Why do traffic jams happen?
June 18, 2004 11:44 PM Subscribe
Why do traffic jams happen? [mi]
posted by Yelling At Nothing to science & nature (10 answers total)
I can't count the number of times that I've been driving down the freeway, only to get snarled in some inexplicable traffic jam. After an indeterminite, frustrating amount of time, it seems to disappate, and I'm on my way again. I have never understood why this happens.
I'm aware that once and a while there are accidents, closed lanes, etc., and on those occaisions I mutter to myself "stupid [accident or closed lane or whatever]" and I move on. But most of the time, I can't figure out what the problem was.
I also may be putting too much stock in my fellow humans; my supposition is that if everyone is doing their best to travel at reasonable freeway speed, there is no reason there should ever be an extended traffic jams on the freeway. Please, someone explain this phenomenon to me.