of entwife
    entwife Female 18-29
    536 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm
    The DMV should really make the driving tests harder so some of these asshat drivers couldn`t get licenses in the first place. There would also be the added bonus of fewer people out on the road, which I very much like the sound of.
  35. Profile photo of Trepped
    Trepped Male 18-29
    21 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm
    Interesting!
  36. Profile photo of rakoonhat
    rakoonhat Female 30-39
    654 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm
    asshat...where can i get an asshat?
  37. Profile photo of MechBFP
    MechBFP Male 18-29
    813 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 10:16 pm
    I have known this for years and it is why I purposely ride the ass of a driver in front of me if they are driving like a Sunday driver during rush hour. It gets them the drat moving and it prevents unnecessary traffic jams.
  38. Profile photo of Heureux
    Heureux Male 40-49
    1054 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm
    "I have known this for years and it is why I purposely ride the ass of a driver in front of me if they are driving like a Sunday driver during rush hour. It gets them the drat moving and it prevents unnecessary traffic jams."

    And one day, you`ll cause an accident, get killed, and trigger a traffic jam as gawkers slow down to stare at the bloody paste that is all that is left of you.

    When you tailgate someone, they have to slow down even more, since they now need room ahead of them to brake in if something is wrong, otherwise you`ll plow into them from behind.

    Stay in Canada.
  39. Profile photo of Nidonemo
    Nidonemo Male 18-29
    9308 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 11:16 pm
    MechBFP, that is so goddamn stupid to do. If they even so much as tap their brakes you`re royally f*cked and you could cause a horrendous accident! Think about someone other than yourself before you kill them!
  40. Profile photo of OldOllie
    OldOllie Male 60-69
    15841 posts
    May 20, 2010 at 11:55 pm
    You can start one of these jams by simply activating your brake lights without even slowing down. The car behind you will see the lights and tap his brakes slowing a little, the next guy will slow a little more and so on till some poor s.o.b. a mile back has to come to a complete stop. The knot of stopped traffic will propagate backwards like a wave. In fact, the phenomenon can be modeled in a computer using wave theory.
  41. Profile photo of opiebreath
    opiebreath Female 18-29
    15774 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 12:20 am
    Aren`t there highways where the car like... drives itself at 80 mph...?

    I wonder if I can make that sentence sound stupider. :X
  42. Profile photo of DarkFerret
    DarkFerret Male 18-29
    2749 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 2:33 am
    huh... or, you could not drive like a jackass
  43. Profile photo of steve41high
    steve41high Male 18-29
    1153 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 3:10 am
    kinda obvious
  44. Profile photo of GuardinGnome
    GuardinGnome Male 18-29
    2893 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 5:09 am
    hmmmmmmm.
    i always though it was ninjas running across the road that cause car A to stop.
  45. Profile photo of samidoll
    samidoll Female 18-29
    615 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 6:22 am
    good to post this. i always feel like i`m in kindergarten, and the line leaders are going way too slow so the rest of us are too close to each other. i need ma space!
  46. Profile photo of PaganMomBlog
    PaganMomBlog Female 30-39
    48 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 7:41 am
    @ForAllTheSin I take it you live in flat land area then? I live in the mountains of NC and you can`t just lay off the gas to slow down, like say when you are going downhill. And since no one else seems to drive at the same speed as another you are less likely to be able to lay off the gas to slow down as well.
  47. Profile photo of Raisin_Hell
    Raisin_Hell Male 18-29
    277 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 9:00 am
    ForAllThSin -- Brake, you mean brake.
  48. Profile photo of margot138
    margot138 Female 18-29
    322 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 9:56 am
    there should be a rule against spamming on here if there isn`t already
  49. Profile photo of Link364
    Link364 Male 18-29
    440 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 10:08 am
    man this spammer is really persistant.
  50. Profile photo of Suicism
    Suicism Male 18-29
    3625 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 10:51 am
    Very interesting - I love traffic studies of all kinds.
  51. Profile photo of Suicism
    Suicism Male 18-29
    3625 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 10:56 am
    Give Twitter 10 more years, and it should look something like this:

    no sh*t, this is why i HATE divers who use their breaks to slow mo down on high way. All you have to do is lay down the gas and if there`s need to slow down quickly (accident avoidance) then prison breaks are fine. Them breakneck lights make the prison behind you break, then the next person, and son. so the jack$$ who needed to slow down 5mph just to make the diver 10 cars back have to slam on his breaks as well.
  52. Profile photo of Link364
    Link364 Male 18-29
    440 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm
    Where in the world do freeways look like that?
  53. Profile photo of Webb03
    Webb03 Female 18-29
    166 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm
    Apparently in Cleveland, Links. Although, I do recall Cleveland`s hills being a little less severe than that...

    And this accounts for only some freeway traffic where I live. People who feel like going neck and neck at thirty, very poorly timed road repairs, and ridiculously nosy rubberneckers are the culprits more often than not, it seems.
  54. Profile photo of ZackDark
    ZackDark Male 18-29
    299 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm
    @PaganMomBlog: Shifting down actually makes your own car`s engine act as a brake, without triggering the brake light. Unless, of course, you are "high-revving", when the "motor braking" only occurs effectively at least two shifts down.

    I believe even automatic-shift cars have a gear selector.
  55. Profile photo of IssaTheFiend
    IssaTheFiend Female 18-29
    2353 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm
    Sh*t like this makes me hate commuting though there are more highways here than freeways and they never come to a crawl unless there is a crash.
  56. Profile photo of rawryness
    rawryness Female 13-17
    111 posts
    May 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm
    I wanna see that semi-truck go over that hill.
  57. Profile photo of K3vin
    K3vin Male 18-29
    487 posts
    May 22, 2010 at 8:11 am
    i read an article a while ago that said something like if cars where automated this wouldn`t happen, and the rush hour gridlock would be reduced around %40. Human driving behavior has more of an effect on traffic flow than the amount of cars (unless it`s an absurdly large # of cars).

    Ever been in gridlock behind (or you are) that guy on the highway who guns it as soon as a little gap opens up, then rails the breaks because they`ve caught up with the person in front of them? That`s exactly what causes this poo...
  58. Profile photo of K3vin
    K3vin Male 18-29
    487 posts
    May 22, 2010 at 8:11 am
    should have said rails the *brakes*
  59. Profile photo of bonzoello
    bonzoello Male 18-29
    228 posts
    May 29, 2010 at 1:16 am
    this raises my blood pressure just looking at it.

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