Why do freeways come to a stop?

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    Puulaahi

    This is why I need a tank for freeway driving.

    natedog

    DALLAS, ARE YOU GETTING THIS?

    Gouki4u

    We need a bigger funnel.

    Tardex

    Roads near Cleveland are fucking ridiculous! How do you even drive up that?!

    shiroinohi

    Good tires, gas, and a whooooole lot of hope.

    I’ve had my car spin 180 degrees on a 30-ish degree slope and start rolling backwards before because the ice made the tires lose their grip.

    maxcw

    Bravo, I lol’d pretty hard.

    nyoki

    Explains a few things.

    WistfulD

    Yeah, no raindrop blames itself for the flood. As drivers, we are not so lucky. Apparently traffic flow analysis is a ridiculously complex science and urban planners run crazy ass large simulations on supercomputers to try to figure out where adding a lane or changing the rate of the stoplights on the onramp will reduce congestion.

    Ren

    I notice a lot of people braking for no reason. I guess they don’t realize that if they take their foot off of the long, skinny pedal, the car WILL slow down.

    przxqgl

    conversely, one or two drivers who are aware of the “shockwave” effect in traffic can effectively break up a traffic jam by refusing to allow less than normal driving distance between their car and the car in front of them… if you drive through a traffic jam at a consistently slow speed, but allowing the same distance between yourself and the car in front of you, you sometimes see the traffic jam breaking up behind you…

    Troik

    How does that work? You can either keep the same distance to your front-car or you can keep the same speed, but not both (given that your front-man is accelerating and breaking in intervals, what is described to be the problem here).

    NoOneInParticular

    The “shockwave” occurs because people tailgate. When ANYTHING happens, or even looks like it MIGHT happen, they are forced to break because they MIGHT run into the car they’re tailgating. By maintaining a “proper” distance between cars, you aren’t forced to break the very second something looks like it might happen, and therefore break up the formation of the wave. That only works if traffic isn’t so heavy that cars are forced to tailgate. But it’s why shockwaves form even in light traffic – most people tailgate regardless of whether they need to or not. The best way to improve… Read more »

    Troik

    Ah ok, now I get it, it’s not about doing something when the “shockwave” happens, but what you need to do to never let it happen.

    suicydking

    I was going to mention the same thing. This guy figured out that he could cure the problem almost by himself. Aside from keeping enough distance to the car in front so that you never have to actually STOP, you can help by driving less aggressively. Letting people in, for example, can have long-reaching positive effects.

    Check it out:
    trafficwaves.org/trafexp.html

    nyoki