How YOU ALONE Can Kill Traffic Jams

Submitted by: KoalaMeatPie 6 years ago in Science

Watch and replicate. Do it for humanity"s sake...
There are 96 comments:
Male 194
The exit lane idea makes sense. In most other traffic situations, driving slowly to let a big gap form won`t help. If nobody moves into the gap, it`s just wasted road space. Otherwise, you`ve effectively encouraged people to change lanes, which is always less efficient than staying in one lane.
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Female 25
when you are that far back from the exit then sure give em space but screw the dicks that ride to the front of the line!
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Female 999
Lol, I`m in So Cal. Here you`d just have like 37 people cut into that space.
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Male 28
One particular reason this works well on interstates is that when you slam on your breaks, the semi`s behind you have to do the same, and they can`t get back up to speed as quickly. If you keep moving, they can keep the truck in gear and get up to speed faster
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Female 437
@Kaylen226 Thanks :) I did get really confused as to why people were driving in there XD That still seems really strange though cause we don`t have anything like that
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Male 418
This is why i refuse to live in a big city. i like to pull u turns on main streets.
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Female 114
Its so much easier to just fly past this jackhole than sit behind him watching everyone pass you by. What a lame prick. People do this in the city I live in and they do not go 2 mph under the limit, more like 10-15 under the limit. Everyone honks at them, then passes them when can, its not cuz their racing to get to the jam, its actually cuz this guy will do this the ENTIRE time he`s on the interstate, not JUST for traffic.

@Franklin, thats the interstate, there is no hard shoulder on the left, thats the carpool lane where you gotta have more than one person in the car with you.
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Female 437
OK, now I know I don`t know much about American roads but why do a load of cars appear to be driving on the hard shoulder?
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Male 2,850
Because overall, going fast and having braking, and the cascades that come with it, works out slower overall than going a little bit slower and avoiding the braking effect entirely.
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Male 2,850
@GasMaskKid

"Nowadays a lot of cars save energy by converting your braking force into more energy to use."

That`s not the issue here. It`s the cascade effect from OVER braking.

Each time a car has to brake because the car in front has braked, they brake a tiny bit harder than the car in front did (possibly due to reaction times eating up some of their chance to brake gently). It`s a REAL and DOCUMENTED effect; humans do not brake precisely, and will overbrake rather than underbrake.

Follow that back down the line of cars, each one braking a little harder than the one before it, and before long there`s a car that`s had to brake to a complete stop, FOR NO USEFUL PURPOSE.

If the chain is broken, then the loss of speed due to the overbraking doesn`t happen.

It`s better for the traffic to be travelling 2mph slower, and not braking at all, then to be travelling fast and have braking. It`s a fact.
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Male 14,331
I save energy by doing burnouts at every stop that way the wheels are always in motion :-p
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Male 694
Nowadays a lot of cars save energy by converting your braking force into more energy to use... If you go at a constant rate, you`re going the same distance in the same amount of time, but you`re wasting energy.
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Male 868
every body hates this guy- even though he`s letting people in his "hole"... if everyone sped up and eliminated the gap and drove at speed then everyone behind them would have space!
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Male 1,178
pretty ridiculous really, he`s not preventing traffic jams ahead of him, he`s creating them behind him by allowing less space for cars in lanes behind.

Also, the amount of cars that he let in whilst driving with a big gap would definitely slow his journey down more than 10 seconds. He was a mile of traffic further back than he would have been
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Male 2,850
"Slow drivers cause traffic jams."

Perhaps. But driving a slow, steady speed is less likely to cause a jam than stop-start traffic, as stop-start includes an added inefficiency of drivers over-braking (car in front brakes a tiny bit, car behind them reacts and brakes...but they brake a little bit harder, repeat down the line), which causes the cascade effect backwards down the line, leading to an eventual standstill.

It`s a proven and known effect.

Driving at the steady speed and leaving the gap absorbs the wave of braking, and stops cars behind from adding their own over-braking to the wave.
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Male 579
How traffic jams are created: People who don`t know how to merge. You should merge at the speed of traffic, not 10 under, not 20 under.. It`s in the driver manual for your state.. Look it up.
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Male 579
Slow drivers cause traffic jams.
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Male 440
I disagree with his contention that letting a few cars ahead only slows you down a few seconds per car. Each of those cars adds way more time to your journey at every junction or traffic light or other forced stop. Miss the green and you`re another few minutes delayed. Each car ahead = 1 minute extra at least. That adds up fast.
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Male 5,194
How to cure traffic jams: Drive real slow.

How to cause traffic jams: Drive real slow.
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Male 181
job had to be on the roads, that would work. Summing up: Yes, leave plenty of space. It won`t fix traffic, but it`s safer for you.
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Male 181
I call BS.

You`re not controlling traffic, you`re just being courteous. However, I find that it doesn`t do a damn thing to help traffic.

If I`m driving in the lane that the on-ramp merges with and I leave a huge space, you know what happens? The cars merging all speed past the empty space to where the lane ends then try to cut in.
The other problem is that it does nothing when you have all these cars using a road that was built decades ago when the population density was lower and there were less suburbs.
The roads were designed at the time that even at highest capacity, the number of lanes would offset the number of cars.

The only way you can "kill" traffic jams is by not having more cars on the road than the road can support.

So yeah, if public transit were free and buses came more often than every half hour, that would work. If you could de-centralize business that only people that physically had to be somewhere to do their
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Male 296
I`ve seen this guys type riding along like they`re traffic controllers. Idiots, try looking back further in traffic you`re causing a jam.
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Male 3,076
nice this man is awesome.
bigest traffic jams in my town.... 12 cars
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Male 479
i understand where he`s coming from but there is nothing more annoying than being behind someone who leaves a huge space in front of them and lets everyone else in.
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Male 2,850
Interesting thought: those photos of HUGE packed motorways...

...count the cars. When you get to about 25 (because most cars are generally single-occupant), imagine that patch of road being empty except for one bus. Then repeat across the entire image...

...it suddenly becomes very empty indeed.

If buses were free to use (paid by local taxes perhaps), ran frequently and reliably enough, and went to the right places, I reckon you`d get a lot of commuters using it.

And even if you don`t use it, others would, clearing the jam a little for you. Everyone wins.
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Female 188
And in the end he`s the winner because he`s controlling all the other drivers! Mwahahaha!!

Seriously- great idea because I HATE stop-n-go traffic. Crawling along is fine but stop-n-go gets my panties in a bunch!
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Male 2,850
There IS a difference between driving uniformly slowly and stop/start driving: the reason jams happen with stop/start is because people instinctively overbrake:

Car 1 brakes a tiny bit.
Car 2 reacts and brakes a tiny bit more.
Car 3 does the same, etc etc.
Until eventually, somewhere back down the line, the cars have to brake to a complete stop.

It`s not the braking that`s the issue; it`s that each car behind will brake a little harder than the car in front.

Driving a uniform speed eliminates this extra innefficiency.
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Male 304
they need a zen warrior....

whait...

perhaps 10 zen warriors...

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Male 768
F*ck that, I want to go fast, always. How about this philosophy instead: If you aren`t going 80, get out of my lane.
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Male 604
I used to think the first responders at 9/11 were heroes, but I was wrong. This man is a true hero.
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Male 35
I do this on the busy mountain roads in Colorado. I got really tired of breaking for people who slow down more than is necessary for all the bends, which can exacerbate stop and go traffic waves when it`s busy. So I hang back enough to give a buffer and the whole thing becomes much smoother. I think it affects the people behind in the kind of way he was describing as well; I`ll have to check next time.
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Male 736
lots of haters on here, but you know what? he`s right. drivers are too pushy, there are too many of us on the road at once.
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Male 58
good luck with that:


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Male 356
Good philosophy, but unfortunately bad calculation. You DO go muc faster by "cheating", that`s why people keep doing that. Of course only the best cheaters win!
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Female 3,562
Actually weepee the best thing is to slow down (not stop) the moment you see a red light even if it`s a significant distance away. That way the moment it turns green you can instantly go. You don`t have to break, and therefore you don`t need to start from a stopped position. I do that all the time, it really is faster to go slow sometimes.
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Female 3,562
Wow, full of himself much? It just seems to me everyone is passing him because he`s slow and they don`t want to get stuck behind him. And a few cars in front of you can mean the difference between catching a green light or a red light, which is a good amount of time right there. This is fine if you aren`t in a hurry, that`s exactly how I drive when I have all day to get some where. It`s a significant difference if 5 minutes is all you have to spare.
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Male 612
with the same theory, if i approach a stop light slow enough it will turn green before i need to actually stop for it. OMG i just cut down my driving time because i never stop at red lights and the rest of traffic now loves be because i hacked traffic!
stupid video.
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Male 309
I agree in the city on the freeway it`s the easy paced-drivers that are best, but out on the open highway, you slow-pokes are the ones that screw everything up!!

Also, if your driving through town, please don`t poke your way through the stop lights. Sure, it`s easy on you, not braking at each light. But every time you leave a giant space in front of you that causes like 3 people behind you to miss the light.
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Male 787
Oops thought this was the bahrain video
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Male 787
Just sent this to my history professor. I wonder if thats the right thing to do.
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Male 123
I live in LA and I do this all the time. It works. It`s just ridiculous that something as common sense as this needs to be explained to everyone..again and again.
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Male 247
@human_exile: People will slow down and have too spend time speeding up, so you`re wrong.
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Female 525
The reason the other cars were flying by him was because they weren`t in the exit late. He was in an exit lane which was causing a backup.
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Male 1,054
tn11

"but then there are people who see the space in front of you, and cut in, totally defeating the point of the exercise. "

watch the video again, and pay attention - that actually is the point - instead of person you describe cutting in at the last second - bring both the lane he/she is in to a halt and the one he/she is merging to, the cheater moves in in rhythm with the rest of the traffic before it becomes a traffic stopping issue.

bowlinguy
"they are not cheaters,"

Actually, they are. Other people are waiting their turn in line, and some people cut in ahead of where they rightfully should be - making them cheaters. If it were a line of people waiting at a ticket booth, and someone walked past most of the line and then squeezed in at the last minute - you call them a cheat or worse. Same thing on the road.

If people planned ahead, as much as possible, to be in the right lane ahead of time, it would help smoot
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Male 220
only thing is that in Canada if you leave even 3/4s of the space of a car length in frotn of you you`ll have 3 cars and a motorcycle trying to ram themselves infront of me.

Sounds like you live in Toronto!!
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Male 359
liklepip {meh i`m one of those people who go to the front of ques i also use wrong lanes to cut ahead of traffic, i`m a poo driver and i don`t really care for other road users espcially on roundabouts."

Hence the phrase -typical woman driver.-
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Male 928
This should be in the driver`s ed book and required knowledge to get your license.
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Male 3,631
Dude - I figured this out years ago. A little tiresome toggling the gas constantly to stay at an even, NON-stopping pace, but I guess that`s no more taxing than traditional stop-and-go; I think I`m going to reimplement my strategy, though this time not let all the cars sucking up my `big empty space` discourage me - that`s part of the strategy.
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Male 875
boring and stupid

if you go slow and let 10 cars go ahead of you, it`s not 10 sec. your still going slow
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Male 230
yeah they`re called phantom jams
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Male 15,510
In conclusion, things would be better if everybody acted civilized
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Female 1,356



ooo....philosophical....
i`ll try it next time.
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Male 25,417
ok, so drive slow and avoid traffic jams, or speed and get to work faster :)
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Male 17,512
I live out in the country, near small towns.

NOBODY honks their horns, except people that don`t live here. You could take 5 seconds sitting at a green light and no one will honk their horn at you. If someone wants to cheat and get ahead in a turn lane, we let them. Car accidents are rare and usually involve someone that was drunk or an non-resident.

Driving is a pleasure here and I hope it never changes.
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Male 540
"well it is easier said then done, in Socal ppl are just impatient diks, so this will never work!"

But...it was just said *and* done in the video.
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Male 1,587
Shalantas- yeah, I try to do it. but then there are people who see the space in front of you, and cut in, totally defeating the point of the exercise.
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Male 864



We can stop traffic jams!
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Male 606
well it is easier said then done, in Socal ppl are just impatient diks, so this will never work!
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Male 1,057
@lauriloo: so I give up MY opportunity to travel an extra 1/10th mile so everyone else can do it instead??? What??? How are they a traffic hazard if everyone is at a standstill? I don`t think you get it....
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Male 405
Someone`s been reading cracked :D
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Female 1,803
I love this mentality that people that use the full length of the onramp are `cheating`. It`s there for use. As long as you`re not breaking any laws (driving on the shoulder, crossing a double line), it`s fair game.
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People who wait until the end of a ramp to merge and have to stop because they don`t have an opportunity by then are a traffic hazard. You should be looking for a merging opportunity as soon as you can see traffic, adjust your speed to match the hole and then take the earliest opportunity to merge into traffic. This gives the people behind you the entire length of the merging lane if they need it.
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Male 426
I have been doing this in LA for years, pisses my friends off, but it works.
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Male 514
I always drive like this, people look upset at me quite often and I really dont care, you save gas not braking and hammering the gas at every light too. Furthermore in city traffic with lots of lights I`ve noticed that I often catch up to cars who speed ahead at every light and often pass them on multi-lane roads where I coast right through when the light changes but all the stopped cars are waiting with zero existing momentum to try to gun it.
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Female 1,803
sounds like a reasonable theory to me. I`m also amazed that people can`t figure out that, when they need to change lanes, sometimes slowing down enough to get in BEHIND a car is the best solution. People are so desperate to get ahead of everyone, they`ll wait to merge forever when all they have to do is get in behind someone.
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Male 2,402
Please someone get this man a Nobel Peace prize.
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Male 6,694
Well, that sucked.
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Male 1,815
I live in a city where rush hour means I get home 2 minutes later than I would at 3 in the morning.
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Male 7,813
ive been doing this since i was sixteen. i always thought is should be common sense, but as we know, most people dont use common sense.
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Male 126
as he was talking about how smal of a difference his `technique` will make in your time. im watching all these cars fly by him.

News flash: they are not cheaters, the lane is there for use by cars. THE WHOLE LANE. if people used the whole road correctly and merged properly there would be no traffic jams
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Male 36
in new england we have a term for people who cut in at the last minute "mass hole"
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Male 3,431
Netech, I think the issue is that when you wait until the last minute to merge, you create a bottleneck. If people would merge more uniformly, then traffic wouldn`t be stopped up at one point.
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Male 60
@liklepip You`re also a woman. Being a poo driver is completely understandeable.
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Male 294
"It doesn`t stop people from cutting to the front. Having an extremely slow average speed is no different than stop and go."

Actually it does, there`s a huge difference in gas usage and engine wear between stop and go driving and a slow steady pace.
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Male 174
this is critical damping. brilliant.
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Male 432
this is in the science category
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Male 1,057
I love this mentality that people that use the full length of the onramp are `cheating`. It`s there for use. As long as you`re not breaking any laws (driving on the shoulder, crossing a double line), it`s fair game.
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Male 357
ggolbez watch the whole video before you comment, he was in the left lane because he was exiting to the left. Make sure your brains are loaded before you shoot off your mouth.
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Male 1,931
If you`re going to drive that slow, do it in the right lane. Don`t do that poo in the left hand lane.
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Female 136
meh i`m one of those people who go to the front of ques i also use wrong lanes to cut ahead of traffic, i`m a poo driver and i don`t really care for other road users espcially on roundabouts.
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Female 491
I`m getting road rage by just watching
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Male 5,413
I can`t be bothered to drive WEEEEEEEEE
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Male 113
I`d like to see him try to kill these traffic jams.



We just have too many people.
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Male 257
only thing is that in Canada if you leave even 3/4s of the space of a car length in frotn of you you`ll have 3 cars and a motorcycle trying to ram themselves infront of me
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Male 2,390
wow. didn`t. learn. a. thing. wow. driving with common sense isn`t so common is it.
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Male 355
so hes the prick driving slow in the fast lane
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Male 338
Not shown in 2nd "technique": huge line of annoyed drivers who`ve waited in line.
Also, people cutting in near the exit don`t do it to "get back" at those who waited and didn`t let them in earlier. Notice how few get in his big gap early on?
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Male 997
This guy just told people to do what you`re taught to do when learning to drive. Do not tail gate cars in front on motorways etc so you dont have to break harshly meaning everyone breaks harshly. And yes he has stopped the merging traffic at expense of pissing off everyone else behind him by going slow and letting everyone who didn`t get into the proper lane jump the queue.
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Male 2,552
>Volsunga
Except on consumption, which is why I do it.

Haters gonna hate.
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Male 2,552
That`s called traffic etiquette. Learn it, live it. Been doing that now for some time.
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Male 1,548
first technique is correct and actually does eat up traffic jams.
second one is a logic fail. All it does is force the cars behind you, waiting for you to fill the gap, to just go around you and fill it themselves. It doesn`t stop people from cutting to the front. Having an extremely slow average speed is no different than stop and go.
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Female 36
"I was bored..." I don`t care what the rest of the video says, that`s the best opener I`ve heard.
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Female 53
Maybe enough people doing this will make Seattle traffic less of a bitch.
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Male 648
sounds plausible, but I think if there isn`t a left hand exit, and you are driving slowly in the left lane, you will only cause problems as everyone will be merging to get around you.
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Male 5,811
Sounds like someone read cracked recently...
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Male 2,344
Fat Jack Nicholson solves traffic.
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Male 2,576
Link: How YOU ALONE Can Kill Traffic Jams [Rate Link] - Watch and replicate. Do it for humanity`s sake...
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